It seems odd to introduce John Kerschbaum here; he's been regularly featured on the Gondola Blog since it began in 2007. John was a member of the Hudson River Expedition team and has been running his own gondola operation in the Minneapolis area since 2000. Long before he got into the gondola business, John ran a tree service - trimming, removal, and a fair amount of climbing were involved. Definitely physical work - which would explain John's natural ease into rowing.
Seeking to keep things in balance and remain in the best condition possible, He has also pursued yoga, tai chi, and a few other disciplines which have made him, in my opinion, a bit of an authority on how to stretch, train, and move properly through a life of physical work.
For the last five years, John has joined our staff in Newport during the busy time around Valentine's Day. Being around a guy with his knowledge, during a time of great exertion and sore muscles, has brought about many conversations about stretching and conditioning. Last February, when John Kerschbaum was here in Newport, I cornered him with my video camera and we shot a series of clips. Some of these segments focussed on target areas relevant to rowing, others on areas that might require attention even if you don't row.
Here, in our first segment, are three video clips which focus on arms and shoulders.
First, John demonstrates a good exercise, using a simple strap:
Finally, here's an easy and effective stretching exercise for arms and shoulders, using a wall or post:
More stretching exercises will follow in future posts.
Many thanks to John Kerschbaum for these helpful demonstrations. And, of course, proceed with caution on these; you wouldn't want to injure a muscle due to over-aggressive stretching.
As many of us approach a busier time of year, I hope the demonstrations in these videos will help gondoliers perform well and acheive the level of fitness they aim for.