What Muscles Does Kayaking Work? # Ways to Get a Good Workout In

Kayaking is a great sport for those who love the water and want to get a close-up view of nature. But, are you aware it can also be a wonderful workout? What muscles does kayaking work? You may be surprised to learn the many muscle groups that can benefit from a paddle on the water.

What Muscles Does Kayaking Work? It's a Great Way to Get in a Good Workout

Man and woman are paddling the kayak boat

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

While kayaking is often seen as a relaxing and leisurely sport, it also works several different muscle groups. These groups are not limited to the upper body. In short, there are several muscles that the kayak workout strengthens.

These muscle groups include:

  • Back muscles
  • Shoulder muscles
  • Upper arms
  • Forearms
  • Gripping muscles
  • Abs
  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Hips

Beginning kayakers tend to only use their arms when paddling. This can be exhausting and even strain your muscles. In order to get the best workout from kayaking, it's important to use the right form and be sure you're working the muscle groups we describe.

You can also achieve a lot of variety during a kayaking workout. For example, you can do sprints, or you can do endurance, long-distance training. We'll take a more in-depth look at these muscle groups and eight ways how kayaking can be beneficial to getting a good workout.

1. Kayaking Works Your Back Muscles

2. Kayaking Works Your Shoulder Muscles

3. Kayaking Is a Great Workout for Your Upper Arms

4. Kayaking Works the Forearms and Grip Muscles

5. Kayaking Tones the Ab Muscles

6. Kayaking Works Your Chest Muscles

7. Kayaking Uses Your Leg and Hip Muscles

8. Don't Forget: Kayaking Also Presents Cardiovascular Benefits

What Muscles Does Kayaking Work? Conclusion

Woman paddling the kayak boat while covering her face from the sun light

Photo by Viktor Jakovlev on Unsplash

Kayaking often seems like a "lazy" exercise. After all, what could be more relaxing than leisurely paddling through the rivers, oceans, and lakes admiring nature and taking a wonderful break from the daily routine? However, you'll find that is far from the truth! Of course, kayaking is a wonderful way to experience nature, but it can also be a very complete workout, exercising the same muscle groups that you've been targeting during gym workouts.

Of course, managing a complete workout that is both a calorie-burner and a safe exercise depends upon using the correct kayak stroke. The stroke should always begin where the feet and the boat come into contact. This is an important point because it's where the "power transfer" for the stroke begins.

After being sure your feet are firmly secured in the kayak's foot braces, you can begin your stroke. Mastering this technique will also be vital if you decide to implement other kayaking techniques such as rolling.

Remember that your hips are the point where the kayak comes into contact with your body core. If you need to use a brace maneuver or you decide to complete a kayak roll, it will be important that you master the "hip snap" that will direct your body and kayak where you want them to go.

What muscles does kayaking work? Perhaps a better question is what muscle groups does it NOT work? You'll find that, if you utilize the right technique, that kayaking focuses on every major muscle group, and it provides the perfect blueprint for an activity that is both fun and a good workout.

The muscle groups include the back muscles, particularly the "shrug" muscles and the lats. Your upper arm and forearm muscles will get quite a good workout. Your abs are vital, as they are the parts of your body that enable you to have the torque needed to propel the kayak farther. While it seems counterintuitive that your legs would be used in kayaking, these muscles are important for bracing and stabilizing.

There are several muscle groups that are involved in kayaking, and getting a good, solid workout is just another reason to enjoy this fun recreational sport.

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