If you’re looking for exercises to help get in shape for sea kayaking, here’s a good start. And if you’re looking for options on where to go seakayking we have a great suggestion: Adventure Island eco-resort on Long Caye, Belize.
Sea Kayak Exercises
Sea kayak exercises should build endurance, muscle, balance and coordination. Overall, use lighter weights and do more repetitions. For each exercise do three sets of twenty repetitions and rest just long enough between each set to catch your breath. Don’t rest more than two minutes in between sets.
Repeat three times a week and make sure your diet has enough protein in it.
Below is a good checklist, but if you want a more detailed description of sea kayak exercises and routines seakayaker.com is the place to go.
Sea Kayak Exercises For The Legs
- Use a paddle, broomstick or dowel, placed in front of you, for balance.
- While squeezing your abs and thighs, start the exercise by standing on your toes, and then squat down as if sitting on a chair. Inhale on the way down.
- Keep your back straight and the shoulders and chest in line with the hips. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Do not lean forward or rock your chest out over the knees.
- Now, pressing with the thighs, push back up to the starting position. Exhale as you push. Do not pull yourself back up using your arms! The paddle is only for balance.
- Adjust the seat so the knee is even with the point of rotation of the machine.
- Also, adjust the shin pad so it rests just above the ankle.
- Use light enough weight to do 20 reps.
- Take a deep breath…
- ….and then, extend the leg up as you exhale.
- Once fully extended, flex the quadriceps (thighs) at the top of the stroke and hold the position for a count of 3 seconds.
- Return to the start position but do not let the weights touch. This will keep weight on the quadriceps through out the exercise.
- Adjust the body so the knee is even with the point of rotation of the machine.
- Also, adjust the calf pad so it rests just above the ankle. Hold the handles of the machine with the head up, looking forward.
- Use light enough weight to do 20 reps. Take a deep breath…
- … and then, flex the hamstrings and curl the legs up as you exhale.
- At the top of the curl, squeeze the hamstrings and glutes (the muscles in your butt) and hold the position for a count of 3 seconds.
- Then return to the starting position. Do not let the weights touch as you lower your legs.
Sea Kayak Exercises For The Back
- Begin with the hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Sit up straight with the back arched.
- Take a deep breath
- Flex the lats by rotating the shoulder back, pulling the shoulder blade under, and pulling down. Inhale as you pull and flex.
- Try not to pull with the arms!
- Do not let the weights touch. Do this by keeping the elbows bent slightly. Inhale on the way up.
- Begin with the feet wide and knees bent. Keep the arms straight with the hands just higher than the shoulders.
- Take a deep breath, exhale….
- …then, press the bar down flexing the serratus muscles under the arms as you pull.
- Keep the arms straight through out the exercise.
One Arm Rows
- Using a flat bench for support, place one knee on the bench and one foot, to the side, on the floor. Brace the upper body by holding the bench using the arm on the same side as the knee.
- Keeping the weighted arm straight, reach forward and stretch the upper back.
- Now, pull the weight up using the muscles of the back and not the biceps.
- Keep the back flat through out the exercise. Avoid rotating the shoulders and hips as you pull.
- Exhale as you pull. Inhale as you release and stretch.
- Alternate sides and count both sides as one full set.
- Start by sitting on a flat bench with the feet on the ground for stability. Hold the dumbbells on each knee. When you are ready, lie back on the bench and kick each dumbbell up and off the leg.
- Roll the shoulder’s back and let the upper arms stop horizontal to the floor. The forearms should be vertical.
- Press the dumbbells upward, away from the body, while keeping the palms flat and facing the knees.
- Exhale as you press the weight. Inhale as you bring the weight down.
- Begin with both feet placed flat on the floor for balance.
- When you pick the dumbbells off the floor, while sitting on the incline bench, place each dumbbell on your knees before you lay back. Once reclined, lift the weight off your knees and back to the starting position by kicking the knee up. This will prevent injuries to the shoulders and elbows.
- From the starting position, press the weight up, away from the body and together until both dumbbells touch at the top. Flex the upper chest while doing this, and then lower the weight to the starting position. Try to keep the muscles in the chest flexed through out the exercise.
- Inhale as lower the weight. This will help spread the rib cage for a full range of motion for the chest. Exhale as you push the weight up.
- Stand with the feet about shoulder width apart and dumbbells down to the side. The palms should be facing down through out the exercise.
- Raise the weight to shoulder height. Concentrate on form and don’t throw the dumbbell into position by rocking the upper torso.
- Lower the dumbbell, and then repeat with the other arm. Alternate sides and count both sides as one full set.
Sea Kayak Exercises For The Arms
- Start with the elbows down and tucked close to the body. Keep your hands on the bar about shoulder width apart.
- Push the bar down by squeezing the triceps. As you bring the bar back up to the starting position, keep your triceps flexed. If you are using correct form, you will feel your arms swell slightly. This is the “pump” every body builder works for. It’s the blood being pumped to the muscle. Go for that “pump”!
- Begin by placing two benches or chairs about legs length apart. Sitting on one bench, place the hands next to the hips, fingers forward and palms down. Put the feet up on the next bench.
- Lift yourself off the bench and lower your body until you are just above the floor. The upper arms should be just about horizontal to the floor.
- Squeeze the triceps and push back up to the starting position. Keep the hips and your butt close to the bench as you do this exercise. Do not over extend!
Seated Bicep Curls
- Begin by adjusting the seat so the shoulders are just above the elbow pad. Keep the elbows shoulder width apart and straight on the pad.
- Pull the handle to your forehead by flexing the biceps. Then, slowly lower the weight while keeping the biceps flexed.
- Dumbbell curls can be done standing (perfered) or seated.
- Begin with the dumbbells down and arms at your side, palms in.
- Curl the weight with one arm, flexing the bicep. As you curl the weight, rotate the forearm until the palms are facing the shoulder.
- Lower the dumbbell, keeping the bicep flexed.
- Now, alternate arms keeping the same form.
- To keep the pump in your triceps, try flexing the tricep once the dumbell has been lowered to the side and the arm is straight.
Sea Kayak Exercises For The Abdominals
- Begin with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. You can use a paddle, broomstick or dowel for this exercise.
- Holding the paddle over head and with a wide grip, raise one knee and hip by flexing the oblique muscles. Hold the positon and squeeze the muscles in your side. Go for the burn!
- Alternate sides, holding and flexing. Count both sides as one set.
- Using a flat bench, lay back with the hips on the edge of the very end. Keep the knees and feet toghether with a slight bend in the knees.
- Lower the legs and stretch the abdominals while keeping the shoulders on the pad.
- With the hands behind your head, raise the shoulders and legs at the same time. Flex the abs and “crunch” the chest to the knees.
- Use the muscles of the abs to crunch! Don’t raise the shoulders off the pad by pulling with your arms.
- Take your time to maintain balance while working the abs.