Pre-Paddling Warm-up Mobility is everything…

Heather Herbeck is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and PN1 certified. She is owner and lead trainer of “Fitness and Sport Evolution” in White Salmon, WA. With over 20+ years of experience, she has worked with athletes, on all levels, to improve in their sports performance. If you have any questions or concerns about these movements, please see your doctor before implementing these into your regular routine.


How many times do you find yourself snapping your sprayskirt on, pushing yourself into the water and paddling down the river and into your first big rapid . . . uh, without warming up first?!?!?!

I guarantee that the older you get, the more you will realize that a proper warm-up is crucial for feeling comfortable in your boat, feeling “loose” and limber in your hips and shoulders and minimizing your risk of injury.

Here is a quick warm-up that I like to do while I gear up and before I start hitting those rapids with power and intensity:

Chest Opener:  Lay on the bottom of your boat; open and close your arms to stretch out your chest.

Arm Swings and hugs. 

Hip Hinges.

Leg Swings.  Hold onto a tree, your vehicle or your paddle to brace your body.

Torso Rotation while seated in your kayak.  After you’ve shoved off into the water, rotate your torso so that your paddle is parallel to your boat and over the water (full rotation).  Go back and forth from one side to another for about 10 reps.


Okay, there you have it . . . a simple warm-up that hits the shoulders, chest, torso and hips!  Make this a regular habit before taking your first powerful strokes and you’ll feel a lot more confident in your boat . . . plus, your roll might feel better!!!!

See ya on the river,

Heather Herbeck 

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