Posted by: Helena
May 11, 2010

Helena

Getting in shape for water sports

If you haven’t already been preparing your muscles for the rigors of your favorite water sports, you will want to start right away! The muscles that we use behind the boat for waterskiing, wakeskating or wakeboarding often do not get the attention they need during those long cold winter months.

You’ve heard it your entire life and remember every spring, your core muscles play a major role in water sports. As a victim of a broken back and too many physical therapy sessions over the years, I know how important it is to keep those core muscles in check! But here I sit in early May, without having done much at all to prepare for the spring and summer wakeboarding season.  My back hurts just thinking about how sore I’m about to become.

The enjoyment we get from spending our weekends out on the water with friends and family can definitely outweigh any sore muscles, but, why not be better prepared to enjoy your waterskiing or wakeboarding season?

There are plenty of Web sites out there dedicated to helping us improve and maintain our core muscle strength. Some of the other specific muscles that we tend to neglect include our hands, forearms, and lats (latissimus dorsi  -  the large, triangular muscles that extend from under the shoulders down to the small of the back – the “wings”).

If you belong to a gym or have a home gym, you may want to consider finding machines that will allow you to mimic your boarding or skiing position and work to recreate the effort that your body goes through while the boat is pulling you.

A Wakeboard example: the lat pull down machine (overhead cable) can be used to simulate a boats’ pull on your lats, shoulders and back (and those core muscles). Stand next to the machine and pull the bar down to your hip (with your arms straight). Make sure you set the machine up with a reasonable amount of weight and work the range of motion slowly.

Ready to explore a new body of water this spring? Check out the maps on TakeMeFishing.org to locate new places to shred.

Submitted by Jeff A.
Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

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