KB training for paddling

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Davidlbn, May 25, 2019.

  1. Davidlbn

    Davidlbn Double-Digit Post Count

    Hi all

    My current sport focus is on surfski (kayak) paddling.
    It's a sport that requires a good mix of power and aerobic fitness.
    I'm not doing the short Olympic style sprint events, rather events from 45 minutes to 3 hours.
    I'm 56 years old and believe that some strength training is vital to keep me mildly competitive.

    My current strength routine looks like this (2-3 times a week)
    Warm up, then
    3 to 5 rounds of:
    Push press 5L + 5R
    Swings 10L + 10R
    Goblet Squats x5
    Weighted pull ups x5
    Farmers carries
    Recover between exercises until HR < 100.

    Paddling requires a lot of power as well as core strength and stability, hence the swings, otherwise I could probably do only strength work.

    I only have access to my KBs and a pull up bar.

    I occasionally change to presses rather than push press, in which case I do the swings first.

    From time to time I get some shoulder pain and back off for a while.

    The question is:
    Is this program appropriate? Or would S&S be a better fit for me? If so how frequently?
    I have done it in the past and the only negative for me, when doing it 5x a week, was that I gained too much muscle mass.
    I don't want to build muscle, only strength and power.

    I've considered doing the following to help avoid shoulder pain that presses sometimes aggravate:

    Day 1 and 3:
    Day 2 and 4:
    3-5 rounds
    Goblet Squats x5
    Pull ups x5
    Farmers carries

    Any thoughts or advice?
    Dekapon and offwidth like this.
  2. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I think your second plan is better.
    I would add as much mobility stuff you have time for. Flexible Steel, Super Joints, OS Resets, etc.
    You need to keep those shoulders (and elbows) happy.

    I used to surf kayak, sea kayak, and whitewater paddle, for quite a few years.
    Dekapon likes this.
  3. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

  4. Dekapon

    Dekapon Triple-Digit Post Count

    Just some thoughts... not a professional, do have some sea-kayaking experience.
    If it were me I would do more swings and farmers walk, and maybe add some get-ups for stability and then spare my shoulders for kayaking. No need to work your shoulders superhard in the gym and then go kayaking a few hours. Better do conditioning, strength and core in the gym and keep your shoulders fresh for the kayaking in my opinion.

    Weighted pull-ups, presses and then kayaking can be good but I would do them less and do more swings, squats and farmers walk and then kayaking.

    But I'm really fat and would probably sink a surfski-kayak if I tried sitting in one. Do as you like, have fun and stay healthy! (y)
  5. mjg

    mjg Double-Digit Post Count

    I would agree with the second option. I am 58 yo, whitewater kayak and have found a couple of days per week of S&S is beneficial for paddling. Depending on paddling days each week (and mountain biking), I will sometimes add (and subtract one S&S) a very easy variety day which includes pull ups, windmills, carries, dips, etc.. I have found the TGU and carries to be especially helpful for paddling, I think it is the "connected tension" that has such good carryover to kayaking.
    offwidth likes this.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides StrongFirst Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    This isn't so far from S&S. How about the following changes:

    Don't do rounds, just go straight through as:

    - Goblet squats first
    - Swings (all, up to your desired volume, sets of 10 and plenty of rest)
    - Superset PP and PU: PP x 5L, PP x 5R, PU, rest then repeat up to desired volume
    - Carries optional, and when you do them, mix one- and two-handed

    Oscar likes this.
  7. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I would include some rows as supplemental unless you paddle very often.
    mjg likes this.
  8. Maine-ah KB

    Maine-ah KB Quadruple-Digit Post Count

  9. Snowman

    Snowman Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Reminds me of something @Ryan T and I were discussing.

    My suggestions would be:
    Add a bent arm ballistic of some kind, like cleans or snatches. I like snatches best, but I think it's a question of what your shoulders can handle. I think these would do something similar to rows (which could also work well), but I think the ballistics would carry over better to the repetitive nature of your target activity.

    And I'll second what @Maine-ah KB suggested. Use some back-to-back sets of ballistics, with adequate rest between sets. If sets of 8-10 add too much mass, sets of 3-5 might do the trick. It could also be worth experimenting with faster overspeed reps at moderate weight. In other words, instead of S&S on days 1 and 3, maybe do 10-30 sets of ballistics, followed by 4-10 TGUs (if the TGUs are what adds the mass, they will still be very therapeutic if you do fewer of them, at a lighter weight.). For programming the 10-30 sets of ballistics, the programs @Maine-ah KB mentioned would be a good guide.

    My experience is limited to a few SUP/canoe/kayak outings each summer, but it seems like plenty of swings and snatches always leave me well prepared for whatever the wind and water tosses my way.
  10. Davidlbn

    Davidlbn Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks Steve. I like this. Will give it a go when my shoulder twinge recovers properly.
    Going to do S&S option in the meantime
    Snowman likes this.
  11. Davidlbn

    Davidlbn Double-Digit Post Count

    Snowman likes this.

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