Exercise! - White Water Rafting - anyone have experience?

04-24-2006, 01:08 PM
I am going on a rafting trip at the end of June with some (very fit, very trim) coworkers. Anyone have any experience rafting? This is an excellent motivator for getting fit (well, that and a wedding dress in May 2007), but I want to target toward the muscles used most during rafting if possible for the next couple months. Anyone a rafter or have rafted before? Wondering what muscle groups I should focus on to be in good condition before going.

Appreciate any advice...


Only Me
04-24-2006, 01:21 PM
The obvious answer is arms/shoulders, but rafting also requires a suprising amount of core and leg strength. Plus general/cardio fitness so that you can keep going all day. Sounds like a fun trip!

04-24-2006, 01:23 PM
Hey Amanda, my husband and I used to go all the time.....white water rafting takes all your muscles....especially your arms and legs. We used to have a blast and I hope you do too. This just takes work on all your muscles.


04-24-2006, 08:52 PM
It's a HOOT! Definitely a core workout!

04-25-2006, 08:33 AM
CORE!!! It really works everything, but SO much fun!! I go every year as a chaperone for our circuit wide church youth group trip. Last year we had over 100 teenagers!!! We have a blast. I'm so looking forward to this years trip! Hope you LOVE your adventure!

04-25-2006, 10:43 AM
How fun! Where are you going?
My first job was at a whitewater rafting outfitter where I grew up (it's REALLY big where I come from) and I guided for a summer before college. You know, if you are in decent shape, you should be ok (by decent, I mean no big health issues or serious physical limitations). I mean, most trips are for regualr folks and SHOULD NOT require any conditioning. If you are going to condition anything, work on your balance. If you are using your leg muscles to squeeze yourself on the raft, that can put you on an "unscheduled underwater adventure". Your feet should feel firmly planted in the raft and you should feel balanced at a slightly foward angle. You could work on your upper body to help with paddling, but if they give you a paddle, you most likely will not be using it (or making contact with the water) enough to hurt yourself. In fact, as long as you remember to lather up your upper body and upper legs with sunscree, you'll be just fine.

What kind of trip is it? Is it just a day trip? What river? I can tell you by the river if it will be a higher cfs or not. I wouldn't worry- your coworkers may be "fit and trim", but they probably are just as likely to fall out as anyone else.

You will have a blast!!!

04-25-2006, 02:40 PM
A little more detail. The trip will be on the American River in CA - the "very fit" coworkers are not only very fit, but one is a rafting guide on the weekends (how is THAT for non-intimidating) and they just rafted down the Grand Canyon for 3 weeks, so they are -very- experienced. This is what is making me think this won't necessarily be a "beginner" oriented trip - its going to be guided by the coworker's husband that is a guide. And I am very concerned about not making myself look like an idiot (not to mention an out of shape, fat idiot...:-) )

We are doing one full day trip, then a half day the next day before a little wine tasting excursion.

thanks for the input, all.


04-25-2006, 04:35 PM
You should feel lucky- you will be with experienced people that can help to keep you safe:)

if you are rafting the North Fork of the river, you may want to reconsider as it's running at a class IV-V. The lower forks only go up to III, so that tells you that you will see some good whitewater, but it won't be too crazy. Consider this: If it's above a class IV (at least in Colorado), the authorities won't let commercial companies on the river. Rafting is a lot of fun. Unless you are actually rafting the Grand Canyon, you don't need any extra technical experience. One of the things that I love about it is that just about anyone can do it- even Class III and IV's. Me, the fat girl in high school, was a guide! I loved watching random tourists who could barely get themselves on the raft be completely thrilled by the experienced. I think it's great you will be going with more experienced people. It tells me that they wouldn't put you in any great danger;) .

04-25-2006, 05:07 PM
Got more information today - we'll be doing the lower forks of the American, so we'll only be hitting Class III - which means nothing to me, but apparently isn't too scary. I'm glad to be going with experienced people too - and my fiance LOVES rafting and has been trying to convince me to go for a while, so there you have it.

I also love the added push this is giving me in my workouts. I'm thinking about the work this will be and getting myself to a point where i'll be able to get out of bed on day two and raft again.

thanks to everyone for the advice/information! glad to know i'm not going to look like an oaf without being in perfect physical condition.