Can Kayaking Build Muscle?

Can Kayaking Build Muscle?

When you are blessed with calm waters and ideal conditions, kayaking can seem like a fairly effortless activity. However, even the most casual of kayaking excursions can help you put your body through a rigorous workout and build some serious muscle strength and definition whilst losing weight.

Back Muscles

Operating a kayak utilises several key muscle regions throughout the body. The back muscles enjoy a particular benefit from kayaking. The muscles in this part of the body provide you with much needed power to paddle and propel yourself through the water. With each and every stroke of the paddle, you will be utilising your Latissimus Dorsi muscles, otherwise known as your Lats. These muscles undergo frequent expansion and contraction as you paddle, providing the lower part of your body with the tension it needs to provide you with a powerful stroke action. The upper back also benefits from kayaking, with your rhomboid muscles constantly utilised as your shoulders are pulled towards your spine. The large trapezius muscles of your back are also brought into play when kayaking. These muscles are essential in allowing your spine and back to move in the directions required to paddle.

Shoulder Strength

Unsurprisingly, your shoulder muscles receive a serious workout when paddling a kayak. Along with your back and arm muscles, those in your shoulder are essential in propelling your yak across the water. However, you should be weary of not overdoing it as far as these muscles concerned. If you kayak everyday, or even several times a week, you run the risk of overdeveloping certain muscles in the shoulders, such as the deltoids.

Arm Muscles

As long as you maintain good technique, kayaking can be a great way to build the muscles in your arm. Most of the key muscle groups in your arm will contract an expand when kayaking, allowing you to build them up gradually with little effort. Kayaking is a particularly effective way of building up arm muscles as paddling is a consistent exercise. However, you should ensure that you maintain proper grip of your paddles when kayaking.


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