If you’ve ever trolled or paddled any kind of distance then you’ve most likely experienced some soreness and fatigue in your shoulders, arms, and back. This comes from repeated use of the muscles when paddling. Try these 3 stretches before AND after your paddling adventure and you’ll greatly reduce any soreness.
Grab your paddle with both hands. Lift your arms so they are parallel to the ground with palms facing downward. If needed, move your hands so that you have a 90 degree angle in your elbow. Start with the paddle directly in front of you and then raise it above your head keeping your upper arms parallel to the ground. Go far enough back that you feel a stretch in your inner shoulder but not so far that you have pain. Lower the paddle and repeat raising and lowering it 15 times.
After you raised the paddle above your head, set your paddle aside. Raise your arms again until they are parallel to the ground and straight out to your side. Bend your elbows so they have 90 degrees and face your palms downward. This time instead of raising your hands, lower them and push them backwards behind you. Again, stretch until you feel a stretch but not pain. Raise your hands back up to the starting position and repeat 15 times.
Extend your right arm straight in front of you. Raise your wrist as if telling someone to stop. Then with your left hand gently pull your right fingertips towards your body. You should feel the stretch in the bottom of your forearm. Hold for 10 seconds breathing deeply. After that hold turn your hand over with your palm out and fingertips facing downward. Gently pull your right fingertips towards your body. Again, breath deep and hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat with your other hand.
Place one end of your paddle on the ground and grab onto the it just below shoulder height. Overlap you fingers. Keeping your arms straight and knees just slightly bent, bend at the waist while keeping your back straight. Let your arms align with your body and then, if possible, let your body lower a little more. Make sure you keep your core engaged. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders, back, and legs. Remember to breath calmly and hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds.
Watch the video below to watch a demonstration of the stretches.
NOTE: Jackson Kayak and Spencer Jones offer this as advice to help you enjoy kayaking as long as possible. They are not responsible for any injury that may happen. Please visit a doctor if you have any concerns!