5 Kayak Core Exercises for a Powerful Midsection That Performs on the Water and Profile’s off the Water

5 Kayak Core Exercises
5 Kayak Core Exercises

Hello my fellow Kayak fanatics and enthusiasts. One of my favorite things about kayaking and kayak fishing is while we’re having fun on the water we’re also building stronger, leaner, healthier bodies off of the water too.

The same thing happens in reverse too. When we build our kayak muscles and strength off the water it makes us more capable of having fun and maximizing our time on the water. 

And most important of all; when we build better bodies for kayaking, we build better bodies for life.

This post is focusing on one of, (if not the most important) areas of our body for kayaking and for our life…our “Kayak Core”. 

Our “Kayak Core” includes our abdominal muscles and our back muscles. Basically, our “Kayak Core” is our midsection. And I don’t have to tell anyone that our midsection is the most coveted part of the body to be strong, lean and ripped. 

Not only does a strong, lean and ripped midsection act as the powerhouse that connects our entire body, it also serves as the linchpin to our health and our appearance.

So without further ado here are five “Kayak Core” exercises you can do at home with 15.00 worth of equipment to give you a strong, firm, and slender mid-section that performs like a formula one racecar in your kayak.

All we need for these exercises is a medium to heavy resistance band. And a place to attach the band to pull from. You can order a resistance band off of the internet or find them at any department store in their sporting goods or workout section.

Diagonal Paddle Punch

This exercise imitates what we do with the top hand holding our paddle while paddling. When we paddle our arms should remain almost straight at the elbow the entire time. We push with our top arm by twisting our mid-section and pull with the bottom arm at the same time. This exercise replicates the pushing with our top arm.

Sit on the floor with your band wrapped around an open door handle behind you. Run the center of the band around both sides of the door handle.

Sit on the ground facing away from the door with legs in front like you would in your kayak while holding both handles of the band. Then hold one handle up high with the thumb pointing down and diagonal pointing across your body and extend the arm at just above shoulder height (should be the same height as you would hold your paddle).  

While keeping the arm extended, twist your midsection to push your hand forward about 6-12 inches. Return to the start position and repeat this short punchy movement 15-30 times then switch sides.

Straight Arm Rows

With the band hooked around the door handle stand facing the door holding the handles with straight arms below your waist. While standing straight step back a step or two until you feel tension in the band with your hands about a foot in front of your body.

While keeping both arms straight pull the handles past your body until your hands are two feet behind you. Repeat 15-30 times.

Hip Thrusters

When we paddle our kayak we have to remember that we push with our legs too. We push on our foot pegs to give us more drive and stability in our core. Being that our legs are straight we don’t actually use our legs as much as our lower abdominals to lock us in place and help provide torque through the rest of our core. This exercise helps build strength to do that.

Lying on your back, bring your legs straight up in the air where your heels are facing the ceiling.

With both hands on the ground raise your hips off the ground anywhere from 4-10 inches, then slowly lower your hips back down to the ground. Repeat 15-30 times.

Diagonal Toe Touch

Lying on your back, bring your legs straight up in the air where your heels are facing the ceiling. 

With your right hand reach up and touch your left foot at the toes, then reach with your left hand to touch your right foot at the toes. Keep both hands up the entire set and alternate sides for 15-30 repetitions each side.

Diagonal offset paddle row

Attach the band to the door handle so that one side is about 3 feet longer than the other. Sit on the floor facing the door with the foot that is on the longer side of the band against the door. Hold the handles as if you were holding a kayak paddle. The high hand holding the shorter end of the band and the low hand holding the longer end of the band.

With arms extended, twist your body as if you were paddling, pulling both ends of the band at the same time.  Repeat 15-30 times on one side of your body, then change the band to make the other side longer and switch feet on the door then perform the same 15-30 repetitions on the other side.

Do these 5 “Kayak Core” builders 3-5 x a week and build a strong lean core to power your kayak on the water and profile your body on the beach.

Be a “Kayak Beast”!!

Luke Prentiss, 

USCG Vet, B.S. Kinesiology/Health Ed., Cert Personal Trainer, Kayak Fanatic