Muscle Development Through Kayaking

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Muscle development combined with fun, fresh air, and adventure!

ID 247374 © Ron Hilton |

ID 247374 © Ron Hilton |

If you are looking for a way to exercise and develop good muscle strength, while having fun at the same time, kayaking may be your answer. The benefits in terms of muscle development are measurable.

Being out in nature, experiencing the beauty of what is naturally available to us, does not get any better than being on a kayak! The great thing is you get to exercise your upper body, enhancing your muscle development, while having a fabulous time in the great outdoors.

So in this method of muscle development, which muscle groups are involved? Your back, shoulders, arms, hands, abdomen, chest and especially heart are key target areas during this adventurous exercise. Did you know an hour of kayaking can produce more work for these muscle groups than you might get in any single gym session? 

Kayaking is good at any age and in addition to muscle development it is a great way to keep the mind and body alert, strong and vibrant. 

Back Strengthening

Every stroke you take while kayaking is a single-arm row, similar to a single-arm dumbbell row or seated cable row. Every stroke works the lats to a great degree. While one arm is rowing back, the other is getting a stretch and then a contraction.

Shoulder Development

The direct impact on the shoulders is much more involved than a typical back workout. The forward circular motion really attacks the rear, lateral and anterior deltoids, because at the end of each stroke, the paddle has to come up and around to the front again. 

Bicep Power

As one arm is rowing in, hitting the biceps on that side, the other arm is countering with a forward extension to create more torque on the paddle. The biceps work is a byproduct of the movement. Your forearms will be tested as well. Total arm workout!!

Abs of Steel

The abdomen and obliques are heavily involved and responsible for your performance in kayaking. Your core muscles will also be developed because your trunk is constantly working in a rotation and counter-rotation manner, resulting in a huge demand for spine stabilization and balance. 

Cardiac and Respiratory Health

The continuous movement in kayaking raises your heart rate. Your heart and lungs will be tested on every single row for the duration of your kayak trip.

For a different approach to muscle development why not give kayaking a try? You just might love it!

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Eileen Bild

Eileen Bild

Eileen is owner of Ordinary to Extraordinary Life, OTELproductions. As a Certified Life Coach, Writer; and Producer, Videographer and photographer she specializes in Relationship, Personal and Business, Lifestyle and Wellness Coaching. She coaches high performance professionals, visionaries, actors/actresses, athletes, CEO’s, and entrepreneurs. You can visit her website at and her LIFE column at
Eileen Bild

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