For a few years now Stand Up Paddling (SUP) has been the fastest growing watersport. If you haven’t tried it, you’ve likely seen people gliding on the water, or pictures of them paddling on Instagram.
SUP is a ton of fun. It’s also a great workout that incorporates upper and lower body strength, engages your stabilizing muscles and incorporates cardio. We’ve come up with a way to supercharge your SUP workout experience with some additional moves you can do on your paddleboard.
Here’s what you’ll need: a SUP board, a paddle and water. You can do these exercises on a lake, in the ocean, or even a pool.
Here’s what to do: Do each move until you can’t perform another rep with good form. If you’re new to exercise, aim for 20 or more reps. If you’re a more seasoned fitness person strive for 30 or more. The idea is to build strength as you go, so increase your number of reps each time you do this routine.
We suggest you try this workout after a paddling session, or on a day when you’re not going for a paddle. You wouldn’t want to get caught downwind with fatigued muscles and have to find your way back.
- The Booty Builder
Works: butt, legs, abs, shoulders
Begin in a deep squat, feet hip-width apart, thighs parallel with board. Hold your paddle, palms facing down, with your hands shoulder width apart and fully extend your arms. In your starting position, your elbows will be on your knees.
Then, come up out of the squat and rise up on your toes. At the same time, lift the paddle in front of you until your arms are directly extending from your shoulders, parallel to the board.
That’s one rep. Return to start and continue.
- Shoulder Press
Works: shoulders, back, arms
Stand facing the long edge of your board, feet hip-width apart. Hold the paddle with both hands (palms facing away) gripped wider than shoulder-width apart. Fully extend your arms to press the paddle overheard. Create tension as you try to “pull” the paddle apart. Lower your arms in front of you to hip level, then repeat.
- Paddle Punch
Works: abs, arms, chest
Stand with feet wide, facing the front of your board. Hold the paddle so the blade is in water on your right side. Place your left hand near the center of your chest, grasping the top of the paddle, left elbow out. With your right hand, gripp the shaft at hip level. Push left hand straight out to punch paddle away from you, then slowly bring it back to chest. Do reps; switch sides, then repeat.
- Sit-Up Twist
Works: abs, obliques, back
Lie on your back on the board with your knees bent and feet flat on the board. Hold the paddle at your thighs, with your hands gripped wide. Engage your core to crunch up to sitting as you rotate your torso and paddle to the right side. Lay back down to return to start. Repeat on the opposite side for 1 rep.
- Sideways Push-Up
Works: arms, chest, obliques, abs, butt
This one looks like a side crunch, but most of the power actually comes from your lower hand.
Lie on your right side with your legs stacked and knees bent. Place your left palm on the board in front of your chest and your right hand on your left shoulder. Push your left hand into the board to lift your torso as high as you can in a side crunch. Lower back down to your starting position. This is one rep. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Booty Up
Works: abs, obliques
Lie face up on your board with your legs raised straight up from your hips. Grasp the board on either side of your head. Using your core muscles, lift your hips up as high as you can. Slowly lower back to start; repeat on the opposite side for 1 rep.
- Tricep Lifts
Works: shoulders, arms, chest
You’ve heard of “dips” as a common tricep exercise. This one takes it to a whole new level because you’re actually getting wet!
Start in the water on one side of the board. Face your board and place your hands about shoulder-width apart near the middle of the board. Push down until your arms are straight and life your body out of the water. Slowly lower back to your starting position. This is one rep.
- One-Sided Row
Works: abs, arms, chest, back
Sit on the board with your legs extended and knees slightly bent. Hold the paddle with the blade in the water on your right side. Place your left hand a foot down from the top of the paddle and your right hand about a foot lower than your left. Extend your arms holding the paddle away from your body. Drag the paddle through the water towards you, pulling until your elbows are at 90 degrees. This is one rep. Do your desired number of reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat. Make sure you switch the position of your hands on the opposite side.
- Legs up, Cobra
Works: arms, shoulders, abs, back, obliques, glutes
Lie facedown on your board, with your arms extended. Engage your glutes and lift your feet, chest and arms up off the board as high as you can. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together and your elbows back to create a 90-degree angle (like a cactus). Hold for a breath, then lower and return to start. This is one reap.
Now that you know the moves, it’s time to get out on the water! A quick reminder to bring proper safety equipment with you if you’re doing this workout away from shore.
Use this SUP exercise routine as often as you paddle. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Have fun!