3 Exercises to Get Fit for Paddling

You train your legs for the trail, right? Now do the same for your upper body and make your days on the water easier. Bonus: These exercises work the same muscles that help you carry a heavy pack.
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v sit with medicine ball

Train your upper body for easier river trips.

Rotating Medicine Ball V-Sit

This core exercise targets the obliques to mimic the rotation of paddling.

Sets 3 | Reps 15 (each side)

1. Sitting on the floor or ground with your legs together and in front of you, hold a lightweight medicine ball (or rock) in front of your chest.

2. Keep your back flat and your chest up as you lean back 45 degrees. Bend your knees and lift your legs so that your calves are parallel to the ground. Balance on your glutes as you hold a V shape between your torso and thighs.

3. Twist at the waist and move the medicine ball toward your right hip. Touch the medicine ball to the floor and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue in an alternating pattern until all reps are complete. 

Plank

Plank Row

Strengthen your core, back, and shoulders for stability and increased pulling power.

Sets 3 | Reps 10 (each side)

1. Start on your hands and knees with a light- to medium-weight dumbbell positioned under each hand.

2. Lift up into a plank position with the weights under your palms, keeping your hips down and your back flat. If it is too difficult to balance on one hand from this position, try broadening your base by stepping your feet farther apart.

3. Shift your weight to your right arm. Grasping the left dumbell and without tilting your hips, pull it toward your left shoulder. Lower it with control. Complete all reps before switching sides.

bootcamp1

Rotating Uppercut

This boxing move works the upper body from a standing position, simulating the strength and balance needed for portaging.

Sets 3 | Reps 12 (each side)

1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a pair of medium-weight dumbbells at your sides. Curl the weights until your arms are bent at 90 degrees and your palms face up. Keep your elbows in and close to your rib cage. This is your starting position.

3. Pushing off the ball of your left foot, rotate toward the right as you lift the dumbbell and drive your left elbow up to shoulder height. Keep the angle of your elbow locked and perform the movement with control.

4. Lower your left arm as you rotate back to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides until all reps are complete.