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Wilderness Sports > Paddling > Paddling Flexibility Training

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Paddling Flexibility Training

Flexibility training for the hamstrings, quadriceps, shoulders, core, hips, lower back, forearms, and wrists should be included in any well-rounded paddling program, especially if you are particularly tight in the hamstrings or lower back. Sitting with the legs outstretched for long durations can have serious repercussions. Kayakers who fail to maintain proper posture in the craft are prone to lower-back problems. A balanced program that includes flexibility training on land as well as active stretching and warm-up movements in the boat will help prevent strain and injury.

As an increasing number of athletes aged 45 and older gravitate toward paddling as a non-impact way to enjoy the backcountry, stretching to prevent injury and preserve suppleness grows in importance. Your flexibility will decrease with age unless you have a specific program designed to maintain it. Paddlers of all ages will benefit from an active warm-up and cool-down, both in the gym and beside the water, including the exercises suggested below.

Flexibility Exercises beneficial for Paddling
Seated Chest, Neck, Hip and Low Back Stretches
Door Jamb Chest Stretch
Hamstring Stretches: Downward Dog
Piriformis Stretch for hip and piriformis
Tree Hug and Torso Rotation Stretches
Yoga Triangle Pose
90-90 Quadriceps and Psoas Stretch
How to Get Started with Yoga
Forearm Stretch see forearms section

Upper Body Warm-up how to prepare for upper body work
Lower Body Warm-up how to prepare for lower body work
Core Body Warm-up how to prepare for core body work

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