Before you hit the rapids, you have to know how to work out for white water kayaking to ensure you are well prepared for the physical challenge you will face. Just jumping in the kayak and hoping for the best is sure to lead to serious trouble. Here are some exercise tips to get you started.
- Stretch your muscles to help with your range of motion. Stretching may be just as important, if not more important, than exercise itself. Focus on stretching out your arms, stomach and back as you will use mostly these muscles when kayaking. Stretching your legs muscles will also help so they don’t get stiff while sitting in the kayak.
- Focus on cardio exercises. Run, do jumping jacks or take an aerobics class. White water kayaking takes a considerable amount of cardiovascular stamina that can only be achieved through doing cardio exercises.
- Strengthen your upper body. Lifting weights will help with this. You can also do push-ups, pull ups and dips. Your upper body strength is vital because your arms are what propel your paddle through the water and move your kayak.
- Build up your upper body stamina. Using a rowing machine is a great exercise to help you build stamina. Work up to staying on the rowing machine for 20 minutes longer than the amount of time you will be white water kayaking. While you are on the rowing machine, use an interval training program to simulate the conditions on the rapids.
- Gain some leg strength. Lunges and squats are ideal for this. Leg lifts and other weight lifting exercises may also help. Your leg strength is vital when you are carrying your kayak to the rapids.