I lost my hip snap

while taking rolling classes. I suspect weak and not-so-flexible muscles are to blame. Do y’all have a link to some good strengthen and stretch hip exercises? Thanks!

Get Your Thigh Involved

– Last Updated: Dec-31-09 2:28 PM EST –

If you can march up stairs you have a snap. Seriously. When no one's looking I do a silly 'leader-of-a-marching-band' march up the stairs at work. It's great exercise for your snap up. When you raise your knee don't bring it straight up. Your right knee should go way left and vice versa.

When you go to roll it's:

set up
march up the stair

Onside roll = march up with your right knee.
Offside roll = march up with your left knee.

Try This …



Join the Y
Weight machines for torso rotation set at high resistance and and done in rapid motion help.

Go Dancing
and get those hips involved…samba, rumba, cha cha , salsa all use the hip if done corectly and it is an entire lower body thing from the ankle to the thigh to the hip.

(I prefer Swing dancing but it doesn’t exercise the hip the way the above dances do)

good for rolling and it’s New Years eve :slight_smile:

Best wishes


Are you sure that is the problem?
I would check to be sure you are not lifting both knees at the same time. That is one of the most common things I find when someone seems not to be able to rotate the boat as much as needed. Try rocking your boat by raising one knee/hip and dropping the other knee down, back and forth. Reproduce that same motion when you try the roll. If it helps, imagine you are salsa dancing as suggested above.

Yoga, Yoga, and more Yoga!

agree about both knees… a drill
A hip snap doesn’t take so much strength that you need to build muscles for it. Some flexibility is always good for rolling both to kiss the deck at the start and rotate your torso. Try to rotate the torso back toward the same side you plan to lift your knee – it almost automatically causes a hip snap. If needed, focus on dropping the other knee.

A drill I would do sometimes when learning to roll was to get in my boat on dry land on some soft grass. I would first try to flip it over completely on its side so my shoulder was on the ground. I would then also try bringing it just 45 degrees and holding it just for the control that gives you. BTW this is also good practice for surf launches as putting a boat on its side is a great way to repoint your boat straight out towards the surf.

katydid, I think I found it
if you can describe it, I’ll return it to you

What sort of roll are they teaching?
Hip “snap” is important for the C to C roll, but most sea and touring kayakers don’t use that roll. With the “slash” roll, sudden hip snap is kinda counterproductive, and if your blade control is good, you should come up without having to focus on hip snap.

More …
“this is also good practice for surf launches as putting a boat on its side is a great way to repoint your boat straight out towards the surf.”

And it’s highly entertaining to your friends and onlookers when you don’t execute properly…can be both painful and embarrassing.

hip snap
I’d recommend a greenland kayaking balance stool to limber up those muscles. A few minutes a day on one of these does wonders for those muscles as well as giving you more balance in the kayak.


Bill H.

What are your expectations?
Not being challenging here - people just learning to roll often don’t realize that there is only so long anyone can work at the basic move without tiring out. So this may not indicate you are overly weak, just that you needed to stop and rest somewhere in there.

Granted those who are new too it may be expending more energy in a given try, and that the type of roll can make a difference (the closer you get to a layback roll, the less effort per try usually). But it is often a matter of expectations. There is only so long anyone can practice a roll before they have to take at least a quick break.

Per my rolling thread…
Watch a few Shakira videos! She has more than enough hip snaps to spare one for you… :wink:

Perfectly said
I know the first time i go to a pool session in the winter and do a lot of rolls, I’m tired. It’s like swimming. You never forget how to swim, you just get less proficient if you don’t do it a lot.


– Last Updated: Jan-01-10 11:08 AM EST –

If the class you're taking is whitewater oriented, the C-to-C is inevitably what they're going to teach. However, it's one of the worst rolls to try to teach a beginning roller, as it's very technique and timing dependent. Layback style rolls are far easier, especially if you combine them with an extended paddle (Pawlata roll or standard Greenland roll). If the instructor gives you any bull about layback rolls being dangerous (which is nonsense), find another coach who actually knows what he's talking about, preferably a sea kayaker.

It’s not just physical fatigue. A kind
of reactive interference or inhibition builds up when learning a new skill in a “massed practice” format, that is, one try after another. This had been thoroughly studied in psychology even back in the 60s when I was in graduate school.

When this inhibitory or interfering effect clears during a period of non-practice, and then practice is resumed, the learner is often surprised that s/he is doing the new skill better than at any time in the previous session.

Don’t do too many practice trials all bunched together. Distribute practice, with limited numbers of practice trials separated by substantial rest intervals. Sometimes it takes a whole day of rest to clear away the inhibitory effect.

I certainly did get tired
physically and mentally, plus it was discouraging to see all those young whippersnappers get their rolls seemingly without effort.

Ha ha ha!

– Last Updated: Jan-01-10 3:36 PM EST –

It's big and bulky and takes up all of the cockpit...oh, wait, those are the hips themselves.:)

I’m not quite sure
what kind of roll. I think layback.