You have taken a great step toward improving your paddling.  I am looking forward to helping you paddle longer, stronger, and have more fun while you’re doing it.

The first lesson I’m going to share with you is to improve your flexibility.  The video below will show one thing you can start doing now to loosen those tight hamstrings, lessen back pain, increase your range of motion, and most important for you, improve your paddling.


Get your own foam roller from Power Systems



    1. Hi Ed-I don’t have a video focused solely on canoe and kayak exercises. Considering working on one though, so stay tuned.



  1. Just wanted to thank you for your advice at Canoecopia. Unfortunately, I do not own a kindle or want to purchase one so I can purchase your book. I tried to write down the excercises. Can you scan or fax the cheat sheet to me that you used at Canoecopia. Or is there some other way I can get your book. It is so coincidental that I said I need a light boat..when all I need is to streghten my 55 year young body. Thanks again

    1. Hi Marianne:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the presentation. Many of the warm up exercises can be found in this post:

      You’ll find a few of the resistance band exercises in various spots on the site too. Fortunately, you wouldn’t need to purchase Kindle or any other tablet to read my book. You can download the free Kindle Reader app with a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, Kindle, etc. right on Power to the paddle is available exclusively on at this time.



  2. Hi John, I really enjoyed your presentation at Canoecopia in Madison this last weekend. It was a great workout for this 61 yr. old grandma who LOVES to kayak up here in northern WI. I bought your book and have watched your video online. Thanks for helping get ready for another wonderful year on the water.

  3. John: These excerise are great-i havent paddled in one year hip replacement
    Jan 2014 and now want to get back in the my 14 necky manitou but am wary even
    thoughi have paddled for close to 10years if i capscise how will i get back in the
    boat. I have posted many queries to this online with only one answer- i never
    hve or wll paddle alone

    Would love your input thanks

    1. Hi Sandra:

      Thanks for the question.

      There are many excellent reentry methods, both solo and assisted, which can work for people at all levels. Which one is best for you is a question that cannot be answered through a message but instead through experiencing the methods and practicing. I would suggest that you seek a qualified instructor in your area who can take you through various scenarios and teach the proper skills. Feel free to contact me with your location and I may be able to steer you to someone I know. You can also view a list of ACA certified kayak instructors at

      Happy paddling!


  4. Hi. Have downloaded your book from kindle and love it. Have you any advice on dead feet and legs. Actually just my left leg. I have been using my foam roll twice a day. Have you any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Emma:

      Thanks for the question and the compliment. I’m pleased that you are enjoying the book. In addition to stretching and foam rolling, I have a few suggestions.

      Check the position of your legs on the seat bottom. Particularly, if the forward edge of your seat bottom is raised and placing pressure on your hamstrings you may find that contributing to the problem. If so, lower that front edge if your seat is adjustable or move yourself forward to raise your knees and bring the legs off the front edge.

      If your legs are hooked into thigh braces at the sides of your cockpit, check to see if you are resting too hard on the brace on the left side and cutting off the circulation to your leg.

      A third option would be to make sure you’re not pressing too hard on your foot pegs. You should have a natural and neutral flexion at the ankle rather than being too compressed or extended when reaching the foot pegs.

      I hope one of these options helps!


  5. After 45 minutes to an hour, my right gluteus Maximus hurts (right butt cheek) hurts. I’m 72 yrs old. Am I pinching off a nerve (sciatic)? I try to remember to do forward folds or squats prior to jumping in to the cockpit. My seat is soft foam (Necky Chatham 16).

    1. Terry:

      Thanks for the question. That can be common among paddlers. If it is a pinched nerve, regular breaks to get out and walk around at that 45-60 minute point would certainly help. I would consider adjusting the position of your foot pegs relative to your seat to see if that changes anything. Also add a daily stretching regimen for the hips and glutes.

      Happy Paddling!

  6. Hi Scott:

    Thanks for your message. When you choose the Buy Now button, you should be given the option of purchasing through Paypal or using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or Amex. Are those options not being presented?



Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.