Core Engagement

Dragonboating is a sport that requires not only a great degree of throacic/low back mobility, but also core stability. With the pelvic gurdle relatively glued to the bench while sitting in the boat and 19 other paddlers around you, it is very easy to mask any lack in core engagement through the stroke.

Any paddler can lunge forward, rotate, and “pull their blades through”/”push the boat forward”, but did their power truly generate from their core, or is there a greater dysfunction that can be corrected to produce a more efficient stroke?

This drill, mimicing rotation from a standing position where we can further add a more dynamic movement as shown in the video – as opposed to the normal seated position, can better teach an athlete how to generate power, give us another way to protect/strengthen our backs, and give the coaches another way to work with athletes outside the water.

Look for any shifting of the hips as pulling begins and change in degree of rotation in the spine prior to actual pull as indicators of whether your athlete is possibly leaking power in the boat!

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Inspired by @roydianchan 's post on anti-rotation progressions, I realized that by switching the orientation of the pulley, I could immediately mimic the movement of paddling. This exercise is a good tool for teaching stability through rotation of the stroke, and obligue and lat engagement/synchronization. Basic steps : 1) Align hips and set pulley above shoulder height 2) Start with relatively straightforward arms (like outside arm in DB) 3) Brace core and initiate movement through rotation and maintaining stiffness through trunk Note: start in order of progression as shown in video . In addition, this could be a great device for coaches to not only teach the complex movement and feel of the stroke to a new paddler/athlete but also gives the coach another tool to test/critique an athletes understanding of the stroke! — Try this by yourself or with your team and let me know how this goes! I hope to share more videos like this as I progress on my journey as a DPT student so I could continue to share what I think can be helpful for the community as I become more capable of giving more substantial information and sharing my ideas and what I learn with the public! . . Demo: @bicepbrachibry

A post shared by Paddlers, Are You Ready? (@paddlersareyouready) on

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