The Cure for Kayak Butt – Part II or Bretzel 2.0
Eric Boyd is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is on the Jackson Kayak Fishing Pro-Staff
In the previous article – The Cure for Kayak Butt – you were introduced to the Bretzel stretch. This is a great stretch for the anterior (front) chain of the body and if performed every day can help expose deficiencies and reduce discomfort while kayak fishing. I am now going to introduce the Bretzel 2.0. The Bretzel 2.0 is a stretch for the posterior (rear) chain. If you did not feel much while performing the Bretzel, then it is likely that Bretzel 2.0 will reveal some deficiencies that could be causing a different sort of pain.
The Bretzel and Bretzel 2.0 do not stretch any one muscle – they stretch movement patterns. Individuals may feel a stretch in the lats, glutes, hamstring, and IT band or any combination of these muscles.
Enter Bretzel 2.0
- It is best to start the Bretzel 2.0 in a room where you can align your front thigh with a wall, or a seam on the floor. Once you align your thigh with the wall or seam, you will flex your left (front) knee to 90 degrees. Your right (back) knee should be beside your front foot with your back leg flexed at 90 degrees as well.
- Next, you will place both hands about 12” in front of the front leg. The hands should be square to the front leg and you should begin feeling a stretch in the left quad, oblique, and right lat. Begin turning your shoulders so that your quad, hands, and shoulders are now square with the wall or seam on the floor. You may need to look over your left shoulder to help get your shoulders square. Now, take your weight completely off of the right hand and slide your fingers under the left hand. All weight should be on your left hand with your elbow barred out.
- Lastly, look over your left shoulder and begin to lean to your right – keeping your right elbow straight. If the elbow begins to bend, back up an inch or two and breath – then lean back to the right and go a little further. There should be no pain – but there may be some discomfort. Remember, discomfort does not cause your lack of proper breathing – but your lack of proper breathing causes the discomfort. Back up, ground your emotions, breath properly, and continue the stretch.
- Bonus – to take the Bretzel 2.0 to the next level, straighten your left (lead) leg and re-do the stretch.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
It is important to note that if you have a serious back problem, do not assume this stretch will correct the problem. It is always best to get a diagnoses first and follow doctor’s orders.