Dragon Boating is a physically demanding sport, guaranteed to increase your overall fitness with a combination of strength and endurance training.
But also requires an element of aerobic fitness, and a certain amount of power.
And for power, you need muscles.
While there is obviously an emphasis on upper-body strength, it does well to note that the sport actually comprises of a full-body workout.
When it comes to any kind of exercise, it is important to look after your muscles. And you’ll quickly realise that Dragon Boating works a lot of different muscles.
Besides the obvious muscles groups involved, such as the arms and shoulders, there are a lot of other muscle-groups utilised.
The most worked muscles in Dragon Boating are the following:
So how do we look after all these muscles, so they’re kept in powerful, working order?
Stretching is vital when it comes to Dragon Boating in any capacity, whether it be social, competitive or at an elite level.
And while stretching has obvious benefits in warming up your muscles before heading out on the water (sometimes in cold conditions), stretching is also a great way to decrease stress, enhance your range of motion, and improve circulation.
Stretching before and after a training session or race keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is very important – especially when using muscles in a repetitive way, such as constant paddling.
Remember, Dragon Boating is a full-body workout, so it’s really important to check with your coach and devise a warm-up and warm-down plan.
There’s nothing worse than sustaining an injury and being out for part, or all, of the season.
So what stretches can we do to keep our muscles healthy, and reduce the risk of injury?
See the image below for some basic stretches you and your team can try together, to help get your muscles warmed up before jumping in the boat!