If your lower back hurts, you might not be rotating

I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, which means I’m not qualified to diagnose your injuries or analyze your technique. That said, I learned something interesting that came into play today on my paddle workout: lower back pain and it’s reflection on technique.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly heard from experienced paddlers and coaches alike that a sore lower back during or after a paddle can be an indication that you are not rotating with your paddle stroke. Instead, you may be hinging at the hips and doing more of a dead lift or back extension stroke rather than truly rotating and engaging the hips and legs—the larger muscle groups.

I’ve heard this same thing for SUP, OC and Surfski. It’s something I’m constantly working on and a great trigger for me when I feel that lower back strain. It may be something you keep an eye on next time you feel that tender lower back during or after your paddle session.