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Old 02-12-2015   #1
Anchorage, Alaska
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 70
I suck

Seriously I suck at touching my toes. I can barely touch my shins. I'm 5'10 and My hands are a good 8-12 inches away from my toes. You might be wondering what this has to do with a WW forum.

This is my sixth year of kayaking and I'm close to actually being able to competently paddle class V. A major skill set I lack is the ability to tuck. I'm so inflexible that anytime I roll I'm basically asking to take a rock to my face/entire exposed upper body. When I roll I'm perpendicular to my boat.

I get that generally you don't want to roll in class V, especially creeking, but it happens. If I run class V creeks I'm at high at risk for getting my face taken off. Also its difficult to tuck for waterfalls and punching holes in big water.... blah blah blah

Anyone have any simple advice/stretches for me to be able to touch my toes? It's gotta be simple. Something that would be helpful would be "Like try and touch your toes five times a day for 30 seconds". If its too complicated I won't do it. Also I'm not going to yoga.
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Old 02-12-2015   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Sounds like you're not flexible because you're lazy and you say "I can't" and "I suck". Change your attitude to "I can", put forth some effort, and get in shape. Boating Class V isn't for lazy pessimists.

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Old 02-12-2015   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
I seriously doubt that your lack of flexibility is what is standing between you and padding competence, but if you really think that is the problem, I would advise you to swallow your pride and go to yoga. It certainly won't hurt your boating.

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Old 02-12-2015   #4
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
as an old middle age fat guy I amaze folks fairly regularly that I can get my hands flat on the floor between my feet. I have to or my back explodes. Hamstring tightness can be one culprit but there is lots of stuff going on.

Don't bounce. Just go as far as you can than a little bit into muscle stretching discomfort. Then stay there until it's not. Uncomfortable that is. Then do it again and go deeper. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you feel this is truly holding you back from Class 5 greatness you need to apply yourself. Body maintenance is a lifelong thing. Even for those mighty of girth such as myself. Start your basic stretches now and do them all the time as part of life. You will be happier. If you wait until you get older, it sucks.
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Old 02-12-2015   #5
rivervibe's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 379
Kettle Bells. Find a good Kettle Bell trainer and do that twice a week. There is strength training involved, but most of what you do on a beginner level is movement and body motion analysis. A good trainer will work with exactly what is hindering you (be it your hamstrings, back, neck...) As a routine it is almost custom made for kayaking.
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Old 02-12-2015   #6
shredder-scott's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 257
I agree with the others

suck it up ....... goto yoga ....... I like core power yoga

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Old 02-12-2015   #7
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Just learn to back deck roll, unless that's too much effort.
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Old 02-12-2015   #8
OTR, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 224
try and touch your toes five times a day for 30 seconds
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Old 02-12-2015   #9
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 582
Don't be such a sissy la-la. I don't know why anyone would be opposed to yoga... it's some of the best exercise you can do for yourself, strength, flexibility and circulation are a few of the benefits. There's also several different types of yoga, so you should be able to find one that you can really enjoy. Give it a shot, you might find that it's not really just for pussies after all.
You don't have to "go to" yoga... you can do yoga at home. There are a ton of apps and articles and videos (both online and at stores) out there that will teach you the stretches... There's even some paddler-specific programs.
One of the breweries in Steamboat just started doing "yoga and a beer" to target the more masculine side of the market.
But really, just remember your basic PE stretches from high school.
It's a good day to be a duck....
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Old 02-12-2015   #10
UWC Kayak's Avatar
Colorado Springs, CO, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Hold something like lead dive weights (3, 4, or 6lb) in your hands while stretching for the floor. It may also help your abdomen when you're coming up.

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