Training for any sport can get quite intense, especially for aquatic sports. Whether it’s paddle boarding, kayaking, or just swimming, you may not even know where to begin. But with a few pointers and strategies, you can get in shape in no time!
A great training system for aquatic sports focuses on a person’s endurance, core strength, and upper body strength, so that’s what this article will focus on.
Protip: Remember to stretch before and after every workout! This can prevent many injuries.
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Many water sports include going at it for long periods of time, especially in races – which can get very tiring. Training that builds up endurance is key to success for any aquatic sport.
Here are things you can do to build up your body’s endurance:
- Running: Make use of your treadmill and run for long periods at a time, with short breaks in between. After a while, you will be able to go faster for longer, and this shows signs of your endurance increasing!
- Swimming: Swimming makes use of almost every muscle group, which strengthens your whole body. Swim for long periods of time with short breaks in between to build up endurance.
- Reduce the amount of rest between sets: Shortening the time you take to rest between sets in a workout will get your body used to a lot of exercises and overall increase your endurance.
You may not be aware of it, but your core muscles play a huge role in your overall strength. A strong core means that you will have good balance (which is excellent for paddle boarding and surfing) and be able to prevent many injuries that come from any sport.
Planking is one of the best ways to strengthen your core and even parts of your shoulders.
Planking for a minute or two at a time each day will soon make a great difference in your balance on the water.
V-Ups, Sit-ups, Crunches
Every kind of “up” you can imagine will get your core working properly and allow you to paddle or surf with ease!
Most people know how to do sit-ups and crunches, but if you don’t know how to do v-ups:
- Lie on your back, then lift both your legs up off the ground at an angle.
- With your arms straight out in front of you, lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground. Your body should look like a “v” from the side.
- Hold this position for as long as you can (minimum 20-30 seconds) while squeezing your abs.
Protip: When doing sit-ups, crunches, and v-ups, really focus on using your ab muscles. This will relieve the strain on your neck.
Upper Body Training
Most aquatic sports tend to be more of an upper body workout than a lower body workout, what with all the pushing and paddling that’s required. This is why strengthening the muscle groups in your upper body is extremely important.
Here’s a list of a few exercises and things you can use to strengthen your upper body:
- Dumbbells: There are a variety of exercises that use dumbbells that will strengthen your biceps, triceps, and shoulders, such as: bicep curls, upright rows, and skull crushers.
- Chest Press: There should be a machine at your local gym that allows you to do chest presses. This exercise works out your chest muscles and parts of your shoulders, which provides good strength for paddling through the water.
- Bench Press: This is an option to do chest presses even if you don’t have access to a chest press machine in your gym. Using a heavy weighted barbell while lying on your back, this exercise works out the same muscle groups as the chest press.
- Pull-ups, Chin-ups, and Push-ups: These three exercises work out your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
This video demonstrates what you can do at home with a couple of dumbbells:
There won’t be any great results without a proper diet during your training. You know what they say, abs are made in the gym but revealed in the kitchen!
Protein, Carbs, yada yada…
In order for your muscles to repair and grow, your diet has to consist of a lot of protein – lean meats, beans, and eggs, for example.
Carbohydrates and some fats supply your body with a good amount of energy to last through rigorous training, which expends a lot of calories. Things like whole grain breads, potatoes, oats, rice, and nuts are wholesome foods that’ll give you tons of energy!
Don’t forget the veggies! Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins, minerals, and fiber that keep your body healthy and everything working properly.
Remember that with the right training system and diet, you will not only look and feel better, but you’ll also kick butt at any kind of water sport, from paddle boarding to kayaking!
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