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Why you need to skip the gym and hit the waters with your Kaya

There are different reasons why people take up Kayaking as a recreational hobby. You can be in the outdoors on beautiful days, enjoy the sun, the wind, catch your own fish and if you have the adrenaline rush, nosedive down whitewaters. But there are some hidden benefits of hitting the waters with your Kayak. It’s not just good for the soul. Believe it or not, you target four major upper body muscle groups with every single stroke that you make in the water. And it’s not just a minor warm up either. If you are ready to sweat it out, you can get a workout as good as any. The only things that won’t be sore are your legs.

 

The Back

Want to know the secret behind the sweeping lateral muscles and the ribbed back muscles that kayakers often sport? That’s the muscle group you will hit even with the most basic stroke of the paddle.

Gym equivalent: One hand dumbbell rows, seated cable rows

When you row back with one arm, you work the lats while the second arm stretches out fully before contracting and vise-a-versa. The best part is that you can make it as intense as you’d want to. You can go full tempo, go slow and hard and even alter your grips to make variations.

 

The Shoulders

Experts will tell you that back and shoulders are like hand in glove. When you work out the back, you are automatically targeting the shoulders, especially the deltoids. However, the advantage that Kayaking brings to the table is that you can really isolate the deltoids on the rear, the anterior and the lateral sides.

Gym equivalent: Lateral Kettlebell raises

And you do not need to do anything special either. The muscles get activated as you lift the paddle from the water and it goes in a circular motion to the front. This movement results in the load being shifted from your lateral muscles to the deltoids giving them an unparallel workout.  

 

The Arms

The arms will automatically get a good workout every time you work out other major muscle groups. But Kayaking lets you hit every single muscle in your arms including the biceps, the triceps, the forearms and your wrist.

When you row in with your paddle, you hit the biceps on that arm and the triceps on the other arm which is now fully extended in a movement that is similar to a forward extension. While you alternate between the two, your wrist and forearms are undergoing rigorous torture.

Gym Equivalent: Cable bicep curls, one arm extensions, close grip overhand pull ups

 

The Core

Last but not the least; Kayaking is one of the best ways to strengthen your core. Beginners with a weak core often find that it is impossible to get through a vigorous Kayaking session without sweating it out. But strength develops with practice. Don’t forget that the incessant rotational movements will be extremely taxing on your abdominal muscles including the obliques. If you were unable to reveal those abdominal muscles until now, then wait till you see what Kayaking can do.

Feel claustrophobic in the gym? Go hit the water now with your Kayak.

 

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