8 (Only Slightly Ridiculous) Exercises to Prep for a River Trip
1) Steep and Sandy Trail Climb
Take a bucket of dirt from your yard and spill it over the front steps of your office building. It’s a bit of a cleanup and your boss may not think it’s a great use of time, but the extra effort will be worth the realistic challenge of climbing a trail with uneven terrain.
2) Why’d-I-Bring-This-Much-Stuff Bag Lift
Put rocks in a duffle bag and carry it up and down your block. Make sure the rocks are packed in an awkward and uneven way. Also, include more rocks then you think you’ll need to simulate real river trip packing. Be sure to lift with your legs and not your back.
3) Paddle Boat Hip Twist
Offer to sweep your local school gym, convention center, and any ballrooms you can find. While sweeping, practice forward sweeping, back sweeping, draw sweeping, and sudden stops. This exercise doubles as community service, so it’s a win-win!
4) Stargazer Neck Roll
Training for the Stargazer is a great opportunity to sweep all the spider webs out of the high corners of your house. This exercise requires a keen eye and a long-handled duster.
5) Sharp-Eyed Eagle Spotter
Along with the Stargazer, this exercise requires attention to detail. You’ll need to challenge your skills at discerning certain patterns to simulate spotting a bald eagle in a mess of pine boughs. Go to the thrift store and stand at the end of the shirt aisle. Try to spot four polyester circa 1980’s dress shirts in three minutes. Try again with ugly Christmas sweaters.
6) Paco Pad Carry
Use a body pillow or couch cushion over your shoulder. Go to the local kid’s park and weave in and out of the jungle gym, slides, firemen’s poles, and monkey bars without hitting anything. This is just like trying to carry a Paco Pad (your sleeping pad) through trees and bushes to your camp every day. Make sure both hands are full to properly imitate an authentic on-river experience.
7) IK Shoveler Simulator
Use all that winter snow to help you train by shoveling your driveway and walkways with an inflatable kayak in mind. The key is to shovel with alternating hands. Also, take care of your neighbors’ walkways while you’re out there. It’s the nice thing to do.
8) SUP Balance Strengthener
Borrow your kid’s skateboard and a broom and head to the driveway (as seen in the lead photo). Set up an obstacle course with rocks, bags of potting soil, and lawn ornaments. Use the broom to propel yourself on the skateboard. Just like on the river, be sure to wear a helmet.
Do these moves and you’ll be super prepared for a summer river trip. Don’t mind those people gawking at you while you exercise. They are just jealous of your pending adventure.