Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program. Injury may occur if exercises are not done properly. Use this website at your own risk. 502 Dragon Boat Community, Inc. or any of its members are not liable for any injury or death that may occur from participating in these exercises.
The Warm Up
The warm up is critical in any exercise plan. It gets the blood moving and the muscles ready for the stress of the workout. Don't start stretching! Those muscles are cold and tight. You can actually damage joints and ligaments by forcing your body to do more than it should.
So start by just running in place for 5 minutes. It may not seem like much but before you know it, you will be looking at the clock and wondering when it will end. Later on add some jumping jacks and some leg kicks to add some fun. Beginners can start by marching in place. The key point is to get the heart rate up and blood moving through out the body.
Remember, in every exercise program, only do what your body will let you do. Don't push it into pain, there is no gain, only injury. Please watch each video to see how to do the exercise safely.
Why do we want to do crunches? Remember the power for the dragon boat stroke is core power. So we need a strong core to paddle efficiently. Crunches train your stomach muscles to react quickly as when you move from the exit to catch. If you are not familiar with those terms watch the video at this link.
Deep Knee Bends
Deep knee bends are going to not only help with dynamic stretching but also with leg drive. To understand the importance of leg drive, watch this video from coach Pat Bradley at this link.
Beginners should only do a shallow squat and not go all the way down. As an alternative to the deep knee bend, try the reverse lunge below.
In later exercises we will add weight to build muscles to make the press powerful. Remember to only do what you can. Those joints are going let you know they have not been in those areas in a long time ;-)
Jumping Jacks help keep the heart rate up while also building strength and flexibility in the shoulders. Helps with being able to quick execute the exit of the paddle from the water and the recovery process.
If you have a shoulder injury (frozen shoulder or rotator cuff) skip this exercise!
If deep knee bends are not your thing then try the reverse lunge. This exercise is easier on the knees and inner leg muscles.
We are back focusing on core strength. The plank exercise helps with strengthening the back and stomach areas. The position also helps with the upper back and chest.
Bend Over Row
The bend over row is used to strengthen the lats and upper back. Be sure to start out with light weights. If you do not have dumb bells, use some water bottles. You should feel this in your upper back, if not you are using too much biceps.
In order to make a strong exit and set up for the catch, it starts with hip rotation. You need to be able to isolate your outside hip and rotate it forward from the Exit up to the Catch. Video coming soon. In the mean time watch this video from Pat Bradley at the link here.
With push ups we continue to build strength in our arms, chest and upper back. This exercise helps in being able to drive down on the top of the paddle as we power through the Catch, setting up, and reaching the Exit of the stroke. Being able to do lots of push ups and will help you push through the burn at the end of a race.
Welcome to my favorite exercise,,,,not! However, jump squats are going to help you have an explosive push with your legs. Remember when you press down on top of the paddle, you push back with your legs and set up to the exit position of the stroke. This is an advanced exercise, do not do this if you are just getting into working out.
Continuing the move to strength exercises, the dumbbell press will help build strength for the Exit to Catch stroke. The faster the recovery the more strokes can be made during the race!
Continuing to work the core, try the Walk Out for a much needed rest from those crunches.
Spiderman Stretch w/Rotation
Working on that flexibility, the Spiderman Stretch will help reach far forward for the catch.
Glute Bridge / Hip Raise
Did we say how important is was to have a strong core for dragon boating? Well here is another exercise to help core strength. However it also helps strength the lower back and your legs for when you are pushing on the pull of the stroke. Sorry, did I say pull, actually the press!
We are not letting that core go are we. A good alternative to warming up the same old way.
No comment. I did not select this video! But it does look good to work on that core eh!
Finally, not working the core! Well kind of. Still got to keep that balance so the core is engaged. Great exercise in helping strength in the recover.
Dumbbell bent over lat raise
Let's work on that upper back everyone. After that third race we can all feel it in the upper back. This will help make you look like a champ and not complain like a chimp!
If you ever want to be on the national team you better master this exercise. However, tryouts are with holding a medicine ball! Yes back to the core again!
Down Dog / Up Dog
Did I say we need to work our core a lot?
Time to stretch it out.
Save all that stretching for at the end of your workout. Now that your muscles are all warmed up and the blood flowing, this is the best time to work on limbering up. It is also a good cool down activity. Here is one of my favorite dragon boat stretching videos. Watch in the frame or click this link to launch a new window.