Kayaking is an activity that uses a kayak to move around on the water. It is not the same as canoeing, though. It gives your shoulders, arms, and upper back a good workout. However, you have to use proper techniques to ensure your shoulder and adjacent muscles do not get worn out. Some kayakers have often complained about shoulder pain related to extensive kayaking. We are going to dig into the truth on this.
The Effect of Kayaking On Shoulders
The shoulder consists of ligaments, bones, and different muscles. All of these facilitate proper shoulder movements. Injuries to the shoulder usually occur when it is overused as it is gets subjected to a lot of strain. This is typically experienced by avid kayakers. While kayaking the ligaments and rotator muscles are often stretched beyond the maximum limit. When this is done frequently an individual experiences a lot of pain.
How Can You Eliminate Chances of Shoulder Pain during Kayaking
Here we are going to share some tips with you on how you can avoid shoulder pain while you are on a kayaking trip. Have a look.
Adhere To An Apt Stretching Routine
There is no substitute for a good stretching routine. This will help your ligament and muscles retain flexibility. You can practice a mix of static stretch and dynamic stretches in your routine.
For static stretches, you have to keep your body locked in a position for a certain period. You should try to hold that position for at least 30 seconds this will help you achieve a bigger range of movement without feeling any discomfort.
Dynamic stretches are a little different. This is done by moving your body for example shoulder rolls. These help your joints to gain the flexibility to a great extent.
Be Aware Of Your Techniques
This is often overlooked by many individuals, but the truth is that to avoid pain you have to maintain proper posture for any physical activity. When it comes to kayaking you need to learn proper sitting posture while you are paddling. This is going to make a big difference.
The best way is to take kayaking lessons from a good trainer. They usually teach you all the techniques of proper kayaking. Shoulder injuries also occur because kayakers sometimes use improper techniques to eliminate the capsizing of the boat. It is important to learn the techniques for effective bracing.
Exercise To Make Your Body Stronger
There is no denying that strong muscles fuel the shoulder joints with stability. To add strength to the shoulders you could perform pushups and pull-ups. You should also consider adding exercises that will strengthen your core muscles. Crunches and planks are fabulous exercises that can help you achieve this.
Do Not Be Harsh On Yourself
Another reason for shoulder pains while kayaking is when you tend to exert too much force. So, take the time and do some research and locate a route where the water conditions are favorable. Start your kayaking trip on calm waters as it will give you a good warm up, once you get used to this you can then move towards more challenging routes. Choose artificial lakes and water bodies where you do not have to cope with choppy waves and turbulent wind.
So, by now you may have realized that kayaking by itself is not harmful to the shoulders. Only when it is done in the incorrect way it may lead to shoulder pain. It is always best to take things nice and slow so that you can get used to them. A slower and safer start will ensure that you are not plagued with shoulder pains in the future.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.