How many of you guys/gals do any kind of warm up or stretching before taking off on work out type paddle? I haven’t been doing it but I notice I feel a little uncomfortable the first five or ten minutes till everything loosens up. Just wondering what every ones routine happens to be.
I suspect this will vary much, individual to individual.
For me, no warm up or stretching just prior to my paddles, be it a 50 mile or my daily 10 mile paddle.
Note: I’m not a racer, I paddle at a comfortable pace.
Every morning, I do a set of stretches just after getting out of bed (except for those days after a 50 mile paddle).
Prior to a race, definitely. About 20-30 minutes of yoga so it works as a warm up. I don’t feel as useless wiped out at the end of the race. Workout paddles, I seldom have the spare time so it’s just Go.
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Good question. In 2015 my L2 ACA coach (also a personal trainer) had us work through a program of stretches before we got in our boats. Last summer my symposium coach (ACA L5 and faculty member of the MSU Dept. of Kinesiology) said stretching beforehand was no longer advised. That was news to me since there are so many articles recommending stretching before paddling, so I looked it up. He was spot on.
While I do stretches as part of my training routine, I no longer do them before paddling. I figure my warm-up is unloading my boat, hauling it to the water’s edge, then walking back and forth between my car and boat moving gear.
I do gentle stretches first thing in the morning but not right before exercising. Right AFTER exercising, I do some different stretches. IME, the after stretches are very important, even more so than the morning ones. Discovered this long ago when I raced road bikes.
My warmup is the start of every activity, just spending the first 15 to 30 minutes refraining from any sudden bursts of exertion level.
My normal routine includes regular core exercises and light weight training with free weights at home plus some cardio and swimming at the YMCA. I think my routine already entails at least a little stretching so as long as I feel good I don’t feel the need to modify my routine for paddling.
A little warmup before any workout (paddle, weights, aerobic, bicycle) and stretching afterward. My Physical Therapist nephew says that it was discovered that stretching before exercise causes the muscles to stay too loose and can cause damage.
Stretch ?.. Sure the first mile is the warm up. I get enough stretching during loading/ unloading. It’s as good as I’m going to be.
I was taught in my years of dance training to never stretch before warming up the muscles and ligaments with repetitive movement. The dance master would have us walk around the studio several times and then do some mild calisthenics until (as he put it in his thick Austrian accent) “You vake up your liddle botties, cookies.” Once we were “voken up” he’d send us to the barre for the routine ballet stretches.
When I studied martial arts the instructors did pretty much the same sort of routine: get the blood circulating and the cricks out of the joints and THEN stretch.
I do yoga in the morning every day for 20 - 30 minutes and then after paddling I stretch. That works for me!
Some good stretches (yoga) after paddling are the Chair Pose (amazing relief and I don’t know why), Forward bend (to open lower back), Cow Face Pose (for arms and legs), Fire log pose (hips), Eagle Pose (arms and the same relief you get in the chair pose), triangle (just for getting everything back in order), and wide legged forward bend. Here’s a site: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses
I don’t normally stretch either before a paddle or ergo workouts. Tried it before, didn’t feel any different. It takes some time to get into the “zone” anyways, not something a stretch would help.
I do stretch generally to maintain some level of flexibility. On weight-lifting days I add my daily stretch at the beginning of the workout, on erg days I stretch after. No particular reasoning there, but overall seems to work well enough.
I do a little warm up before any exercises as well, from 15 to 20 minutes usually, depends on a route. Then I stretch. Since I was told that you either learn injury prevention/maintenance, or you bounce non-stop between injuries.
My warmup consists of not pushing the pace until I’ve loosened up and feel good. I focus instead on making sure my form is good before I ramp up the power. Don’t want another case of golfer’s elbow!
Being warmed up by even just normal activity definitely seems to improve your flexibility when you attempt to stretch. I used to practice hatha yoga daily, beginning while I was in college. At first I would do it in the morning before heading off on my bike to classes. Then I had a term with a 7:00 AM class 3 days a week and switched to doing my asanas when I would get back to my apartment late afternoon. Yoga is soft stretching (you don’t force yourself but instead place yourself as far as is comfortable into the form and then relax and breathe into it). But I immediately noticed that my effortless positioning in the afternoon put me significantly farther into the optimal form of every pose without any straining than I could achieve first thing in the morning. Even during weeks when I alternated morning and afternoon practice the difference was obvious – it was not just that I was getting progressively more flexible.
Warm up is a must thing before any physical sport or activity but stretching has several benefits. So, I would recommend you to do the both things. Yes, you can also do stretching even after kayaking.
In cardio rehab they suggest just starting whatever exercise that you plan on doing, but start out gently and build up slowly. They also said that stretching beforehand can cause the muscles to tighten up a bit afterwards and actually increase the possibility of injury. They did recommend stretching afterwards as part of a cooldown routine.