Improve your paddling with these 3 shoulder exercies
Improve your shoulders with effective excercise for padding in kitesurfing

If you have picked up a copy of Santa Cruz Waves magazine, you may have read an article I wrote about how to repair shoulder injuries for surfers. While that’s an important article to read, I thought it appropriate to share ways to not only improve your paddling but stay strong to prevent these shoulder injuries from occurring.

If you ask any surfer, they’ll probably tell you that being able to paddle is the most important part of surf experience. Paddling is key to getting out to the surf break, getting situated appropriately in the lineup, and crucial in one’s the ability to catch the wave. Most of the time spent surfing is actually spent paddling. Paddling is our motor, how we are able to catch waves, direct ourselves and ultimately get to surfing. Being a strong paddler isn’t just about being strong, it’s about proper mechanics and making sure the right muscles are doing the work so we can get the most power and of course stay injury free. Next time the swell is less than spectacular take the time to try the following exercises and notice the strength you gain next time you paddle out.

Professional Diet For Kitesurfers

Lat Pull Downs

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Working out in the gym.

As you might guess, the Lat Pulldown helps to strengthen the Latissimus dorsi or “lat muscle”. The lats are one of the most important muscles that surfers use. In fact, as a trainer I often see overdeveloped lats in surfers. That’s not really a problem, It’s just something that you’ll most likely experience and work to make sure they don’t create imbalance in the shoulder girdle. You might also experience big lats if you’re a swimmer. The Lat Pulldown is a great exercise to help strengthen this primary mover.

Shoulder Raises

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Working in the gym on deltoid muscles

The deltoid is made of three muscles: front, medial, rear deltoid. The deltoids help to raise the arm and when paddling prone (face down) the deltoids are used to raise the arm up and prepare for the hand to hit the water. To strengthen these muscles stand with proper posture, knees slightly bent and arms straight out in front of the body. Slowly raise the arms up to shoulder height. Adjust the angle at which the arms are outstretched from the body. Try out to the side and then an angle between the two. Feel the top of the shoulders burn! (Be sure to keep the core strong so as the arms raise the back doesn’t bend.)

How to stay fit

Serratus Push Up

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Doing push-ups will fastly increase the power of your shoulders

The serratus anterior allows the shoulder blade to move laterally and allows for the elevation of the arm. All very key components to be able to paddle.
The serratus anterior muscle is an antagonist to the rhomboid muscles, as well as the synergist of the rhomboids. The scapula is able to move laterally due to the serratus anterior muscle, which is vital for the elevation of the arm. The serratus anterior muscle also allows the rotation of the arm upwards, which allows a human to lift items over his or her head.
Strengthen your shoulders and paddle more efficiently.

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In 2001, I discovered kiteboarding in Hawaii during windsurfing and immediately made my first transition. British titles followed and then PKRA, where, in my first competition, I secured a second place in freestyle and then in the waves. In 2008, I won all the stages of the KPWT Wave Masters world tour and became the world champion in kitesurfing, which I saved in 2009. In addition to the competitive side of sports. I also took part in long-distance kiteboarding trips to raise money for charity - I took a kiteboard from Ireland to Wales, and in 2006 from the Canary Islands to Morocco, a nine-hour non-stop transition of 140 miles. Now I compete less and spend most of my time combining kiteboarding with my other passion, yoga, through my Experience courses in Mauritius, Morocco and at home in Lanzarote.


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