Chest Workout for Paddling 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 back, and this month, we'll focus on exercises to build up the chest:

Dumbbell Press - Basic (strength, balance and muscle tone)

Muscles Used: Chest, Triceps, Front Deltoid.
Used In: Forward Strokes, Reverse Strokes, Low Braces.
Sets: 3
Reps: 20


The dumbbell press is one of the best exercises to add power to your forward stroke.

Start by sitting on a flat bench with the feet on the ground for stability. Hold the dumbbells on each knee. When you are ready, lie back on the bench and kick each dumbbell up and off the leg.

Roll the shoulder's back and let the upper arms stop horizontal to the floor. The forearms should be vertical.

Press the dumbbells upward, away from the body, while keeping the palms flat and facing the knees.

Exhale as you press the weight. Inhale as you bring the weight down.

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This is an advanced method of the dumbbell press that will develop strength and balance. This method best mimics the "push" of the forward stroke.

Start the exercise as before but after kicking the weight off the knees and lying back, bring the legs up to a comfortable position.

You can also raise the legs vertical, keeping them straight and not bending the knees.

Press the weight, as before, by flexing the muscles of the chest.

Incline Press - Basic (strength, balance and muscle tone)

Muscles Used: Upper Chest, Triceps, Front Deltoids.
Used In: Forward Strokes
Sets: 3
Reps: 20

The incline press will work the upper chest and front head of the deltoid muscles in the shoulder.

Begin with both feet placed flat on the floor for balance. When you pick the dumbbells off the floor, while sitting on the incline bench, place each dumbbell on your knees before you lay back.

Once reclined, lift the weight off your knees and back to the starting position by kicking the knee up. This will prevent injuries to the shoulders and elbows.

From the starting position, press the weight up, away from the body and together until both dumbbells touch at the top. Flex the upper chest while doing this, and then lower the weight to the starting position. Try to keep the muscles in the chest flexed through out the exercise.

Inhale as lower the weight. This will help spread the rib cage for a full range of motion for the chest. Exhale as you push the weight up.

These great chest exercises, when added to your full body routine will help build muscle and stamina. Stay tuned for next month's exercises to help build up your shoulder muscles.

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.

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