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Five ways canoeing is great for building core strength

Canoeing is a great sport for all-round fitness, but did you know it is particularly good for your abs? We have looked at five ways they are good for improving your core strength, as well as three exercises you can try for yourself to achieve your six pack.

As canoeing involves a lot of large sweeping strokes using all three planes of motion, your entire core (obliques, abdominals and lower back) is strengthened at the same time, which gives you a great workout in a shorter space of time.

Three exercises to build core strength for canoeing

If you are thinking of picking up one of our canoes for sale and looking to strengthen your core muscles before heading out on to the water, here are three exercises you can perform to do just that:

Equipment: Ideally you will need a sandbell or a medicine ball which you are able to throw on the floor without causing damage!

Canoe Slams

Begin in a canoe position on your knees, sat back on your heels. Now, perform a rainbow slam (an overhead arc with the weight) but aim to throw the weight to the heel of your foot. Twist at your torso more to work the obliques.

Beginner – 2 sets of 10 reps with 90s rest.

Intermediate – 3 sets of 15 reps with 60 seconds rest.

Advanced – 4 sets of 20 reps with 45s rest.


Perform 5x woodchops to the left by squatting down and holding the weight by your right hip, rotating up towards the left diagonal, and then repeat 5x woodchops to the right. This exercise helps to target your core, glutes and quadriceps.

Beginner – 5 reps on each side.

Intermediate – 8 on each side.

Advanced – 10 reps on each side.

Canoe Overhead Side Bend

Again, start in the canoe position and hold your weight over your head with extended arms, and perform small and slow lateral side bends. This movement focuses on your triceps and core.

Beginner – 2 sets of 10 reps with 90s rest.

Intermediate – 3 sets of 15 reps with 60s rest.

Advanced – 4 sets of 20 reps with 45s rest.

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