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Kayaking: How to Make It More Challenging

If you've never tried kayaking, it's worth dipping your paddle into the water. Not only is kayaking an amazing upper body workout, but it's also great for increasing flexibility in your hamstrings and strengthening your core. Plus if you get hot, you can always slip into the water to cool off. If you live by or are visiting a lake or river, rent a kayak and take a lesson. Just drifting along can be really relaxing, but if you want to make it more physically challenging, here are some tips:

  • Do intervals. Paddle as hard as you can for one minute, then paddle at a medium pace for five minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes or as long as you can go.
  • If you're in a river, paddle against the current.
  • Paddle on one side for 30 seconds, then switch to the other side. You won't end up moving very far, but you'll really feel it in your arms and upper back.
  • Paddle backwards — it works your muscles differently.
  • While sitting in the kayak, lift your arms straight up and hold the paddle above your head for 30 seconds to one minute. Remember to draw your ribs and belly in to engage your core. You'll feel this in your arms, shoulders, upper back, and torso.

If you have your own tips for pumping up a workout on a kayak, share them below.

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