The morning sunrise, smell of fresh pine, clean air and silence. No were not in a yoga class, were outside Kayaking! Summer season is finally over and we hope you didn’t miss out on the best opportunity to get out and Kayak.


Kayaking is perhaps one of the best ways to develop your health and fitness without sweating your butt off in the gym. It is a fun and interactive way to get outside, see nature and above all develop some key muscles that you didn’t know you had. I remember walking around my university campus and seeing the athletes on the rowing team – man were they strong! Lean, strong leg muscles, and that beautiful V-taper back every guy is looking for. They looked like models, but all they did was sit in this tiny boat rowing along.

This made me realize that getting out in a kayak could be the best opportunity to develop the muscles and body I was looking for! I decided to get out and try kayaking for myself. I thought I would go out for a couple hours… just a gentle stroll through the water – no big deal, right? Ugh, I was totally wrong. I lasted about an hour until I had to paddle my way back to the shore. What did I just stumble upon, but the best way to develop your muscle and body parts without dealing with the gym rush.

I spoke to the kayak owner about what I had just experienced and he explained how kayaking is one of the best workouts you can do to develop a toned and muscular body. That was great, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what specific muscles were at work during a kayak ride. I decided to do a little investigation and share my finding with you! Let’s break down all the muscles involved in this full body movement.


The most obvious muscle and body parts you will develop are in your back. Long gone are the days of doing endless pullups to develop the V-taper you always dreamed of – let’s Kayak! Kayaking engages some of the largest muscles in your back. How is this possible? Your lower back muscles work to keep you upright, standing tall all day long, and in a Kayak you need to sit upright engaging the muscles of the low back. These muscles are the Erector Spinae group and Quadratus Lomborum.

One thing we must not forget is that these muscles work in conjunction with your core, helping to stabilize the body – talk about a full body workout and you haven’t even moved yet! Perhaps the largest muscles.

Kayaking will develop are the muscles of the upper back. The major muscles are the Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Posterior Deltoid and many more. The action of rowing and pulling the paddle through the water will activate your entire back.

The best part… it doesn’t feel like a workout because you’re having fun and you don’t have a guy beside you grunting while he Squats – we’ve all been there.


Getting a slim and fit body is hard enough, but developing a muscular core is something we all dream of. Fortunately, the core is a system that is constantly at work while in a Kayak. I hate doing crunches, they’re so boring! I am constantly on the lookout for exercises where I can develop my core muscle and body parts while having fun. In a Kayak you must maintain good posture and stay upright to benefit the body through core activation. One of the best ways to develop the core is by twisting.

We’ve all done a Russian twist to develop the obliques but did you ever think a Kayak would be one of the best ways to develop the core muscles? The reason we develop the core while in a Kayak is because we must slightly rotate every time we paddle, engaging the muscle and body parts on the side of your stomach. These muscles are the Obliques, Transverse abdominus and Serratus Anterior. Bonus for you, these muscles are extremely hard to develop – even in the gym! Get out and Kayak!


Looking to tone up and sculpt those shoulders? Look no further than a Kayak.

This truly is a full body workout! The shoulders work to stabilize every movement you do while Kayaking. When you Kayak you need to push the paddle into the water, pull it back, and lift it out of the water – then repeat. This is a lot of movement that is all occurring directly at the shoulder joint. The major muscle and body parts involved in these movements are the Deltoids, Infraspinatus, and Subscapularis. These are the muscles located on the front and back of your shoulder. This means you will build and tone those beautiful muscles surrounding the shoulders and upper chest. The movements involved in Kayaking will truly tone and develop your shoulder muscles.


One aspect of fitness we can’t forget about is our heart. The heart really is a muscle - a cardiac muscle. It’s a muscle that we can’t see, but feel every day. Running is perhaps one of the most common ways to develop you cardio but did you ever think of getting into a kayak? Anytime you are doing constant repetitions of a low-impact activity you will start to develop your cardio, and that’s exactly what Kayaking is.

Heart health is important for overall health and fitness – without a healthy heart the muscle and body parts you see don’t really matter. Get out and Kayak, within an hour you will burn hundreds of calories and get your much-needed cardio in, plus cardio is great for getting rid of body fat to you can see that six pack you’ve been working at!


To be honest Kayaking is one of the few activities you can do for fun and leisure that really does would your entire body. Develop your back, core, shoulders and heart muscles to improve your overall health. If you’re looking for a fun and interactive way to get outside, enjoy the sun and put in a great workout (without the gym screamer) then jump into a Kayak and get paddling! Pair this up with a small group setting full of friends and family and you’re all set for a great afternoon full of fun – developing all your target muscles and body parts!

Tim Fox a co-founder of The Elite. A blog where he and his dear friend share information about outdoor world and activities

Kelly Joyner

Hi, I'm Kelly, I'm very glad you took a few minutes of your time to check out my blog. RegularityFitness is a blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy.

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