Working out with kettlebells can improve your balance, stability, endurance and strength. To start, the two-arm kettlebell swing is one of the first movements you should master. Coincidentally, this motion perfectly mimics the hip hinge that is prominent in every paddle stroke making it a perfect exercise to help increase your power output and endurance.
How to perform:
Photo: Mitchell Mauer
1. Start-with your feet shoulder width apart.
The kettlebell should be between your feet slightly in front of your body. Your knees should be slightly bent. Once you’re in the proper position, hinge forward at the hip and grasp the kettlebell. Your palms should be facing toward your body and your torso should be almost parallel to the ground. The swinging motion is going to be pretty much the same thing as a dead lift just more explosive.
2. Bottom of Swing:
While lifting the kettlebell off the ground, allow it to pass back between your legs. Keep your back flat, neck straight, and your weight loaded over your heels. Pass the kettlebell back between your legs making sure your forearms make contact with your inner thigh.
3. The Swing:
Thrust your hips forward to propel the kettlebell to float about chest level in front of you. This is the same hip thrust motion your will be using in every paddle stroke. Make sure you are keeping your arms straight through this entire movement.
4. Top of the Swing:
To help protect your back, make sure your body snaps into a straight line. Your core should be tight and you should be pinching your shoulder blades back. At this point the kettlebell should feel weightless.
With straight arms, allow the kettlebell to swing down back through your legs. Forearms should touch the inner thigh at the end of this movement. On your last rep allow the bell to swing in between your legs. From the hinged position place it on the floor just slightly in front of you.
Photos: Mitchell Mauer
Mastering this exercise should really help you on the water and improve not only your balance and stability, but also increase your endurance and strength.
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