Pad-ilates class

What is Pad-ilates?


Flexibility, stability and control for kayakers


Pad-ilates is the brainchild of Eoin Ó Conaire who is a Chartered Physiotherapist at Evidence-Based Therapy Centre. Eoin is an avid paddler and loves to get out in his kayak at every opportunity.

Pad-ilates is an eight week exercise programme that Eoin has developed to help kayakers to improve flexibility, stability and conditioning and to prevent injury and improve comfort and efficiency when paddling.


This exercise programme uses physiotherapy, Pilates and yoga techniques to identify and target the key muscle groups which become tight or weak from kayaking. In addition it isolates and builds the muscles which provide stability and control when paddling. The exercises also work on posture, body awareness and fine motor control. Over the eight weeks the aim is to incrementally increase the flexibility of the tight muscles and improve the stability and control of the core stability muscles and improve posture. This will result in:


  • Improved sitting position and comfort in the kayak (neutral spinal posture)
  • Reduction in symptoms of numb / dead legs
  • Improved trunk rotation and hamstring. calf and gluteal muscle length
  • Improved core strength and stability (allowing more efficiency and power when paddling)
  • Improved shoulder strength and stability
  • Improved balance and stability in a kayak
  • Reduced susceptibility to pain or injury from paddling

The first Pad-ilates programme was run with 11 members of Galway Kayak club in 2013 and demonstrated excellent outcomes. There were clear improvements in flexibility, stability and control. There were also notable improvements in those paddlers who suffered from numb legs! Read more about numb legs when kayaking in Eoin Ó Conaire’s blog. Since then there have been two subsequent cohorts attending for Pad-ilates with similar excellent outcomes.


Comments from the participants

“Well worthwhile, brilliant!”

“Very good”


“Really good and very helpful for my numb legs”

“Has improved my posture when in the boat”

“Would definitely sign up again!”

Pad-ilates challenge

The 2-ball balance test: How long can you balance for?

The 2-ball balance test: How long can you balance for?

Pad-ilates is also great fun and each session culminates in a “Pad-ilates challenge”. One of the most popular of these is Eoin’s “2-ball challenge”. This is a timed test to see how long you can sit on a large gym ball whilst resting your feet on a smaller gym ball. Eoin has developed this test / challenge as he noticed a correlation between stability in a racing boat and performance on this test.

Pad-ilates is suitable for all levels and disciplines of kayaking and paddles-sports. Improving your balance, control and comfort in the kayak means that you can enjoy and get more from your paddling.

Latest Developments

The latest programme has been developed further based on the findings of Eoin’s survey into kayaking injuries which confirmed that the shoulder and low back are the areas where kayakers most frequently experience pain or injury. You can read a summary of the findings here.

You can read Eoin’s blog: 9 reasons why you should consider Pad-ilates here

Our Next Programme

The Flex & Move class is not currently running. We will update the website with details when we have new dates. If you are interested in attending you can contact us via

The classes run for 8 weeks. Prices are €120 for the entire course of 8 sessions. This is discounted to €80 if you are a member of Galway Kayak Club. The introductory session costs an additional €10.

If you are interested in attending Pad-ilates in Galway, please phone Evidence-Based Therapy Centre on 091 727777 or get in touch via the contact page.