Happy New Year!!!!
For a lot of us, that means CHANGE. We all want to make 2015 a bigger, better year and it seems like January 1st is the magic day to start. So let's get going . . .
I will be sharing with you a "move of the month" through the 2015 calendar year. These moves are just some of my favorites in the categories of: Mobility, Stability, Flexibility, Strength and Power. All of these movements are specific to improving your paddling.
January Favorite: Internal/External Rotation with a cable or band - STABILITY
How many of you have had their shoulders torn back landing a big drop? Maybe you went for that high brace (accidentally of course) and felt a little tweak? Or, maybe you got side-surfed in a nasty hydraulic and strained your shoulder/bicep?
We often neglect the tiny muscles that support and "lock in" a joint ~ specifically the rotator cuff complex of the shoulder joint. Overuse injuries commonly occur in paddlers' shoulders. For the whitewater enthusiasts, we are often put into challenging, dynamic environments. How do we keep our shoulders truly strong? We need to first strengthen the supporting muscles of the joint.
First picture: Starting position ~ band or cable aligning wrist and elbow
Second picture: Finish position against the body
First picture: Starting position against body
Second picture: Finish position ~ pull band or cable away from body
WHY are these exercises important in 6 words: To LOCK IN our shoulder joint. BAM . . . as simple as that!
Frequency: 3-5 times a week; 2-3 sets of 15-25 reps
Load: Use a light weight. If you use too much weight, your body naturally engages the larger muscle groups to fire (deltoids). Your goal is to let the deltoids relax and "fire" the rotator cuff muscles deep inside the joint. I would suggest 5-10 lbs and no more . . . yes, even the "hulk" uses 5 lbs.
I challenge YOU for the month of January to perform these exercises as suggested above. If you don't feel a difference, then at least you tried them. But, I would guess that your shoulders will feel super solid :-) And, continue with these simple exercises throughout your paddling lifetime.
Disclaimer: These exercises are NOT for everyone. If you have any questions about movements, please see a fitness professional and start SLOW. If you are new to an exercise program, please consult your physician and see if this is right for you.