A man doing a dumbbell squat and press in his living room, an important kayaking exercise used for strength and conditioning.Afognak Wilderness Lodge may be best known for its unfettered access to some of the best fishing in Alaska, but we also offer several other adventures. There are many ways to explore the Last Frontier, but perhaps none are as immersive as by kayak. Gliding along calm waters as you paddle through protected bays and inlets is sure to be unforgettable! And although kayaking in Alaska isn’t any more complicated than you might think, it never hurts to get in shape with a few exercises that will enhance your experience.

Practical Kayak Exercises for Your Alaska Lodge Vacation

Many sights and sounds found on Afognak Island simply can not be found anywhere else. It’s no surprise that so many photographers post up in our neck of the woods for seemingly endless opportunities. From sea lions to unique rock formations, you’ll want to make the most of this exciting excursion. As such, we’d like to share a few exercises that will help you prepare for an epic kayaking adventure.

Dumbbell Squat and Press

Strength and kayaking go hand-in-hand, and the dumbbell squat and press is an excellent place to start. Not only will you build lower body endurance by targeting your glutes and quads, but you’ll also improve your core stability and strength. The center of your body plays a vital role in maneuvering your arms and other appendages. The stronger your core, the less energy you’ll use in other areas of your body.

Bent-Over Row

What would a kayak exercise regime be without at least one rowing motion? Building lower back strength is just as important as building your core for developing an efficient and powerful stroke. The bent-over row exercise is a somewhat advanced technique. You’ll want to start with light weights and ensure proper form.

High & Low Wood Chop

As the name suggests, this kayak training exercise simulates a familiar wood-chopping motion. It may not seem like it, but chopping wood isn’t too dissimilar from rowing a kayak. The wood chop targets your oblique and abdominal muscles while strengthening your glutes, shoulders, and back.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a multi-faceted kayak exercise you shouldn’t ignore that combines the power of a traditional deadlift with the quickness of plyometrics. The hip movement incorporates your body’s largest muscles in an all-encompassing motion. This unique technique will work critical muscles, including your hamstrings, glutes, thighs, and abdominals.


Planking is another effective kayak exercise that will help you prepare for an Alaskan trip.The most common theme among kayaking exercises is core strength, and planking is an easy and effective way to build your abdominal muscles. As a basic isometric drill, planking may not seem very challenging, that is, until you try it for yourself! Planks are a great starting point for warming up your core, and the best part is you won’t need any weights. You’ll use nearly your entire muscular system with this simple yet effective routine.

An Alaska Lodge Vacation on Afognak Island

You can perform all of the above exercises without weights as you build strength and confidence in preparation for your Alaska kayaking adventure. The biggest takeaway is you don’t have to be a triathlete to enjoy kayaking at Afognak Wilderness Lodge. Still, you’ll be happy you conditioned your body after a day of paddling! Check out these other kayaking exercises to expand your repertoire. To learn more about the many adventures you can have on Afognak Island, please reach out to us online or call 360-799-3250 today!