Rowing MachineWhile a rowing machine certainly won’t provide you with a realistic sense of the power and skill required while on the rapids—rowing is an essential part of your off-season training. This is because rowing machines will help to maintain the flexibility and range of motion in the joints and smaller muscles groups of your shoulders and arms. It will even provide you with some of the core training you require.
Torso Rotation ExercisesTorso rotation is required when riding the rapids in the Yough River in Ohiopyle State Park. You will be required to twist and turn while paddling, and this is a skill you don’t want to let fall by the wayside in the off-season. When looking for gym exercises that provide you with both rotation and resistance, you have to be careful. While adding weight to a torso rotation may sound like your best bet, adding too much weight can be the source of great strain. Instead, look for exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. A few to consider include:
Side plank with a twist. Hold you side plank for a minimum of 10 seconds, then twist to thread your upper arm underneath your lower armpit. Hold for 2 seconds, and repeat at least 10 times on each side.
Also look for crunch variations that require you to twist your torso while crunching.
Dry Land PaddlingAnother excellent way to keep your white water rafting muscles in shape, is to do dry land paddling. To do this, find a box or bench that is high enough to allow you paddle clearance on each side. Use a paddle, a broomstick, or a minimally weighted bar (without weights) to practice paddling. If you opt to use a weighted bar, do fewer reps, and go in slow motion so that you do not jar your muscles. This will work your lower back, core, shoulders, and arms.
Lat Pull DownsYou must also keep your pectoral muscles and triceps strong during the offseason—and lat pull downs will help to do just that. Head to your gym to see if they have a cable machine that will allow you to perform standing lat pull downs. The key here is not to use the max weight, but instead a lower weight with many repetitions. Ensure that your knees are slightly bent, your back is straight—and that you are properly aligned from head to toe.
The exercises above can be performed in conjunction with your usual cardio to keep your body strong during the white water rafting off-season. While the current whitewater rafting season may be coming to a close, it’s never too early to start preparing for next year. Plan your next Pennsylvania rafting getaway with help from Ohiopyle Trading Post. Located in the heart of Ohiopyle State Park, the Ohiopyle Trading Post offers guided raft trips, raft rentals and more to help you plan the ultimate white water rafting vacation. While winter may be on its way, it doesn’t mean rafting has to come to an end. Start gearing up for next season, and book your next whitewater adventure with the Ohiopyle Trading Post.