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Old 11-17-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
fitness in the off season

What do you guys do to get into/stay in shape for kayaking during the off season (when you can't paddle locally). What tips do you have?

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Old 11-17-2011   #2
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
Pool sessions and skiing, besides regular type workouts.

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Old 11-17-2011   #3
Haley Station, Ontario
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 82
Give Skate Skiing a try. Basically 8 months a year my upper body gets to move while boating and then my weenie legs (and lungs) are tortured for the next 4.

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Old 11-17-2011   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
try kayak polo.

It's a fun game and it keeps you in shape. Think of it as a cross between basketball, hockey, and of course you're in a kayak. The goals are suspended about 7ft in the air and are about the size of a hockey goal. If you have possession of the ball, the opponent can attempt a one handed push to try and knock you over (good roll practice). You can only hold the ball for five seconds before you either pass to a teammate, or toss it in front of you like a dribble. There is typically a lot of sprinting, so this naturally helps keep us in paddling shape for the run-off in the summer.

The club in Ft Collins is meeting tonight at 7:45 at EPIC check it out.
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Old 11-18-2011   #5
eddy hopper's Avatar
DURANGO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 79
Skate Ski

Skate skiing works your core, balance and timing. Backcountry skiing as well.
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Old 11-18-2011   #6
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
Rock climbing is very upper body oriented; rock gyms allow for year-round training.

Swimming laps is also excellent training for kayaking; it works out very similar upper body muscle groups, great practice controlling your breath; builds a comfort factor in the water.

Kayak polo was an excellent workout last Tuesday. Its easy to get hurt if it gets too aggro though; alot like hockey. Full face masks and gloves are a good idea. Don't spear anyone with a sharp-pointed boat.

If there happens to be a wave pool in your area that will let a kayak group bring their boats (once a month has been working well here), that is a great version of a pool session. The one in Layton UT has two wave machines in the deep end, that generate 1.5 to 2 foot high waves. The waves break a little toward the shallow end, so you can catch and surf the waves for maybe 10 yards. They turn the waves off and on in 15 minute intervals, so the waves-off time is like a normal pool session.

In a normal indoor pool, you could set some slalom gates too. That could make it more of a workout, and more fun if a group is into it.

Also, you can dress warm and keep paddling outdoors, as long as its not iced over. They started releasing water out of Echo reservoir here; evidently because the reservoirs are still high, and they are concerned about more flooding next spring. The local class IV run is not in at this level, but there is some II-III flowing now. Some good SUP runs too.
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Old 11-18-2011   #7
WetExit's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
I recommend 12oz bicep curls. Fully extend from table to mouth. Odells is a good brand of weight. Start with 90Shilling and work your way up from there.

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Old 11-19-2011   #8
dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 281
Lol Off season is kayaking season...winter is the time to get in shape...backcountry skiing, ice climbing, hut trips. Just quit riding lifts and you will go back to kayaking in about the best shape possible I do a lot of rotater and shoulder exercises at home (due to a bad shoulder injury), lat pulldowns are good too but it only takes a few times a week to keep the muscle up. Totally agree w/ the 12 oz curls.
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Old 11-19-2011   #9
Swank's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
Kayak polo sounds awesome. I have my roll but im still pretty new class 2-3 so far.
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Old 11-19-2011   #10
Airborne2504's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 420
A good way to workout and keep your core muscles in tune with the motion they are active when kayaking is to get a pilates/yoga ball, a paddle/weight bar/broom stick/etc, (I use a 9oz straight bar in the gym). Sit on the ball with good kayaking posture (sitting straight up-not slouched, good hand position on the bar or whatever you're using to simulate your paddle, feet/legs in the best position as possible to simulate the way they are in a kayak--> not gonna be perfect being that you're sitting way up on a ball, etc.) From here, concentrate on using good form and technique to just activate your core; rotate your core in the manner you paddle. I do 10-20 on each side. JUST CORE here first while holding your "paddle" correctly. At the end of those reps, I move straight into paddle strokes, again 10-20 on each side. Slow, and concentrating on good form. I do about 3 sets.

More CORE:

Pull ups: The only change here is to Bring your knees up so that they are parallel to the floor (Bring your knees up to your waistline-ish) From here, do pull ups as you normally would while keeping your knees up. This keeps your Core activated.

Dips: Overall great exercise for a lot of your kayaking muscles; shoulders, tri's, chest, etc. * Like above on the pull ups, keep your knees up, parallel to the floor while doing your dips. This again will keep your core activated. If you need help/spot, put a pilates/yoga ball under your feet to push out more reps.

Work all of your muscle groups, don't neglect any.

Cardio, Cardio, Cardio. Helps a TON.

My "Off" Season activities:

- Gym (Working everything) cardio in the gym, I use the recumbent exercise bike (less stress on knees and back--> my knees and back are a bit jacked up, jumped out of planes for a living and humped quite a bit of weight/gear) and as an alternative to the exercise bike and running the track, I do a bit of Krav Maga for about 30mins to an hour.

- Play Paintball

- Shooting real firearms at ranges

- Hiking (Incline if you're ever in the Springs/manitou area)

- Ruck Marching with about a 65 lbs ruck sack. (at least ~5 miles) ( In a way, I guess this could simulate humping your kayak to the put-in or to the take-out)

Fitness for your river mind:
- If you can, and if rivers are still somewhat flowing, get out and hike along a section of river. Take time to read the river and rapids that you may never have looked at from the banks before; what it is doing, what's creating certain features (river features Now, and later as flows get higher and higher), look at lines, swim options, etc.

Good luck staying sane during the 'off' season!

If you're going to stick it out there, don't be afraid to get it cut off.
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