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.
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.
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.
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: https://thegotownsville.com.au/2014/04/have-you-tried-sup-yoga/.