Fit to Kayak Fish – Shoulder Sweep

Kayakers and kayak fishermen experience shoulder and upper back stiffness from time to time – or all the time. Previously introduced were the Bretzel and Bretzel 2.0 stretch which improves flexibility and mobility through the anterior and posterior chain of the body. Building on the Bretzel stretches I will introduce the “shoulder sweep” which will increase stability and mobility within the thoracic spine – alleviating shoulder pain and increasing paddle efficiency.

Shoulder Sweep

1. Lying on your back place your right foot on the outside of your left knee – rotating your right hip off of the floor but keeping both shoulders flat on the floor. Place your left hand palm down on the floor by your side. Place your right hand palm down under the small of your back – keeping your elbow on the floor. If you can not keep your elbow on the floor move your hand away from your body until your elbow is on the floor.

2. “Pack” your shoulders by pulling both shoulders back and down – away from your ears. Feel as though you are pulling your right shoulder to your left hip and your left shoulder to your right hip.

3. Keeping your elbow on the floor, sweep your right hand away from your body in an arc. Your elbow remains on the floor. When your arm is 90 degrees to your body, turn your palm up and continue moving your hand in the arc until you reach your maximum range of motion while keeping your shoulders packed.

4. Perform 3-5 reps slowly – repeat on the opposite side.

Perform this exercise 3 times per week. Your range of motion will increase while stiffness decreases – improving your overall kayak fishing experience.

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