3 Top Strength Exercises for Paddlers

Top 3 Strength Exercises for Paddlers.

What exercises are you doing off the water to improve your paddling performance?

When it comes to working towards becoming a better paddler, I understand the need for “ time on the water” however sometimes we just can’t get on the water everyday and sometimes, being on the water paddling just doesn’t strengthen what our body needs.

So how can we use the time off the water to improve our paddling? Below you will find my 3 Top Strength Exercises for paddlers, which include stand up, outrigger canoe & ski.


Deadlifting in itself is not dangerous – but like with any movement, deadlifting incorrectly can be. Properly executing the deadlift will allow you to build a stronger posterior chain,(the posterior chain is a group of muscles on the posterior of the body. Examples of these muscles include the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, and posterior deltoids) less fragile joints, increase in grip strength and a body that can handle whatever the elements throw at you when your on the water.

Many people are afraid of the deadlift and avoid it at all costs, because they’re afraid of splitting themselves in half or getting injured in another way.

Let me be honest and say there’s really nothing more satisfying than picking up a ton of weight off the floor and holding it in your hands.

Strength training and fear of injury can be scary enough to keep MOST people from starting, which is actually why at Kettlbell Athletic, we have a systematic approach to ensure your body and nervous system take time to adapt before you start adding sufficient load, our preferred path way is via the Kettlebell, Trap Bar then leading to the Barbell.

Three things to avoid when deadlifting:

Rounded Back – not keeping your spine in neutral the entire time. Letting your lower back round at all is a huge no no

Looking up (with your neck) – Along with keeping a neutral spine, hyper extending your neck to look up is also something we want to stay away from

Hyperextending at the top – It became popular to over exaggerate the top of the deadlift in fitness competitions, your spine should still be in neutral even at the top.

Pull Ups/ Ring Rows

Two bodyweight movements that target the back are the inverted row and the pull up. Both movements are widely seen in early every training environment.

The back is comprised of a large muscle (latisimus dorsi) which spans the majority of the middle and upper back. Unlike other muscles in the body, the angles at which the muscle is attached is not constant, and varies based on the specific region of the back.

It is for this reason that both ring rowing (horizontal pulling my) and pull up movements (vertical pulling) must be done within a training program to develop strength and overall symmetry in the back especially for paddlers.

For a Printed PDF Download for Ring Rows Click Here

(Thanks to Crossfit.com)

Turkish Get Up

What the heck is a Turkish Get Up? I here you saying?

Holding a weight overhead challenges your core throughout the entire exercise, which must fire continuously to keep your torso upright as you bend, twist and lunge. In addition to building strength, Turkish Get-ups increase your overall body stability, awareness, balance, and coordination. Hence the PREFECT exercise for paddlers.

The Turkish Get-up is a total-body exercise that increases torso stabilization and overall strength. The movement is very complex and requires upper body strength to maintain a weight overhead, shoulder stability, hip and glutes strength to raise your body off the floor, and tremendous core strength.

See Video below for instructions.

I have no doubt that if you incoprorate these three strength exercises into your weekly off the water routine, you will see an increase on strength within your paddling and throughout everyday life.

If you have any questions in regards to these exercises please feel free to reach out via email and/or social media.

Kettlebell Athletic Townsville is now taking applications for 1 on 1 Personal Training Clients.

Email: kbathletictsv@gmail.com to schedule a complimentary New Member Consultation today.




Kettlebell Coach.

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