low angle technique

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Grian
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low angle technique

Post by Grian » Sun May 14, 2017 8:44 am

I've been watching an Ivan Lawler video and wow how helpful that has been https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqXIF4ToUcE.

Can anyone advise what I'd need to think about differently using a low angle stroke?

I changed from Shuna to Camano paddles for a week in the hope it might help a shoulder hot spot that occurs when fatigued especially when paddling. The effect was amazing, maybe 5% of usual discomfort at the end of each day despite being totally unfit, but I have no idea how I should be using it correctly and how it relates to the angles/heights of limbs/hands etc that Ivan Lawler talks about.

It sounds like the way my paddle exits could also have been exacerbating the problem (am certain every part of my technique sucks, but this especially seemed relevant as he described the way it effects the shoulder blade), and I need to do so with a 'wave to the queen'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrwHulD50hc

Would be really grateful for any guidance on achieving better exit, and on low angle technique generally. And can anyone point to video of good low angle paddling example? Thanks.

Chris Bolton
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Re: low angle technique

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun May 14, 2017 8:59 am

You might find it useful to look at Greenland paddle technique, for low angle? It won't all apply with a Euro blade, but there will be ideas to think about. Most general advice on technique is focused around high angle as being more efficient - I think there may be some confusion about the meaning of efficiency, eg, 'miles per hour' or 'miles per gallon', and I've been meaning to write a post about it!

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Grian » Sun May 14, 2017 9:19 am

Thanks Chris. I hope you do write a post.

Low angle is definitely proving more 'efficient' for me since I can go longer with better form without the distraction of a hot poker in the shoulder blade.

GP might be the next step in this evolution... have been planning to arrange time with a coach to try under supervision.

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Jim » Mon May 15, 2017 10:03 pm

Just isolate the paddle angle from the mix when trying to implement the principles Ivan covers.
The key thing for almost every kind of paddling is to engage the back muscles instead of the arm muscles, the tips on rotation and using your legs properly can all be applied equally well to a low paddle angle as a high paddle angle.
For a long time I was struggling with different paddle angles on each side - I think because I paddle canoe and C1 a lot so my left hand is used to being higher than the right, it seems it is more important to paddle evenly than at a particular height. I'm probably still not paddling perfectly evenly.

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Grian » Tue May 16, 2017 10:17 am

Thanks Jim, am strongly one-sided (and have characteristic 'hod-carriers wear and tear' to right shoulder), so I will check for even-ness.

I had totally accepted this pain was a permanent feature of my paddling because it will also emerge in other activities, so it seemed inevitable but changing paddle alone has made a phenomenal difference so its worth looking into aches and pains I think, wish I had sooner!

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Chris Bolton » Tue May 16, 2017 12:45 pm

I suggest,to address your pain, that you would benefit from seeing a sports physio. I can recommend Tim Deykin at http://www.sport-med.co.uk/ (he was physio to the GB slalom team) but I suspect that you are not within a suitable distance of Stockport - in that case, have a look at the links page on the website and see if there's anyone similar.

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Grian » Tue May 16, 2017 1:26 pm

Thanks for that recommendation Chris. Its so long-established I had accepted it as the inevitable result of wear and tear, but maybe thats not the case at all, I will look for a good practitioner to see if they can help.

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Re: low angle technique

Post by rockhopper » Tue May 16, 2017 2:17 pm

Perhaps part of the trouble is that you are much stronger on one side than the other which is likely to cause problems in other sets of muscle groups. Would it be worth working on the muscles of your weaker side so that you would be more balanced and also not have to put as much strain on the stronger but more damaged side.
Also, is it worth looking at the size blade of your paddle. Chris mentioned about a Greenland paddle style but i wonder if it may be worth trying a smaller bladed paddle which would put less strain on joints and muscles.

Rog.

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Re: low angle technique

Post by Grian » Tue May 16, 2017 3:08 pm

Thanks Rog, you are right. I'm stronger, and as a result shorter, on one side, which then twists my pelvis, and so on... I had sciatica for a while and the chiropractor described what you say, squintness has all sorts of knock ons. I feel I've over dramatised this sore spot now though - it is only painful when fatigued. But then isn't that the attitude that means we end up with a chronic low level this or that...

I have a friend who is a pilates instructor and I know her work involves helping people become less asymmetric, I will get my finger out and take her up on the offer of coaching and that may help matters - and improve overall range of motion, core strength and loads of other beneficial-for-paddling outcomes. I have also purchased an epic relaxed touring paddle in lightweight carbon which seems to have a significantly smaller blade than either the Shuna or Camano, so hoping that too will help as you suggest, can't wait to receive it.

So funny, the paddle change alone had resulted in what I considered an acceptable improvement, that I could maybe increase a little with a better exit. The input here has made me re-evaluate - after all why settle for having a weak spot?! Especially when being able to keep paddling strongly could be really essential one day... Much appreciated!

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