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Old 10-25-2005   #1
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
Exercises to prevent shoulder injury/pain?

Ive never had any shoulder injuries but if I paddle for more than 3 days in a row, my right shoulder hurst like a b*tch. This is unacceptable as I like to paddle every freakin day in the summer. So this winter I want to do whatever it takes to strenthen those muscles and tendons so I can paddle every day come spring.

What are some good exercises to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the shoulder used for kayaking? I was doing rotator cuff exercises with stretch cords but then found this exercise using dumbells which i think is way better:

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Old 10-25-2005   #2
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
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That elbow rotary one you posted is a really good one. I do that almost everytime I go to the gym. I would caution anyone doing it to make sure they start light enough that they can get the weight all the way to vertical without pulling their elbow away from their side. If you let your elbow lift it just defeats the purpose of this one. I also do three sets of bench presses and lat-pulls everyday at the gym. These both helped the stability of my shoulders and the surrounding muscles a lot for this season. Good luck.


"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 10-25-2005   #3
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
might want to balance that out by doing the adductor portion to that exercise which would basically be the same thing cept for pulling towards the body. A cable pull or cords will be the easiest way to do it.
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Old 10-25-2005   #4
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 18
Here's a link to a great exercize guide. Click on the shoulder link or anything else you might be interested in. GH mentioned cable pulls. If you have access to a FreeMotion machine I highly recommend combining cable with freeweights/dumbells.

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Old 10-25-2005   #5
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Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
I had the same problem as you....a low impact solution to your problem is to go to a pool and swim (freestyle or crawl, whatever you want to call it). Rotating your shoulder in 360 degrees with resistance is excellent, plus if you go slow, you can strengthen your shoulder withour doing harm. I did notice that if i swam for too long or tried too hard, i would be sore or my shoulder would pop out of socket briefly. I have recommended this exercise to others and it completely fixed their problem as well.

Also, to prevent injury to shoulders when boating, always stretch before getting in the water...just rotating your shoulder (like you are swimming) for a couple minutes will prevent early injuries when on the water. I noticed that i always hurt my shoulder within the first 1/2 hour on the water.

Side note....maybe your problem stems from a fundamental roll problem. Revisit your roll or your bracing technique. If you have really good form, your shoulder should never go over your head nor should it ever be more than 8-10 inches from your torso. If it does, you are putting yourself at risk to dislocate your shoulder. Everyone should practice good form and learn what a perfect roll should look like, no matter how long they have been helped me.
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Old 11-01-2005   #6
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
I have a firend who uses a gallon jug of water. He stands with legs spread a bit and bends over and does circles slowly in both directions, letting his hurt arm hang down to the jug.Someting about it being the right weight, and I guess the 360 full range of motion thing. It definately helps him, If you cant afford a gym that is.

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Old 11-01-2005   #7
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
Porn is a great shoulder work out...if you can get the extention on your stroke that is. Probably won't work for anyone under ten inches, though.

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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