Guest Blogging with us today is Alan Sladek. Alan is a Hobie Fishing Team member, TFO Rods Pro Staffer, supporter of Heroes on the Water, works with Elite Sports Training and of course, is the owner of the multimedia kayak fishing site Kayak Bass Adventures. Alan is a good friend, great fisherman and has a burning desire to keep us healthy on and off the water.
by Alan Sladek
Three years ago I was 5’9” and weighed 208. I decided to do something about it because it was affecting multiple parts of my life: Family and Fishing. I am passionate about fitness and flexibility and what that does for you in everyday life. I appreciate Payne’s Paddle Fish for allowing me to be a guest and share some things, that when done regularly will enhance your on the water adventures. For me being out of shape and inflexible was unacceptable. I hope you can gain a few tips and put them into practice.
Many of us travel great distances to fish and we are so excited to arrive that we often time don’t think to stretch out or warm the muscles up. I know stretching is the last thing on our minds when we arrive at the water, but taking four minutes to warm up your muscles and to stretch out will pay major dividends over the course of a long day chasing the dream. These series of stretches are simple, but effective.
Pass Thru Stretch: Take your paddle and form a wide grip and begin passing the paddle over your head from front to back. Each time you pass thru you should slide your hands closer together. This will open up the shoulder and begin to warm up the muscle along with loosening up the rotator area.
Flagpole Stretch: Take a stakeout pole or a five foot piece of PVC pipe and hold it straight out in front of you. Take your right hand and place it on top and bend your head down toward your chest. This will again open your shoulders and loosen up your lateral muscles. Once you have completed with the right hand switch to the left hand.
Sampson Stretch: This is a great stretch not only for the shoulders but also opens up the hip flexor. Take the Paddle or PVC over head and go into a deep lounge. You will need to flex your butt in order to feel the stretch in your hip flexor. It is also important to try to pull the bar apart, while overhead. This will open your shoulders and get them ready for your paddle. This is my go to stretch and I perform it at the beginning, middle and end of the day. I feel that hip flexors and shoulders are the most important part of kayaking.
Air Squat: This exercise is great to loosen up your quads and get the blood pumping in your legs. To perform the exercise place your feet shoulder width apart and descend until you achieve a parallel position. Keep your weight in the heals. Perform 10 air squats and on the tenth one stay down and move side to side in the squat to loosen up the ankle. Note: If you have balance issues use the side of your trailer or the bumper of your vehicle to steady yourself while in the squat.
These stretches and pre-paddle warm ups will help you with paddle efficiency and stamina. The more you stretch the better you will feel when you come off the water. There are many great reasons to stay flexible. You will reduce the chances of straining a muscle or disc that routinely happen when turning over in bed; shoulder injuries that may be caused from lifting or reaching; lower back aches that you get from bending over or walking up or down stairs. Lastly, the ability to sit in different positions and place your body in confined spaces for long periods of time and be comfortable, Kayak’s Anyone?
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!