Body Maintenance: Shoulders and Back

As a paddler staying safe and paddling within one's own limits is important. Pushing limits is important as well if that's what is calling to you. How can you help yourself safely push your own limits? First, you have to physically be up to the task and that means some training.

The next time you power-windowshade at a play spot or land weird off a tall drop, think about how much better you'd feel if your spine was 15 years old again. A training regimen helps keep the body limber and loose as well as strong and supple, ready to spring back from a big impact or funny landing. Training won't take the years off, but it will help protect you when 'whitewater perfection' gets left behind.

Training Tips: Start slow and don't overdo it
If you don't regularly train, start by doing just a couple of exercises and stretches each time to ease into things. Take your time and listen to your body. Are you sore for more than 24 hours? Think about backing it off a little. Nutritional supplements can help speed the healing. If you start thinking of yourself as an "Athlete." instead of a 'weekend warrior...' that may be the motivational ticket to supple/stretchy success!!

Finding concise material for the 'layman' has always alluded me. I love finding tips like these!! Here are two great write-ups on shoulder and back health from Kim Russell.