Two key principles for safe and efficient paddling technique

It is spring and paddling season is here! We are going to discuss two key principles for safe and efficient paddling technique. These are thoracic rotation and a strong core/posterior chain.

Whether you are dragon boating, kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding, you require these elements for a fluid and efficient stroke.

The first mobility exercise is called thread the needle. This is part of my daily mobility routine. On four point, hands beneath shoulders and knees beneath hips, you reach with one arm “the needle” across your body and through the hole that is made by your opposite arm and thigh. You can either do a prolonged hold at the end of range for a stretch (30 seconds minimum) or you can reverse the motion back to your starting position and repeat these movements in a slow fluid manner. If the former, 3×30 second hold. If the latter, 3×10 repetitions.

The second exercise is a side plank variation  It is a combination of a core strengthening and thoracic mobility exercise. This exercise has the added bonus of engaging your obliques. While in a side plank position, reach with upper hand toward and past the opposite hip. Return to the starting position.

Recommended reps and sets would be to work up towards 3 sets of 10 repetitions with good form.

The last exercise lends itself from yoga. It is a chair pose in order to activate your glutes and hamstrings in order to maintain a neutral spine. You want to perform a standing hip hinge keeping the spine in a neutral arch. Stat with a 15 second hold. Work your way up to 30 second intervals, 5 reps.

Remember the number of sets and repetition only matters of you have good form. Failure of form is an indicator of your limits. Stay safe and enjoy the outdoor spring activities!

Written & filmed by: Jonathan Tom-Yew