Anyone who fishes can tell you it’s about a lot more than sitting in a boat with your feet propped up. While we all enjoy those relaxing days on the lake, sitting and rocking on the waves, many anglers are more comfortable with heading out into the steady current of the rivers, feeling the rush of water against their waders. Though many non-fishermen believe this to be an easy task, anglers know better. The constant flow of the current requires a mindful strength and awareness. To prevent fatigue, there are a number of exercises you can do at home that will improve your form and make it easier to stay in the river longer. Today, we’ll focus on core exercises.
Abdominal muscles help keep your back in a healthy and upright position, reducing the strain placed on your low back when bracing against the current. While the thought of doing countless crunches and sit-ups may take you back to your high school years, this simple exercise can make a world of difference. Start slow with 15-30 crunches per set and do as many sets as you feel comfortable with. Remember, you want to feel some strain, but not outright pain. Over time, you’ll be able to do more crunches and maintain your ab strength.
In addition to your core abdominal muscles, you’ll want to work on your oblique abdominals. These are the muscles that run along the sides of your stomach and help you twist safely in the water. To improve your oblique abdominal strength, you’ll want to do a modified crunch or sit up. In a normal crunch position, pull your right elbow towards your left knee. Hold this position for a few seconds and release. Then, pull your left elbow towards your right knee, hold for a few seconds, and release. Repeat the exercise by alternating sides. As with any exercise, start slow and build up to more repetitions.
Stay tuned for our next post where we discuss more exercises you can do to improve your Colorado fly fishing experience!