Shannon Faulconer is a guest blogger for our monthly newsletter, providing tips on preparing your body for adventure.  She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and active member of our local Team RWB chapter.  Shannon is a Fredericksburg native and outdoor advocate who is passionate about helping people reach their physical fitness goals by giving them the tools they need to push their limits and succeed.

This month she provides our fly fishers with tips on preparing your body to get out and fish.

Fly Fishing Prep

by: Shannon Faulconer

Planning your next big fly fishing adventure?  Are you physically prepared to take on all of the challenges?  Carrying loads of equipment, walking with unsteady footing through rushing rapids where balance and core strength is a must, having to pull a kayak or canoe through water and let’s not forget about having to paddle that kayak or canoe!  A day out on the water doing what appears to be a very relaxing activity can become very tiresome if you aren’t prepared.  Have no fear, I can fix you right up with these simple exercises that are effective in building muscle strength and endurance.  Most of these can be done right in your own home!

Shoulder strengthening for those long paddles and casting your rod:

Front Lateral Raises:  4 sets x 20 reps.  Chose a weight that is a big of a challenge for you, but not so heavy that you can’t get 20 reps

Side Lateral Raises: 4 sets x 20 reps.  Chose a weight that is a big of a challenge for you, but not so heavy that you can’t get 20 reps

Shoulder presses with dumbbells: 3 sets x 20 reps.  Chose a weight that is a big of a challenge for you, but not so heavy that you can’t get 20 reps

Reverse Flyes:  3 sets x 20 reps.  Chose a comfortable weight for you.

Upright rows: 4 sets x 20 reps.  Be resourceful!!!  If you have an olmypic bar, use it!  If you don’t, you can use a broom handle and tie some weights to the end of it or you can attach resistance bands to each end.  You can also use one resistance band and place both feet on it and pull up!

Core strengthening to help you sustain the endurance needed for a long day on the water:

Crunches x 100.  You can break these up into 4 sets of 25 reps.

Leg lifts:  3 sets of 20.  You can add an extra challenge by holding an exercise ball between your feet.  Even more of a challenge would be hanging leg lifts from a pull up bar.

High and low chops:  3 sets of 20.  Any weight will do.  Make sure to engage those obliques!!!

Balance training:

Unsteady squats.  4 sets x 20 reps. Use a Bosu Ball or something similar (in my case, I have an Indo Board.  The key with this exercise is to provide your body with a challenging movement on a shaky surface.  This will also target your core.

One leg squat.  3 sets x 15 reps each leg

One leg bend overs. 3 sets x 15 reps each leg

Foot drills to help with coordination and foot placement such as cariocas, side shuffles and Heisman movements will aid in endurance and core strengthening.

Cardio for endurance:

Since you will be most likely be carrying loads of gear, the best type of training would be to toss a hiking bag on and fill it with the weight of your gear.  If you have access to a treadmill, boost that incline up to at least 12 and walk at a steady pace.  IMPORTANT!!!  DO NOT HOLD ON TO THE TREADMILL!!!  You won’t have handles to hold on to when you are out hiking around!   You can also use a stair climber with you hiking bag on if you have access to one.  Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes on that, but do not exceed 30 minutes total.  If you don’t have access to any of the equipment listed above, or you prefer to train outside, find a semi-hilly place where you can walk at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes.

If you are up for a super challenge, engage yourself in some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for about 30 minutes.  Use a 2 minute off, 1 minute on method.  For 2 minutes, keep your heart rate in the Zone 3 range, for 1 minute get it up to zone 5.  Cycle through for 30 minutes.