Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New moves

Sometimes it's interesting to look at the stats on this site. Occasionally I'll see that an old post is getting a lot of attention. Often I have no idea why but sometimes it makes sense. Lately I've gotten a number of hits on a post I did last year on off season training. Seeing as how we're back into the off season it's reasonable that people are looking for ideas to stay or get in shape. The article itself is still good but since I wrote it I have added a couple of exercises to my routine that I think have made a real difference so I thought I would share them. These are both particularly well suited to kayakers but are great core exercises for anyone that does anything.

1. Planks. No, it's not just lying still in strange locations. It involves using your core muscles to hold your body straight in alignment instead of crunching to compact them. The basic technique is to prop yourself on your forearms and toes and hold your body straight just off the ground. This better simulates how we use our core and works all the muscles in the region. The variation of a side plank where you use one forearm (or straight arm) to extend the body off the ground helps focus on the obliques.

2. Mountain Climbers. It doesn't actually involve climbing. You start in a pushup position with arms straight and you alternate bringing one knee at a time to your chest. Twisting the right knee towards your left elbow and vice versa is great for paddlers wanting to improve their torso rotation. You can add to the workout by throwing in a pushup in between reps with the legs.

What I like best about these exercises is that it doesn't take any equipment to do them. You can do them anywhere and they don't take much time. And they translate very directly for kayaking.

Here is a site with a little more description and you can do a google search if you want to see video.

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