Does Kayaking Burn Belly Fat? Here’s What Experts Say

Kayaking allows you to explore nature and enjoy the sunlight among the wide open water. You will like it even more due to its benefits to your health. 

But does kayaking burn belly fat? We will focus on how this sport helps with your weight loss. Some other peaks may also get you into it. 

Let’s scroll down to find out what they are! 

Does Kayaking Burn Belly Fat? 

Yes, it helps with your weight loss. You can see it as a sport since your body will work hard to keep you moving on the water. 

You can burn about 400 to 500 calories in one hour of kayaking. Your upper body will work energetically during that period, including your belly workout. 

Using your core muscles is crucial to having a good paddling stroke. When your trunk turns properly, your oblique and abdominal muscles produce most of the force behind the paddle stroke.

The common misunderstanding is that to increase the strength of your paddle strokes; you must lean over and use more pressure during your pulling stroke.

Rather than bending the entire body, the correct paddling technique entails a slight movement of your core. 

However, since it’s a subtle change, you may not realize it even when observing your kayaking guide. The instructor may not know until you ask about the trunk spin during the lesson.

As a result of the continuous core movement, you will push your belly to work harder, burning more belly fat.  

does kayaking burn belly fat
Kayaking can help burn your belly fat.

Which Muscles Benefit From Kayaking? 

Your belly is not the only part that benefits from kayaking. You will notice you become fitter in these muscles. 


The back is basically a muscle group. Kayaking exercises your lats, upper and lower trapezius, rhomboids, and other back muscles.

The biggest muscles in your back are the lats. They contract each time you take a good forward paddling stroke.

Thanks to the energy delivered from your lower body, these muscles can assist you in pulling your arm smoothly. 

When a forward paddle stroke is complete, your rhomboids will pull your scapula back.

Then, you must pull your shoulders and focus on the rhomboid contraction to form a nice posture and correct the paddling technique. 


After hours of kayaking, many people feel their shoulders burning. During every forward stroke, the posterior deltoids pull the tip of your kayak paddle to come through the water on the stroke. 

Posterior deltoids work harder than anterior ones because many kayakers want to go forward instead of backward. You may become muscularly unbalanced as a result, increasing your risk of injury.

Many kayakers go to the gym to strengthen their anterior deltoids or find another sport. A seasoned kayaker will most likely get injured if they don’t handle this problem soon. 

Another method to help avoid injury is to form a paddler’s box. You can do it by putting your paddle’s shaft above your head. Then, the shaft and your arms will make a rectangle. 

Please note that your shoulders get tired because they work a lot. Once you can solve the problem with your anterior deltoids, you will be certain that kayaking can help your shoulder muscles. 

does kayaking burn belly fat
Your shoulder muscles are intense during the trip.

Upper arms 

When you first consider kayaking, your upper arms could likely be the muscles you want to strengthen. Fortunately, kayaking may make your triceps and biceps stronger.

Your shoulders, arms, and back are probably tied for the most frequently used muscles while kayaking. But since your triceps and biceps muscles cooperate, there is no conflict between them.

Your bicep tightens in your pulling arm as you pull one blade forward-meanwhile, your tricep contracts in your pushing arm. 

Many people call biceps and triceps the “Agonist-Antagonist” duo because of their push-pull function. Moreover, it explains why both muscle groups have a balanced, consistent workload.

Forearms and hands

Many new kayakers have problems with their hands and forearms. These parts become exhausted because they have to keep close contact with the paddles. 

However, this problem arises from a lack of experience. You don’t need to grip your paddle firmly all the time.

Instead, allow your hands to relax and loosen them sometimes, especially during a long distance. 

Consequently, your forearms and hands will convey the energy from your core, lower body, back, shoulders, and chest to your paddle.

Hence, kayaking is terrific for improving your grip strength and an excellent workout for your entire body. 

For beginners, keeping your excitement for kayaking entails avoiding wrist problems.

These accidents typically happen when you are kayaking and bending your wrists more often than letting them stay straight. 

The best remedy is to focus on maintaining straight, locked wrists. This method also helps reduce stress injuries.   


Your arms and shoulders are in charge of pulling one arm into your body.

Meanwhile, your chest muscles counteract that activity and help push the other arm away from your body. 

For example, you can sit and place one of your hands over your chest muscle on the opposite side. Then, slowly twist your torso in that direction.

As you turn, your core will move similarly to when you paddle. When the torso rotates, you can feel your chest muscles tightening actively. 

Legs and hips

When kayaking, you seldom ever consider your lower body. Nevertheless, your hips and legs are vital in transferring energy to the upper part while paddling.  

Pressing your feet against the adjustable or built-in footrests in the kayak’s cockpit is the correct kayaking form.

A perfect kayaking stroke starts at the moment when your feet touch the kayak.

Then, you will feel the energy in your legs, core, back, chest, shoulder, and arms. Kayaking will turn out to be a full-body exercise as a result.  

Heart and lungs

Kayaking may be a cardio workout if you want to make it one. Studies have found that you can burn up many calories in one hour of paddling, making it a great cardiovascular training for anyone suffering from lower-body problems. 

Read more: Shoulder Pain After Kayaking: Why and How to Prevent It

Other Benefits Of Kayaking

Kayaking will not only help with your physics but also with your mental health. Your excursions can reduce your stress level and bring you a chance to discover nature. 

Reduced stress

Stress is terrible. More terribly, it can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or job. Luckily, kayaking can help you deal with it. 

Kayaking is enjoyable in every way. You can start by enjoying the experience of sailing on the water. Nothing compares to the thrill of taking in the scenery while feeling the fresh air on your face.

Of course, listening to your paddles make contact with the water is a relaxing feeling. The practice of moving itself might help your body to release tension.

Nature exploration 

You can paddle in different spots after you master the basics of the game.

It lets you take in the scenery without spoiling it and allows you to discover both well-known sights and unknown canals.

Once you become competent in this sport, you can travel to your own country and other countries. So, try to rent a kayak for your next adventure and view those beaches. 


Kayaking can help burn your belly fat because your core works vigorously.

Besides, you can also strengthen multiple muscles. These activities make kayaking an excellent entire body workout. 

Many kayakers find themselves becoming fitter after every trip. If you want to enjoy this experience, do not hesitate! The enormous water is waiting for you.

Hopefully, this article has given you valuable information. Please get in touch with us if you need more. Thank you for reading!  

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