Are You Making this Common Paddling Mistake?

use your core when you kayak

One of the biggest mistakes we see novice paddlers make—whether kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding—is using just their arms and shoulders to paddle and not their whole core…

Why Use Your Core along with Your Arms and Shoulders

Another way of saying “use your core” is “torso rotation.” When you paddle a kayak you want your entire torso—your upper body—to move (rotate) with your arms and shoulders.

There are three reasons for this:

You’ll get more power in each stroke—When your whole upper body is behind each stroke, your strokes will be more powerful and efficient.

  1. It’s easier on your arms and shoulders—Instead of your arms and shoulders taking the entire load of each stroke, engaging your core spreads the load to your whole upper body.
  2. It’s a great core workout—You’re missing a prime chance to work your core if you don’t use it when you paddle! You’ll get more physical fitness benefits when you paddle with torso rotation. A strong core is important for a healthy back and overall physical well-being.

rotate your whole torso when you paddle

How to Use Your Core when You Paddle

There are easy ways to make sure your core is involved in your paddling, and not just your arms and shoulders:

  1. Sit up straight—It’s easy to lounge when you’re on the water! And if you’re just meandering around the lake at the cabin it may not be a big deal. But if you’re going to be on the water for several hours or miles, use good posture. It’s impossible to rotate your torso when you’re slouching.
  2. Lead with your hand and shoulder—When you reach out your paddle hand for the forward stroke, allow your shoulder to follow it all the way through the stroke. That’ll move your core and upper body along with each stroke for a natural rotation.
  3. Engage your core muscles, not just your shoulders and arms—When you’re first learning this, focus on engaging your core muscles with each stroke. Pretty soon it’ll become natural.

This is for SUPers, Canoeists and Packrafters, Too

Stand-up paddleboarders, canoeists and packrafters all will benefit by using their core strength in addition to their arms and shoulders when paddling.

It puts less strain on your shoulders, and exercises the muscles in your back and stomach. It gives you a more efficient stroke packed with the extra power of your entire upper body.

Contact our Wisconsin-based Customer Service team today to help you choose your new paddle: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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