Sunday, October 22, 2006

 

Stretching after you are in your Kayak

Warmup for whitewater river kayaking or sea kayaking


The most effective stretching that you can do is before you put on all of your bulky kayaking gear, but who hasn't dressed, jumped into the kayak and then realized that you forgot to stretch? Fortunately, the most important stretches that we need for kayaking can be done anytime while sitting in our kayaks (e.g. on the beach at put-in, after lunch, etc.).

Shoulders/Torso 1.

Put your elbow under your chin, use the other hand to push the elbow around towards the opposite shoulder. To intensify the stretch rotate your shoulders in the same direction that you are pushing. Hold the stretch with firm, continuous pressure for at least 40 sec. Repeat with the opposite elbow.

Shoulders/Torso 2.

Lift your arm up and put your wrist behind your head, use the other hand to pull the wrist towards the opposite shoulder. To intensify the stretch bend your torso to the side in the direction that you are pulling. Hold the stretch with firm, continuous pressure for at least 40 sec. Repeat with the opposite arm.

Torso stretch with paddle leverage.

Stretching for torso rotation was described in a previous post. Stretch until you can see the stern (back end) of your boat. Hold the stretch with firm, continuous pressure for at least 40 sec. Repeat on the opposite side.

Photos by CarolynD.

When is the best time to stretch? Whenever you feel stiff or sore! Before, during and after kayaking! And don't forget to stretch first thing in the morning on the day after the big kayaking trip. If your muscles are stiff and cold it is important to ease into your stretching slowly and gently, maybe after spending a few minutes in a hot shower.

If you are injured - take it easy until it heals and/or go see your doctor, but whenever you are just a little stiff and sore it is amazing how much better you will feel after you stretch!!

More about: Whitewater Kayaking Techniques. Stretching Techniques. Books on Stretching.

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Comments:
It is ten years since I kayaked with you Bruce. Many thanks for the leadership, training, and fun back in '96.

Great to see your indelable smile still beaming out in the stretching photos.
Regards
Kieran Scott, (Kiwi now living in Oz).
 
Been trying these out. Great suggestions.
DSD
"Summit-Stones" Blogger.com
 
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