Exercises for better hip movement?

I’m hell bent on learning how to roll. Are there any exercises or stretches I can to do aid me with developing a hip snap? If so, can you explain in detail or point me to a site that will show me how to do them?


Join a Y or gym
There are machines that work “torso rotations” and ab crunches that really help with the muscles involved. There is a book called “fit to Paddle” that has exercises.

Try Yoga
I know of no better excercise for paddlers than developing a flexible body and a strong core. Targeted excercise and stretching seems to miss the point. Think general health.



Advice From The Great Unrolled
Although I have achieved fame for not being able to roll, the over 50 hours of training from a variety of instructors has given me a wealth of knowledge (and some skill) on this topic. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bow rescues excercise hip snap or working at poolside or dockside as I describe in many of my “I can’t roll posts”

  • High braces
  • Deep draw returning to the rear
  • A bottom brace. This brace is sort of a roll in shallow water where you push your paddle into the bottom and sort of high brace your way up. I found it pretty easy to do compared to any kind of roll.
  • Try rolling with an inflated paddle float. You have to force it under, then it pulls you up. From there, you have to hip flick your way up. It’s the same hip motion, but, it’s much easier than a roll.

    In my posts, I’m describing the mental challenges of trying to roll. I’ve been able do all of the above (and more) without much trouble.

    I probably have a few more drills if these don’t suit you.

    Hope you have better luck than I,


1. Sex in as many positions as you can come up with! Combines crunches and yoga :slight_smile:

2. You can also do knee raise exercises that simulate kneeing someone in the groin. Kick boxing/Taebo type aerobics are good ways to work the abs form different angles. Cross body stuff particularly good - so knee raise/punch combinations can work well.

3. Developing balance abs by padding skinnier boats also helps - and skinnier boats are easier to roll anyway.

4. Any ab and back work.

I still hate the term “hip flick”. Mine must suck as I use very little hip and feel fo flick. Plenty of knee drive powered by abs though!

Anything that…
teaches you to isolate your thigh, and be able to tense and move one without the other. You start what is called the hip flick actually by lifting your onside thigh (right if you are right handed for most, for ex.) into the thigh braces, hard. The rest of the body is supposed to follow, though this requires some flexibility thru your waist and low back. For that go to basic yoga stretches. (Do them at night before going to bed - those positions tend to be calming.)

Anyway, back to the thigh isolation. You can even do this sitting at your desk whilst working on terribly important stuff for your employer. Sit with both feet flat on the floor, straight back, and just try to lift one leg straight up by using absolutely nothing but the big thigh muscles on one leg, alloowing some tension in your abs. Try to keep your other thigh and leg fully relaxed. That is what has to happen when you are sitting in the boat.

If you really want to go for it, once that isolation is happening practice bringing your leg up a little higher and more quickly while turning towards it with your face and turning to look down at the floor. You probably don’t want to do this in meetings though.

You can do all of this lying on your back by the way, which gets closer to the body position in which you’ll be executing the plan.

marching to the beat of a different…
hips don’t snap, torsos move C to C and rotate. This is a different view. My macho muscular youth was into the idea required strength.

Now I enter BCU land in the last few years. I find that rolling when viewed as a pure form and most efficient methods is SO SO SO effortless, non muscular requires so little strength that is is a poor form of excercise really. OK many will intensely disagree bc it is not their personal experience. I would myself from my dissociated youth.

But if open to it, use a modified semi sweep C to C, or a full sweep with torse twist, or an extended paddle with lay back, or even a very full beginning C with a very complet final C, and little or no muscle.

Of course one can do things with mucho muscle if it appeals, but I have become very intriqued by doing things with the very least effort necessary.

Greek word for it is dysponseis- uncessary movement that can actually cause disease.

LIke how euro paddle if left alone will be at right angles to paddle stroke, like how holding on during forward stroke or roll with tension causes problems but does not if held gently and so on.

English phrase is "Trying too hard!"
Too much effort, be it physical or mental, is where most go wrong.

Latin dance!
Seriously – learning to rumba/mambo/chacha/salsa does help develop more hip motion.

with Jed on the Yoga for flexibility and increased range of motion as well as strength. Yoga is the perfect compliment to kayaking.


Greenland ropes?
I saw someone demonstrate these and tried a few of them myself. GREAT workout! I’m going to set up my own ropes gym so I can practice kayak-type movements all year 'round.

The ropes exercises require flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, sense of which muscles and joints do what, symmetry on both right and left/backward and forward, endurance…in other words, all the things that are good for kayaking!

And it’s low-tech, inexpensive stuff to set up yourself.

I find that rolling is helped with good body rotation. I never did any stretching until I wanted to roll a kayak. I do stretches that twist and stretch the muscles from my knees to my neck. Simulate sitting in a kayak and lean back and twist over sideways onto one elbow and twist your torso and stretch the other arm around to touch that elbow. This helps my body rotation flexability. You can come with your own stretches to help your physical characteristics. Getting the neck to turn to the side will help also. Since I’ve started stretching I feel better in everything I do, even sleeping.

Just start out slow
I tried rope gymnastics last year at the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat. Very interesting. It was also a month before the bruises on my legs healed…

And you should never try them after several beers, like I did.


greenland ropes
Please help me learn to do this. Any books videos or instructors?