8 (Only Slightly Ridiculous) Exercises to Prep for a River Trip

Mar 3, 2014

Ok, so you’ve signed up for a river trip this summer and you’d like to prepare your body for the coming adventure. Winter is the perfect time to prepare. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. Especially ridiculous regimens.

8 ridiculous exercises to prep you 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.

8 ridiculous exercises to prep you for a river trip

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.

8 slightly ridiculous exercises to prep for a river trip

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.

 

Related Articles:

What Not to Bring on a Rafting Trip (Ever!)

6 Must-haves for your Adventure Vacation

Ask a River God: How Can I Mentally Prepare for a Rafting Trip

Codye Reynolds
Codye is a river guide of 13 years and freelance writer. She revels in starry skies, wild rivers, water ouzel watching, and working in canyon country. She hails from Durango, Colorado, rows Idaho rivers in the summer, and spends the winter months in Madison, Wisconsin. Yes, her old car has a lot of miles on its speedometer.