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Kayaking fitness advice

The best training for a sport like kayaking is of course to be out on the water - when you are on the water you can improve not only your strength and endurance, but also your skills.

The cardinal rule of sports training is specificity, so the more specific your training is, the better it will prepare you for the actual event.

This is all very well for runners, but with a sport like kayaking, practical elements can intrude. For most people, going out and kayaking is not possible on a daily basis, it is time consuming, and frequently weather dependent.

That means that you must look to other means of improving your fitness if you are not to stagnate or decline when you can't get out on the water.

Strength training and cardio conditioning will both play a part in improved performance on the water. Key areas to work when strength training are the shoulders, low back, arms, and core.

Exercises should still be as specific as possible, which means you should include torso twisting in your core exercises. Also, as strength endurance is more crucial than pure strength, you should be working with lower weights, but higher reps.

Cardio fitness will ultimately allow you to paddle longer, and can be improved by running, swimming, biking, or using indoor cardio machines - the best bet is probably rowing, as training on a rowing ergometer most closely resembles paddling.

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