The sore and aching muscles that accompany stand-up paddling can sometimes mask the fitness benefits of the sport. Without proper stretching, chronic soreness and stress on the ligaments, tendons, and muscles will almost undoubtedly result in some form of injury and time off the water. Unfortunately, many individuals do not place a regular stretching program at the top of their priority list. Find about five to 10 minutes to incorporate a short stretch routine after each paddle. Try the following sequence of static stretches targeting parts of the body that commonly ache after a long or intense paddle. These stretches are meant to be executed after a warm-up or paddle. Please consult a doctor if in doubt before attempting these stretches, as they are meant for healthy individuals with no known injuries.
Muscles stretched: gastrocnemius,
soleus, Achilles tendon.
Technique: Stand 1 to 2 feet away
from a wall or stationary object
with both palms against it. Step
back with the leg to be stretched
and keep the back heel firmly
positioned on the ground. Flex the
front knee slightly and lean chest
toward the wall until a stretch
is felt in the calf of the back leg.
Hold for at least 10 seconds and
up to 30 seconds. Repeat with the
Muscles Stretched: shoulder, chest, triceps,
latissimus dorsi, rotator cuff.
1. Stand upright with feet hip width apart.
2. Hold paddle behind back with right arm bent over and behind head. Do not let head be pushed forward and keep ears in line with shoulders during the stretch.
3. Paddle should be held in vertical position with right hand while left hand comes behind back to grasp the paddle with palm facing away from the body.
4. Move bottom hand up as high on the shaft as possible.
5. Hold stretch for ten to thirty seconds and repeat on the other side.
6. Please take this stretch slowly and carefully and stop immediately if there is any pain.
Muscles stretched: hamstrings,
gluteus, calf, low back
Technique: Stand erect with left
foot 1 to 2 feet in front of the right
foot. While keeping the left leg
straight and right knee slightly
bent, bend torso toward the left
knee. Reach chest toward the left
knee, keeping the back as straight
as possible. Hold for 10 to 30
seconds and repeat on the other
Muscles stretched: biceps brachia,
anterior shoulder, chest
Technique: Place outstretched
hand on the side of a wall, pole,
or tree, with the hand above the
midpoint between the hip and
shoulder, and thumb pointing up.
While keeping the arm straight,
turn body to face opposite
direction of wall. Keep turning
until feeling a stretch in biceps,
shoulder, and chest. Hold the
stretch for at least 10 seconds and
repeat with the other arm.
Without proper stretching, chronic soreness and stress on the
ligaments, tendons, and muscles will almost undoubtedly
result in some form of injury and time off the water.