3 Essential Exercises to Excel in the Canoe and Kayak Leg of Ski to Sea

With Ski to Sea fast approaching it is crucial to train properly for your events.

That means building your strength and stability through weight training while spending adequate time practicing the skills of your sport. To perform at your maximum potential, you need to incorporate both facets into your preparation. The strength training element will provide you with extra power output while helping to prevent injuries. These three exercises are sure to boost your performance on race day by building muscular strength, endurance, and stability.

1. Band Straight Arm Pulldowns x 15 reps

This variation of the pulldown gets your triceps and lats working together which is crucial for strong paddling.

- Attach a resistance band to a high point like a pull-up bar.

- Hold onto the band at shoulder level with arms extended and straight.

- Sweep your arms down to tuck down at your sides as you pull the shoulder blades together.

Pull down starting position

Pull down starting position

Pull down finishing position

Pull down finishing position

2. Bird Dog x 10/side

Get the core and back working together. Stabilizers in your abdominals and shoulder blade to give you a stable foundation to paddle from.

- Start in the tabletop position on hands and knees. Knees are hip width apart.

- Find a neutral position for the hips so that lower back is flat.

- Reach out opposite arm and leg to end in line with torso. Head stays down.

- Hold for a 3 count at the top, then slowly lower and alternate sides.

Bird Dog: Table Top Starting Position

Bird Dog: Table Top Starting Position

Opposite Arm & Leg out

Opposite Arm & Leg out

3. Standing Single-Arm Row x 12/side

Develop strength through the back, shoulder, and arms while also developing core stability.

- Stand tall with one foot back and one forward, shoulder square and facing forward toward the anchor point.

- Grab handle with the same arm of the leg that is set back.

- Squeeze your stomach then pull arm back until your hand wrist is at your side just below the chest.

Row starting position

Row starting position

Pull toward the body to finish

Pull toward the body to finish

Complete these exercises 2x/week for 2-3 sets in addition to 2-4 days/week on the water for best effect. Find a weight or resistance level that makes the move challenging at the end of the set. Always make sure to warm up for several minutes before loading weighted exercises. Go for a power walk or hop on the bike for at least 5 minutes to get the muscles warm and ready to work hard. Adding these three moves to your training routine will make a huge difference on race day. Give them a go and discover a new dominance out on the water.