Abdominal Workout for Paddlers

Paddling.net continues the series of specific exercises for paddlers, targeting a different muscle group every month. Each exercise in the series, will be a part of a full body routine to be done three days a week. It's a great routine for athletes in almost any sport. For the paddler, it will build endurance, muscle, balance and coordination.

Perform each exercise by doing three sets of twenty reps. Rest only long enough, between each set, to catch your breath. No longer than two minutes between sets. If you feel out of breath and need a longer rest break, lower the weight used until you can do each set with a thirty second to one minute rest.

Last time we focused on the arms, and this month, we'll focus on exercises to build up the abdominals:

Knee Hangs - Basic (strength, balance, muscle tone)

Muscles Used: Obliques
Used In: J Leans, C Leans, Rolls, Recover Strokes, Sweep, low brace and bow rudder turns.
Sets: 3
Reps: 20


This is a great abdominal exercise designed for the kayaker! It will train the obliques for use in all kayak leaning and edging. It will also quicken the hip snap response.

Begin with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. You can use a paddle, broomstick or dowel for this exercise.

Holding the paddle over head and with a wide grip, raise one knee and hip by flexing the oblique muscles. Hold the position and squeeze the muscles in your side. Go for the burn! Alternate sides, holding and flexing. Count both sides as one set.

50 years of lightweight, maneuverable, high-performing kayaks.

Check out this interview with Tom Keane, Eddyline Kayaks Co-Owner, on their journey!

Bench Crunches - Isolation (strength, balance, muscle tone)

Muscles Used: Upper & Lower Abdominals
Used In: All paddling manuevers
Sets: 3
Reps: 20


Ab crunches have been around for a long time but this exercise develops balance as well as ab strength and tone.

Using a flat bench, lay back with the hips on the edge of the very end. Keep the knees and feet together with a slight bend in the knees.
Lower the legs and stretch the abdominals while keeping the shoulders on the pad.

With the hands behind your head, raise the shoulders and legs at the same time. Flex the abs and "crunch" the chest to the knees.

Use the muscles of the abs to crunch! Don't raise the shoulders off the pad by pulling with your arms.

Take your time to maintain balance while working the abs.

These great abdominal exercises, when added to your full body routine will help build muscle and stamina.

Tony Kramer is the founder of The Sea Kayaker which is a kayak-touring outfitter serving Atlanta, Georgia and Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay area. They offer scheduled and custom, guided, sea kayak tours and instruction.
He is also known for his work with Walter Muellenhagen on their "How To" home improvement series: "Hands On" and "Remodeling and Decorating Today." Both shows air on HGTV and DIY. Tony takes this same "How To" approach to his kayak instruction and tours. As an instructor, his experience is based on over seventeen years of open ocean touring and BCU training.

If you are interested in putting together a personal workout, they would be happy to put one together for you. Just email them with your information and training goals.


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