How to do a rotator cuff exercise

Rotator cuff exercises for strengthening your shoulders for paddling

Keep your shoulders strong and prevent injury while paddling by practicing these moves

Credit: ProAdeventure Photos

Shouldering the strain

The shoulders take a lot of stress in whitewater paddling. To keep hers strong, and thus less prone to injury, Canadian kayaker Sarah Boudens does a number of rotator cuff exercises, including the following one, which comes from her strength coach John Zahab. For it, you’ll need a rubber exercise band, a post and an exercise ball.

Credit: Paul Dotey

Step 1

Tie one end of the exercise band to the post, hold the other end and sit on the exercise ball far enough away that the band is under tension when your arm is straight out in front of you, palms facing down.

Credit: Paul Dotey

Step 2

Pull your arm back toward your body, keeping your elbow at shoulder height until it is bent 90 degrees.

Credit: Paul Dotey

Step 3

Once your elbow is bent 90 degrees, lift your forearm up 90 degrees until it is vertical. Slowly reverse and repeat. Start with two sets of 10 for each arm.