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Expert Advice Episode 4: Shoulder strength and mobility

Your shoulders take a lot of pressure when paddling, and shoulder injuries can be debilitating for paddlers.

Remarkably, however, a little preventive work goes an incredibly long way when it comes to dealing with potential shoulder issues, and the equipment needed can be as little as a couple of cans of soup.

In this video, coach Marcus Krieger uses a pair of 3lb dumbbells to demonstrate a few simple exercises designed to improve shoulder health.

The first is based on letters of the alphabet: Take two equally light-weighted objects (3lb dumbbells or lighter, or even two cans of soup), and hold them straight out in front of you with your arms extended. Then you simply make a “Y” shape by extending your arms up and angled slightly to the sides. Then you bring your back to a bent position and extend to the side to make a “T”. Next you bring your arms back in and make a “W”.

Next in the sequence is to make an “L” simply by once again drawing in your elbows and extending your bent arms to the side.

Although we didn’t show this in the video, another good exercise is to lie on your back, take the same weights, extend your arms toward the ceiling, and make very small, subtle figure-8s using straight arms.

The trick to this series of exercises is to do them consistently, just a few minutes a day. Your shoulders will love you for it.