So while not a gym in the traditional sense, I’m going to use it as one because it’s an all-body workout when you do it correctly, especially if you are in a whitewater canoe. Kayaking is mostly upper body, and some legs.
This was a short run of about 4.5 miles, and it wasn’t really whitewater. There were a couple of riffles, some waves, tiny bit of surfing, but nothing intense about it. I still made sure to use my legs to move the boat, do my torso rotation, and paddle on both sides of the boat. You may be asking how does canoeing have you utilizing all of those muscle groups.
Whitewater canoes are not set up as your typical canoe. Some have saddles and/or thigh straps, but I had mine installed with a bulkhead set up. I love it, it was worth every penny. It allows you to use your legs, thighs specifically, to get the boat where you want it to go along with your torso. Your arms do some of the work, of course, but I know my form is off if my arms are getting tired.
There have been days where I have woken up after canoeing all day the previous day, and my legs and abs have been so sore that I was limping. Days like that, I knew I had done it right and pushed myself. This will not be the case tomorrow. I did not paddle 14 miles or 6 miles of continuous whitewater, this was just a beautiful day on the river with a friend of mine.
The river is one of my places where I reset my mind. I had not been out in a couple of weeks, and I was beginning to notice the way I was feeling because of it. Now, my mind and body are reset to tackle the challenge and task at hand. It’s go time.