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Canoeing information & advice

There's no doubt that canoeing is one of those sports where the very best thing you can do is actually get put on the water.

Time spent on the water will improve not only your technique, but also your canoeing fitness. However, if you talk to competitive athletes they will also tell you that in addition to maximising their time actually canoeing, they also exercise away from the water to improve their fitness.

An on the water fitness plan would include stroke drills, sprints to improve your strength and anaerobic fitness, and longer sessions to gradually build your cardiovascular fitness.

This can be done on a lake, on a flatwater river, or even on the ocean, if the water is relatively quiet. Away from the water, both cardio workouts and strength training will pay dividends when you get back in the boat.

Gym strength should focus on the upper body and core. Paddling places demands on your arms, shoulders, lower back and core, so your workouts should reflect this.

Strengthening these areas will increase your strength, and thus your boat control, and also reduce the risk of injury. Rather than simply doing a general strength routine, talk to a coach or get some information on paddling specific workouts - these will include torso twisting and core exercises that are so crucial for paddling fitness.

For cardio fitness, almost any form of cardio workout (running, biking, swimming, cardio machines) will improve your cardio conditioning and enable you to paddle longer without tiring.

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