Maui Mondays – Preparing for Kayaking the Ultimate Upper Body Workout


Do you want to prepare yourself of an upper body activity like Kayaking, take a look at this workout. The focus here is on shoulders, back, chest, arms and torso/core which are all necessary for activities involving upper body strength. Activities such as: kayaking, paddling, golf, tennis, basketball, or simply cleaning cupboards.  These exercises will help increase strength and endurance in the upper body and core.


All exercises can be performed in a variety of ways. Our suggestion to begin is to complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise.


Squat with a Chest Press

Feet are should width apart, weights in hands, can be a weighted medicine ball, or dumbbells. Begin with the weight close to your chest, begin the squat and as you are squatting press the weight straight in front of the chest, try to squat where hip and knees are parallel to the floor.  If there is pain, limit the depth of the squat to where there is no pain.  Modification: keep the ball close to chest do not press forward.


Squat with Medicine Ball Toss Overhead.

Feet shoulder width apart, medicine ball in hands, with the ball at chest level, squat and then as you come up push the ball up overhead about 6 inches and catch it in a standing position, repeat, squat and press/toss the ball up over your head. Modification: do not toss the ball.


High Plank while balancing on the Medicine Ball.

Place ball on the ground, place hands on top of the ball with fingers pointed toward the ground, extend the feet straight out and balance on your toes and hands are on the ball. Modification: balance on knees not the toes, and hands placed on the ball, or hands placed on the floor. Hold for as long as possible, repeat 3 times.


Standing Overhead Triceps Extension

In a standing or seated position, place dumbbells overhead with elbows pointed forward. Without moving the elbow position, lift the arms and push the weights up overhead. Elbows remain pointed forward through the entire exercise.


Alternating Lunge with a Side Paddle or Scoop Movement.

Standing feet parallel, step back with right foot into a lunge position, and then bring arms straight forward at chest level and scoop or sweep in downward paddle movement to the left, as if paddling a boat, return arms to chest level, step the right foot forward to the starting position and repeat with the left leg, scooping to the right.


Rainbow Lunge and Slam

Standing with feet wider than should width and sand bag in your hands, turn and face the left, arms over head, bend knees into a lunge position, knees at 90 degrees and lower into the lunge and slam the sand bag on the floor near your left foot. Immediately pick up the sand bag, stand up while bringing your straight arms up and over your head like a rainbow, turn to right, lower the body down in a lunge and slam the sand bag near the right foot. Note: there is no stepping in the exercise. The feet remain stationary, you are simply pivoting to the right, lower in to a lunge, stand and pivot the left lowering into the lunge.



The BOSU Balance Trainer is a half ball that us used to create an unstable surface in which to train for better balance, strength and stability. This exercise can be performed with or without the BOSU balance trainer.  The BOSU adds an element of in stability which will strengthen the core and assist in balance.

BOSU can be blue side or black side up, perform typical pushup. Modification: perform pushup with knees down.


Russian Twist while balancing on the BOSU

This can be performed with our without the BOSU as well. The BOSU add an increased level of difficulty.

Sit on the BOSU, legs bent and hands interlaced in front of chest, keeping feet on the floor, twist to the left and touch the BOSU with both hands and the repeat the twist to the right. Increase the level of difficulty, lift one leg, or lift both legs off the ground.


Battle Ropes Wave

The ropes are terrific for cardio and strength work for the entire upper body and core.

The WAVE, is the basic movement of using the ropes.

Standing in ¾ squat position, rope ends in hands, move arms up and down alternating left and right from shoulders to hips quickly. Goal is to get a wave in the rope from one end to the other and to keep this wave going.  Continue until fatigued.