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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.

Join The Conversation
Allytta Allytta 9 years
oooh, i love love it!
Schlem33 Schlem33 9 years
Ooooo, finally something about kayaking!! I just bought my own kayak and use it in the rivers of Tennessee. It really is a great core workout and it's fun!
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
This is an old past time for my friends and I out at the lake house. The best challenge was the year that one of my friends came up didn't know how to swim and we didn't have an extra kayak - so we put her on a large "floatie" and I tied her to my kayak. Talk about causing some drag :D It was an AMAZING workout, but still really fun for all of us!
Beaner Beaner 9 years
I've never been but live near a lake, so now I'm inspired to try it this summer.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
ohh I love kayaking.
ms660bk ms660bk 9 years
Just remember to look where you're going, or you may find yourself interval paddling your butt out to sea!
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