TheGo is taking a break. This means we will not be updating our content, including events or contact details. While we hope you still get value out of our past stories, please independently check the info in case it has changed. Enjoy your next active adventure! P.S. You can still follow us on Instagram @TheGoTownsville...


Stand Up Paddleboarding training tips

Thanks to Shannon Chown from LiveWell Pain Management for sharing this article.

Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, is fast becoming one of the most popular watersports for those who want to stay above the water. Combining gains in aerobic fitness, flexibility and strength in a whole body workout while having fun; it’s easy to see why SUP is drawing such a tide of support.

But like any sport, if you’ve had a break from it, or you’re doing it for the first time, it’s amazing how sore you can be the next day (or days).

So what can the beginner to intermediate SUP participant do to enhance their performance and fun while out on the water?


Train your balance

Balance is an essential component of SUP — especially if you wish to stay on the board! It’s a good idea to exercise barefoot before you get on the board to help train the muscles of your feet and ankles. Walking barefoot along the beach can assist with this.

SUP1Train your core

A strong or functional ‘core’ is also high on the list of ‘need to haves’ and greatly improves your stability. With you abdominals, lower back and hip muscles engaged and working in synch with your arms and legs, you will move more efficiently.

Train your cardio capacity

Intelligent training will enhance your fitness and strength, which is required in an endurance activity like SUP, and decrease the risk of overuse injuries. Swimming is a great aerobic activity that will increase your cardiovascular fitness and uses movements recruiting muscles involved in SUP.

Train your strength

Training the muscles in your legs, including the quadriceps (front of your legs), hamstrings, calves (back of your legs) and gluteals (bottom muscles) will keep you in a strong stance on the board. The latissimus dorsi muscle (or ‘lats’) in your back is a prime mover for paddling, and should be trained along with the triceps, biceps, deltoids and pectorals (chest). This will give you a stronger paddle, and also help getting back on the board should (or when) you fall in the drink.

Exercises to make you a better SUP-er

Below are some exercises that target the areas mentioned above and may be modified to suit your skill level.


Arabesque Squat

Balance activities like a single-leg stance, stride stance or heel/toe stance

Standing straight arm pull down

Lat pull downs/chin ups

Plank or side plank

Of course, a generalised program will only help so much and there is no better training than the real thing! As there are many finer points to SUP I would suggest the specific skills are best taught by one of the local professionals to help you get the most out of this great sport.

Get involved

Townsville SUP Club hosts regular social paddles that are suitable for beginners. Find out more on the Townsville SUP Club Facebook page.

In the Loop also hosts sessions and hires SUP boards. Find out more here.

Also, check out the story we did on SUP Yoga:


Share this post

Shannon Chown

Shannon Chown

Shannon is the senior physiotherapist at Livewell Pain Management Centre Townsville. He graduated with a bachelor degree in physiotherapy from James Cook University and has a diverse background in sports, musculoskeletal, aged care, hospital inpatients and persistent pain conditions. He is currently completing his masters of manual therapy through the University of Western Australia and enjoys keeping fit with his family in the wonderful surrounds of Townsville.

No comments

Add yours