Running and cycling are both popular choices when it comes to shedding pounds and burning more calories per hour, but if don’t enjoy these types of sports, there are plenty of other options out there, such as kayaking. Calories burned kayaking flatwater is almost twice as much as the number of calories burned jogging or cycling. In fact, kayaking is a total body exercise.
Working out on the Water
One of the best ways to whip your body into shape quickly is workout out on the water. It’s one of the best ways to tax your muscle from a wider variety of angles while getting your heart pumping and burning calories much faster than you can on land.
Using the best inflatable kayak can provide an upper-body component that you just can’t get from a more traditional cardio workout. When you paddle, you’re working your upper back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. But did you know this type of water workout can also hammer your core muscles as well? The core is what’s responsible for transferring the force that’s generated from the paddle to the kayak’s hull.
While the legs remain stationary, you still have to use them to balance and turn the kayak. Tightening the muscles in your legs provides a type of isometric workout that will work to increase muscle mass over time.
Kayaking Calories Burned on Flatwater and Rough Water
As you know, kayaking is a great total body workout and one that requires power from both the legs and torso in order to propel the kayak. The number of calories burned on flatwater and in rough water conditions can depend on a number of factors including the kayaker’s body weight, muscle mass, and the duration and intensity of the paddling.
Kayaking actually ranks among the top physically demanding cardio workouts, which also includes rowing, skiing and running.
On flatwater, kayaking is considered moderately demanding, resulting in an average calorie burn of seven calories per minute. Kayaking on rough waters is considered highly demanding, offering an improved calorie burn of twelve calories a minute, which means you’ll burn almost twice the amount of calories in rougher water conditions than you will when paddling in flatwater conditions.
Other Factors to Consider
There are other factors that can affect how many calories you burn when you’re kayaking. As an example, a person who weighs more than a hundred and sixty pounds will burn one more calorie a minute compared to someone who weighs about fifty pounds less. This is because the heavier kayaker has more weight to pull in the kayak. Greater efficiency and more muscle mass will allow the body to convert food into energy, so individuals with a more muscular build can burn about ten percent more calories compared to someone with lower muscle mass or a higher fat content.
Paddling at a greater intensity or for a longer period of time can also burn more calories. When you paddle at a vigorous pace you can burn almost ten more calories a minute than the kayaker who is paddling at a much lighter pace.
How to Become a Better Kayaker
Much more than just paddling around, kayaking is an intense workout that can provide impressive results. Considering the type of complicated maneuvers, you have to do on the water, getting in shape can also make you a better kayaker. There are many exercises you can use in your kayak that will whip you into shape quickly, while cranking up the intensity of your kayak workout, but there are also exercises you can try on land that can help to strengthen important muscles that will give you the type of build that will allow you to maneuver and guide your kayak in rough waters.
Paddling a kayak in choppy waters for a longer duration will require a lot of upper-body strength, especially in the shoulders and arms. To boost the muscle mass in these areas so you can easily handle rougher waters, you can practice paddling on land as you sit on a type of elevated surface such as a workout block or bench. Your legs should be placed in front of you, in the same position they would be in if you were sitting in your kayak. You can use a weighted body bar or a traditional kayak paddle to practice proper technique for twenty to thirty minutes. Try six ten-minute sets of rowing and be sure to alternate between paddling the crosstroke on each side.
Rotating the Torso
If a kayak capsizes in rough water, you must use your upper body weight to right it. Doing so will take plenty of core strength. In order to improve core strength, lie facedown in a roman chair holding a dumbbell in each hand. Now, bend at the waist with your body at a ninety-degree angle. Your upper body should be pointing toward the ground. Hold the barbells out in front of you as you lift your upper body, twisting to the right until your body is parallel to the ground. Repeat this movement on the opposite side. This type of torso rotation combined with the resistance from the weights and gravity can totally hammer the core muscles.
Building Paddling Strength
A lat pulldown exercise that’s been modified to simulate the motions you need to use to correctly and powerfully drive the paddle through the water should be performed once or twice a week. To do, use a cable stack with the cable placed at the highest setting, with a rope attachment affixed. Contract your abs and reach up to pull the rope down using both hands. The cable should be driven the same way you would a paddle using the same type of intensity and motion. Allow the cable to return to the top of the stack before you pull it down again. Repeated this exercise twenty times.