Session #2 Shoulder Strengthening Using a Theraband or Resistance Band
I'm currently living in snowy Sun River, Oregon where the closest paddling is a three- hour drive. I will be able to get in my boat during the winter months but a good bit of my kayaking will be replaced with skiing for the next three months. Therefore, I have decided to concentrate on an off-season training plan that will help keep me in shape for paddling. Off-season training is great because it improves performance when one is able to go paddling, reduce the time it takes one to get into paddling shape and helps reduce the chance of injury. An off-season training program can also be used as a supplemental activity during the week for a "weekend warrior."
This session is going to concentrate on the use of a Theraband to strengthen the shoulder joint. This is to be used as a preventative maintenance measure and not designed as a rehab protocol. When using the Theraband I prefer to do this workout four to five times weekly. The Theraband is also a great tool to warm up the shoulder joint before paddling. The Theraband rubber bands come in different colors for different resistance. The yellow is the least resistance then red, green, blue and black. For preventative maintenance I recommend the black band. If one doesn't have access to a Theraband, you can also use surgical tubing, bike tubes, or anything that provides resistance. You can find yoga bands in most any department store that will work.
Resistance band exercises are designed to be high rep and low impact. Therefore, one should be doing 15+ reps for each exercise listed. If you are having trouble completing 15 reps for a particular exercise then you should choose a band with less resistance. For each exercise listed one should do 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder. When using the resistance bands you need to tie or fix one end and use the other end as a handle for the exercises.
Internal rotation with the elbow next to the body
Your arm should be hanging directly next to your body, now bend at the elbow to make a 90-degree bend in your arm. In this position you will rotate your hand, inward, across your body. Pull the band across the body then slowly let the arm return to its original position. For best results keep the elbow glued close to the body. The idea is to have the shoulder joint doing the work, not the arm. The resistance band should be approximately the same height as your lower arm. Do three sets per shoulder of 15+ reps.
External rotation with the elbow next to the body
Your arm will be in the same position as exercise #1, arm next to body with a bend in the elbow. For this exercise one will rotate the hand, outward, away from the body, keeping the elbow glued next to the body. Complete 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder.
Abduction with arm bent 90-degrees at elbow
For this exercise you will have the same arm and band position as exercise #2. In this exercise you will allow your elbow to move away from your body while moving your arm and elbow in an upward movement. The elbow and upper arm should move upward to a 45-degree position, relative to the body. This is similar to a dumbbell fly movement. Again, complete 3 sets of 15+ reps per shoulder.
Internal rotation with the elbow and shoulder at the same height (this is the throwing motion)
In this exercise you will have the resistance band tied behind you and a little higher than head height. The arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow. One's elbow should be the same height as his/her shoulder. From this position rotate the hand forward until it is the same height as the shoulder and elbow. This is a similar motion to throwing a baseball.
External rotation with the elbow and shoulder at the same height
For this exercise you will stand on one end of your resistance band. The arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow with the elbow and shoulder at the same height. You will pull your hand, in an upward motion until your hand is directly over your elbow.
The resistance band is a great, simple, and cheap way for kayakers to strengthen their shoulder joints to improve performance and help prevent injury. These oversized rubber bands are an economical, effective, and portable. Pick one up and you can use it at home, car, work, or anywhere.
These websites are excellent shoulder strengthening websites.