Isaka, T., & Takahashi, K. (1996). Aerobic and anaerobic power of kayak paddlers. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 411.

The aerobic and anaerobic power of skilled and unskilled paddlers were compared. Maximal oxygen uptake was estimated from a progressive arm-cranking test. Four exercises lasting 7 and 40 seconds were used to estimate alactic and lactic power with the legs (pedalling) and arms (cranking). Alactic power was deemed to be the highest power value in the 7 sec test. Lactic power was estimated to be the average power for the 40 second test.

In skilled paddlers, there was a large arm to leg ratio of anaerobic power output. Skilled paddlers were also discriminated by muscle thickness of the biceps, abdomen, back muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings. Muscle size at those sites were highly correlated with aerobic and anaerobic power output.

The data suggest that kayaking power can be improved by training the muscles of the trunk and arm-shoulder girdle using a kayak-specific exercise mode.

Implication. Paddling and paddling-specific strength exercises could contribute to the development of upper body musculature. Benefits would not be derived from cross-training on other activities (e.g., cycling) as is advocated by several high-profile paddling coaches.

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