T Nation

stroke, stroke, stroke

Ok, I got your attention… Actually this question is about canoeing. I’m in a 5 mile race in August (part of the Great Race triathalon up here in Central New York.) We’ve done well every year, but I want to really kick ass this time. Any of you t-peoples have any advice about specific exercises / lifting I should do to prepare? I have chronic rotator cuff problems and have had numerous back injuries which have inhibited my performance in the past…

Might want to do some high rep lat work. Like maybe ‘long rows’. Seriously, I’d throw in some good one arm db rows and oblique work.

Do l-flyes and rows for your rotatory cuff problems. And get a active release technique TREATMENT.

There are some pretty good rotator cuff isolation exercises which I use for a warm up before any pressing movements. I think you should try using them at the beginning of each of your upper-body workouts. Don’t go to failure or train too hard. Light weights and high reps just like any other warmup movement should be all right. I usually just do 2 or 3 sets to get the whole joint warmed up before going at it with the pressing movements. If you have already got rotator cuff problems, use them also to warm up before pulling movements, too.
There are a few variations of the same exercise and unfortunately they’re a bit hard to explain without pictures. Put your arms up at a 90 degree angle like you’re swearing in at court with both hands up. Now, without moving your upper arm back, forth, up, or down, rotate your hands down so that your forearms are parallel to the floor and still at a 90 degree angle with your upper arms. Add some really light weights and work up very slowly in weight. You really don’t need much if you concentrate on the movement. Hopefully that description helped more than it confused you. You can try a variation holding a light bar in both hands and mimicking the same movement, but I like to use the dumbells. Have I mentined to go really light? Another trick is to do it one arm at a time and rest your upper arm on the top of an inclined bench. This helps to prevent cheating and if your short like me, a regular incline bench adjusted all the way up is just the right height. Good luck and I would also recommend as someone else did that you should get the painful therapy everyone raves about these days… ART or something.
Good luck.
Gary E

what is active release treatment? have you had it? yeah yeah yeah…do a search…i will!!! but is there some personal experience out there?

Michelle: Active Release (also known as
myofascial release) works very well. I had
a rotator cuf (lifting) injury treated with
it, and made about a 99% recovery. Also some
other injuries as well, with 95-100% recovery
each time.

As far as training for stroking, er, canoeing, your going to need to build endurance more than strength, so definitely high reps and shorter rest periods. (Need to really hit the Type I fibers.) Focus on posterior and lateral delts, as well as various back movements - especially rows. Deadlifts might also help.

HAHAHAA… you cheeky minx!

Michelle, the rotator cuff excercises have really helped me. Pullups (different hand widths), barbell, and dumbell rows should hit your lats. I would do various forms of benchpresses as well.

If you have a rotator cuff problem from paddling, the main muscles you want to get ART on is the subscapularis, infraspinatus, subclavius, and the long head of the bicep. You will also need to get the A/C joint adjusted along with the cervical and thoracic vertabrae checked so they are not decreasing the neurological ability to contract the muscles. Good Luck with the race!

More specifically, infraspinatus is what I had
treated with ART.

Call Dr. John Schneider, an ART instructor. He’ll set you straight ARTwise. He’s located in the city. Look under chiropractors or call the ART referral at 719-473-7000. Tell him Tom from pa. said hi!

Michelle, i’m an ART provider with three years experience. I first heard of it 5 years ago in the old muscle media. Since it wasn’t a chirpractic mag, I took the praise a little more seriously! I signed up for a course in spring of 98. I was treated there for a chronic rotator cuff problem. I added 4 reps to my two rep max after one treatment! That a double to a set of six next workout. I have never seen such results from any other type of work.
Michael Leahy, the developer is truly a wonderful person and great guy to work with and learn from. I’ve 5 seminars and worked at four Ironman races and am constanlty amazed at our results. Art is a logical approach to soft tissue injury. it requires excellent anatomy knowledge combined with great touch. The difference between ART and other therapies is the specificty of the treatment. Sometimes a lesion in or between muscles could literally be the size of a pea. If it isn’t found and treated properly, results aren’t as good as they can be. Hope this helps a little. Any other questions, just ask.

Michelle, sorry I don’t have any advice to give. Everyone else’s seems pretty good though. I’m just wondering what part of Central New York are you from. I’ve lived in Central, Upstate, and Southern Tier New York (Oswego, Syracuse, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Binghamton) all my life.

A few years ago I had the oppurtunity to see the Swedish National Canoeteam do some pre championship training (I think it was the world champinship). They did lots of backwork, chins, cable rows, t-bar, barbell rows. Some biceps and shoulders and some massive doses for the midsektion.
They did train with a much higher tempo than “normal trainers use” and with a rep range between 20-30 (my estimate).