About a week ago we posted about Paddle for the Cure. As we’re only a few weeks out, it is time to start some specific training on and off the water to be ready for the event. Paddle for the Cure isn’t a race, but if you want to complete the long paddle (4 miles) it is probably a good idea to put in time out on the board as well as in the gym. Those workouts will focus on overall fitness as well as injury prevention (the most common injury for new paddlers is rotator cuff injury).
Pre-habbing for Shoulders
Shoulder mobility and stability is essential for paddling efficiency and injury prevention. As we age, shoulder mobility tends to decrease. In order to counter act this try the following exercises:
1. Lie on your back, clasp your hands behind your head and touch your shoulders to the ground.
2. Lie on your back and place a lacrosse ball underneath you and roll the ball between the C-5 and T-2 vertebrae. (Right side for right arm, left side for left arm). Move your arm in a swimming motion, find the sore spots (this may be painful given your overall flexibility). As an alternative, place the lacrosse ball between you and the wall and do the same.
3. PVC bar pass over. Grab a PVC bar (or broomstick), place your hands in a snatch grip (hold the bar with arms straight, making a “v” shape over-head so the bar is approximately 3 inches overhead). Move the bar from waist level in front of you, slowly overhead and behind until it touches your lower back. Keep thumb and fore-finger in the same position on the bar. This is also known as “shoulder-dislocates” and you have probably seen baseball players do this during batting practice. The key is to keep your chest puffed up and don’t hunch your shoulders.
Paddle 20 mins, for distance:
Every minute on the minute, perform one of the following in rotation:
- 20 pushups
- 20 over head squats (use paddle as bar)
- 20 “flutterkicks” (lie on your back, hold paddle over head, a few inches above the board)
- ”Warrior pose” for 1 minute
Paddle for 1 hour at a conversational pace. Every 5 minutes do 30 seconds of short-quick pulls with the paddle or long-hard pulls with the paddle. On short pulls, the paddle should enter the water approximately 2 feet in front of you and you should remain relatively upright. On long pulls, the paddle should enter the water 4 feet in front of you and you should bend significantly at e waist to power through.
Paddling is a full body workout. It requires the paddler to use strength while maintaining balance. The best strength training for paddling are exercises and groups of exercises which require active stabilization (not curls kneeling on a boss ball) and incorporate compound muscle movements. Barbell complexes, kettlebells and Olympic lifts are fantastic. Get ready to get super-fit (don’t worry women, this doesn’t mean bulky).
Workout 1 – Barbell Complex
Do the following exercises grouped together without setting the bar down between exercises:
- Straight-leg dead lift
- Hang power clean
- Overhead press
- Overhead squat
- Back squat
- Barbell good morning
- (Bring bar back down I front of you)
- Bent over row
The overhead press will likely be the limiting lift weight wise. So choose. Weight at you can do 8 repetitions with (for me it is 50 lbs, for my husband it is 135 lbs). You can do this 3-4 times per week. I recommend switching between 3 sets of 5 repetitions and 3 sets of 8 repetitions (using lighter weights for the 8 repetition workouts).
Workout 2 – Kettlebells
Do 50 repetitions total of each of the following (you can break up the repetitions anyway that is necessary).
- 1 arm swing
- 1 arm snatch
- 1 arm clean
- 1 arm press
- Goblet squat
There are a number of great videos on you tube demonstrating these exercises. Try googling Pavel or Dan John on kettlebell and barbell complex technique.
See you on the water!