I am discovering a personal need to seek out exercise that helps me maintain a base-line level of strength, flexibility, and balance.
I finally have reached that age. I don’t actually know for sure that there is a pre-determined age for when the fitness we know from our youth requires constant and diligent maintenance, but I feel like I am slipping into that age group. Kayaking- whitewater, especially- requires a great deal of maintenance to keep yourself at a steady level, let alone a level of high performance. There is, without a doubt, a place you can get to with your kayaking where most actions required can be completed almost unconsciously, but without a base of personal fitness, it may be more difficult to stay there.
So with all of that said, I am discovering a personal need to seek out exercise that helps me maintain a base-line level of strength, flexibility, and balance. No, it’s not yoga, although I think the practice is highly useful and I have seen plenty of folks reap the benefits from such a practice. Instead, (or, in addition to) these are range of motion (ROM) warm-ups I discovered doing some research on the SEALFIT program that are perfect for paddlers. I also really enjoy the program’s philosophy on mental toughness which I have incorporated into some of our own programming and teaching philosophy. SEALFIT is certainly a worthwhile program with plenty of relevant crossover to kayaking.
What I especially appreciate about ROM exercises for warm-ups is that we are slowly warming up the muscles rather than stretching muscles beyond where they want to be. I am an advocate of doing ROM drills to start the day and finishing the day with stretches. Be sure to check out the SEALFIT ROM Drills by clicking the SEALFIT image below. I also found another set of ROM drills that I think are great from Elite Training Programs.
*Remember not to move your body through ranges of motion that you feel a great deal of strain/pain. The idea is you start small and work towards the larger ROM.
Also, be sure to check out our Freestyle Fundamentals Warm-up video which is great whether you are in a playboat our not!