Welcome to the 2017 season

Our website will shortly be updated so that you can book and pay for your paddling online. Until then, reach us by phone, or by email at enquiries@chesterkayakhire.co.uk, where there will always be a prompt and friendly reply. See you on the river soon!

Tel: 01244 422007

How to boost your kayaking prowess through a gym routine

As much a canoe or kayak hire on the waters of the River Dee is a great way to while away a weekend, there are those that want to take the sport altogether a little more seriously.

Naturally, getting on the water and practising your technique often is the best way to do this, but this is not always possible, which is where the gym comes into play.

Regular work outs in the gym are a great way to improve your strength, reactions and general fitness. All of this will help you when out on the river in your canoe; from beating your fastest circuit time to riding those rapids.

However, to really improve your prowess, there are some specific exercises that many of the top pros in the sport rely on. A lot of them are still basic, but because of that are often overlooked by many paddlers putting together their own fitness schedule.

1. Pull-Ups – To power through the water

The pull-up is a great exercise. If a paddler can pull his or her body vertically, pulling it horizontally through the water should not be an issue. The technique is also able to be scaled up or down in difficulty quite easily, such as by simultaneously raising your legs or adding weights.

2. Single-Leg Deadlifts – To increase balance and strengthen the core

Balance and core strength are two of the most important elements in a paddler’s arsenal and single-leg deadlifts are ideal for this. It is better to work one leg at a time and, to up the ante a little, try touching the ground with your arm at the same time. Keeping it limited to 8-12 reps per side before switching will optimise the session.

3. Shoulder Press – For well-rounded muscles

To ensure a consistent power delivery on the water, developing your muscles in a steady and defined way is important. Well rounded muscles ensure that your power output can be high intensity, constant and efficient. Adding weights over time and playing with the number and speed of your reps will help improve endurance and overall strength.

4. Bench Press – To balance the upper body

Providing much the same workout and results as the shoulder press, the bench press has the additional benefit of augmenting the upper body strength. It is important that you do not attempt to bench press when on your own in the gym, so you must have someone ‘spotting’ you. This ensures that any missed rep won’t result in trouble.

Most modern gyms have a wealth of equipment to help you maintain your fitness, tone and improve your paddling prowess. From the weights to the running machines, there are exercises that can help in any way.

There is also the rowing machine, of course, which is always working the same muscles you’re using on the water. Whatever equipment you use though, it is always important not to overexert yourself, to warm up and warm down adequately, to take on enough water, and to rest between sessions.