Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Kayaker's Body

Looking at a kayaker, it appears that the arms are used to propel the boat.  That is only partly true.  In fact the arms are too weak and the chance of damaging the shoulders is too high.  As taught to me by Jim More, the proper Forward Stroke uses the entire body.  It involves a twisting motion that uses muscles from the balls of the feet to the top of the neck.  One very positive result is that during this trip my upper body, which shrunk during the Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2009 has rebuilt.  Another positive effect of kayaking is that there is no weight load on the body, especially the knees.  Paddling upstream or against headwinds provides both strength and aerobic exercise.  What's not to like?

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