Seizing up

I am a newbie that currently kayaks appox 10-11kms a day…I feel good out on the water but once I go to get out of the kayak I find I am seized up in the groin and find it really hard to get moving. Any suggestions/ideas on how to prevent this? I have tried stretching out or moving my legs around while on the water but to no avail

Sounds to me like you need to do more.
exercises when you are out of the kayak

Like sit-ups and squats on a daily basis

jack L

Thanks for that…been walking, swimming and biking to build up leg strength. Been at it about three months now with only missing a couple of days of exercising so frustrating that I still seize up

do your legs tingle?
I have never heard of seizing up at the groin - can you provide more description? Do your legs tingle and fall asleep?

I do 30 sit-ups every
two years

Do you use your foot pegs and rotate from the waist?

Not unusual
It might take a lot more time in the cockpit before your muscles throughout your body become fully accustomed to the activity. Years ago, I used to have to roll up a towel to rest my thighs on and when I would change kayaks, my back would protest the new seat and so on. Eventually, everything got used to the long periods in the saddle and it doesn’t matter which kayak I’m in now.

Most of my paddling buddies have been through the same thing and some never really make the full transition.

I don’t know if there is really anything that will speed up the process, but lots of exercise can’t hurt. Don’t forget to keep hydrated.

Just a thought…
I’m not really sure what you’re experiencing, so this is just generally a good idea.

There is a concept that I picked up as a beginner, and I’ve just recently heard it taught still. The idea is that you use your legs, put some pressure, push your back into that backrest.

I started off putting a good amount of pressure between my legs and the backrest trying to incorporate my legs. This is why I’m bringing this up. It’s really not so good for anything involved. What you’re trying to do when you press and straighten a leg is to achieve some hip movement - this is the strong base of your forward stroke. Leg movement to the point that it facilitates hip movement. As much leg and hip movement as possible. Your lower torso is rotating. The super strong stuff all comes from below. So as much leg, hip, lower torso, torso as possible. As little shoulders, and as little arms as possible. This also means you can’t have your hips secured against the sides of your seat. If you can’t rotate your hips, and you somehow insist that this gives you better control of your sea kayak, then just keep in mind that pressing with the legs is not contributing to your forward stroke, so feel free to lighten it up as much as possible.

This is not to say you can’t go out and arm paddle and enjoy yourself just fine. Most people incorporate arms. We’re not all always doing competitive sprints or going for fast touring times.

This is just to suggest that you only incorporate your legs to a useful extent. Pressure against the backrest inhibits rotation, and therefore does not contribute to a strong use of leg and lower torso power. Over the years, I learned to use less leg pressure, and get more hip rotation.

So if you’ve been creating some such pressure as you’re paddling, think about this, and think about minimizing that extra stress in your legs and hips. Practice using your legs only to the extent that you’re getting your hips to rotate. The less friction between the seat and your seat, the easier it is. If you’re not incorporating hips and lower torso into your forward stroke, you only need enough pressure to keep that hip from sliding forward as you pull back on the paddle shaft. So minimize unnecessary pressure as much as possible. This is important whether it helps with your immediate problem or not, so I figure it can’t hurt to put it out there.

Good luck.

I do remember that feeling coming from

– Last Updated: May-16-15 1:18 PM EST –

older, heavier barges of canoes where I would sometimes add some pivot/swing with firm hips..on occasion. Bear in mind that I was a short-term kayaker who went back to canoes, but with the more agile craft of today you wanna drop the "muscling bit" and loosen up. If the problem is not with trying to use the lowerbody to help in suspicion is it's also with your outfitting..from seat issue to the angle that your knees/upper legs are positioned at...y/n? Just a guess..that's where I was with overuse of specific tendons/muscles.
Will also definitely go with JackL's/others' addition of more exercises...

your physician. Tell him the problem on the phone then paddle before the appt. n go in while the problem is…current.

There are serious and not serious physical implications in your description.

No toe pedals
and yes I rotate at the waist but think I also lean forward quite a bit to dig in to my strokes…may need to look at my style

No tingling
Its more when I go to get out of the kayak, stiff and hard to stand up and get legs moving. Stiff around the hips/groin area

but don’t think it warrants visit to doctor…after a few minutes of moving around I am able to straighten up and walk okay. I am wanting to do a triathlon at some stage soon but will be a bit shameful if I can’t even do the transition from kayaking to running/waking without being very stiff. Was just curious if anyone had hints to prevent this, seems like more exercise & better body position may be the answer

or reduce your red meat diet %

you may have nerve damage, circulation problems but from what ?

what your telling us is…

you have nerve and circulations problems.

if you did not have nerve and circulation problems then you would not ‘seize’

try a pedestal or sliding tractor seat with variable height settings ?

show off
Everyone’s Jack Lalanne.

No toe pedals?
Does this mean you do not have foot rests? Tell us what make & model boat you have, I have seen rec boats without foot rests, but not many.

If possible, getting out of the boat and walking around mid-trip would help.

Iliopsoas (“psoas”) muscles?
Do you do any stretching exercises? Can you touch your fingers to the floor without bending your knees?

What kayak are you paddling that doesn’t have foot braces?

First, assuming nothing is major wrong
with you, you may end up wanting to use a different kayak for triathlon.

I have a slower kayak that I can actually get up and out of, which is a lot better for its purpose than a faster one I will kill myself with trying to quick- eject and failing.

I bought this thing after the Very Nice People at the kayak shop let me just sit in it in the store for a very long time, and then practiced getting up and out of it… when this worked, and it was similar to the seat shape I had on my other kayak, I knew I had found The One. It is fast for what it is, but I fully concede that it is not “fast.” It’s medium. But stable. However, I can pass people when they are fatiguing out if they are in something that is no faster, because this kayak and my body get along, and that is all that matters.

Secondly, you may have to experiment with your diet (howls of laughter from the peanut gallery… ignore) to see if you are a responder to adding or subtracting certain foods. I eat the wrong thing and I will get visible joint swelling as one of the symptoms. I have a photo I keep of me finishing a “bucket list” type hike years ago, in the picture I’m in sandals because my feet were puffing up and one ankle is visibly larger than the other. Nowadays, as I get closer to the weekends, I will make my meals very carefully and there’s the Never Eat Out on The Day Before Competition rule. The likelihood of you having this sort of problem is not that high, so don’t worry, but I thought I’d mention this. The last thing I need to happen is my thumb joints or wrist doing the same thing that my ankle does, er, did, so I am highly motivated. I also have old injuries from 30 years ago, and the only way to cope with them is to not stress my entire metabolism.

The robb wolfe/mark sisson types have a LOT of really good information on how the lack of certain common nutrients affect performance, whether or not you have that sort of problem. For instance, cramping muscles in hot weather can be not only electrolytes off or plain ol’ dehydration, but show you need magnesium. A little mag can save a huge muscle cramp coming at the exact wrong time if you get dumped into cold water when highly stressed and fatigued.

I also suggest you start adding in yoga, stretching, and balancing exercises which will help you get in and out of the kayak. Anything you do to strengthen the core muscles is going to help, but, if you are stiff, you’re still going to get stuck.

sweating a lot?
Have had similar issues when cutting grass with a push mower on hills and when sweating considerably. Probably do not notice it as much when paddling, but do use push offs, on power sides, on the foot braces, when paddling. The sweat usually evaporates before it gets pronounced (when paddling). Might suggest eating more potassium enriched foods such as a banana before you paddle. Unless prohibited by Doctor’s order, would also suggest some natural pink (sea) salt inasmuch as it still contains the natural elements. This has worked for me and I paddle in hot SW and Central West Florida most of the year. As a matter of information, some chlorestorol lowering drugs can play havoc on muscles…

Anything under your quads you want
rather wide and not in a position where they re-position your legs into any extreme position.

When that happened to me I would take
my feet off the footpegs and pull my knees into my chest during the paddle. It was still tight for a long time but then it just stopped by itself. Lunges before and after will help.