Dry Land SUP Training

Exercises for Better Stand Up Paddle Boarding

It is probably safe to assume that you made a New Year’s resolution or two. The act of improving yourself, making promises to do better, is part of the human condition. If you were new to stand up paddleboarding in 2014, the experience on the open water was exhilarating. But I’d be willing to wager that you discovered muscle groups that you didn’t know you had. So I thought I take a moment to help you improve your SUP training with a few dry land exercises that will improve this season’s stand up paddleboard adventure.

The following exercises are not new or even that difficult. But doing these simple moves now will greatly improve your performance the next time you are on your board.

The Old Fashioned Push-up

push-upsThis is one of those unique exercises that will illustrate just how far you have to go with your training and, once you become proficient, opens all sorts of variations. If you haven’t done this in a while, it is best to begin with your knees on the floor. This exercise works on some many muscle groups that it is possible some are better developed than others. So be patient when you begin – this or any workout regime, and if you think your doctor should know, by all means get her/his opinion.

Start out slow on this one. It is not about speed. In fact, the slower you go, even if you don’t do a large number of reps, the better the workout. With your arms extended parallel to your shoulders, slowly lower yourself to within an inch of the floor and hold for three seconds. Just as slowly, return to the original position. If you are concerned about your wrist strength, hold a small dumbbell in your hand. I will keep your wrists straight and give you a couple of extra inches to lower your body.

The benefit comes with increased shoulder, back and core strength that will give you a more fluid paddle stroke. As you become stronger, you might want to try some of these variations on this do-anywhere exercise.

The SUP Squat

squatsAlthough many sites suggest you do this basic exercise with dumbbells, I suggest you increase your balance for your next SUP experience by using your paddle.

Once again, begin slow. Extend your paddle in front of you in a standing position, With your feet 8-10 inches apart, gradually lower your body into a sitting position. The idea is to keep your weight over your heels, making sure that your knees do not extend over your toes.

As you lower your body, do it slowly and hold it when you are down. Squeeze those butt muscles (Glutes) on the way up. If you can do this for eight to ten reps, your balance and lower back muscles will thank you once you get your board in the water. You can upgrade this exercise after you get good at it by completing the return to standing with an explosive jump.

The SUP Lunge

lungesOne of the keys to a successful SUP outing is combining strength, balance and coordination. Few exercises do that better than the lunge. or most of us, this should begin slowly and gradually upgraded as you feel more comfortable.

Begin with your hands in front of you. Extend your right leg and lower the left one to a ninety degree angle. Many exercise professionals suggest that you jump from this position to left leg in front and right leg lowered. While this works the glutes and increases your balance, you should take it easy until you get the feel for your center of gravity. The reps are not as important as the time you spend. It is suggested that you do this for at least a minute, more if you aren’t doing that jump into the next position.

These exercises are basic but like so many of these suggestions, take it slow and build on your success. It is only January and for most SUPers, putting your board in the water is still months away. I’ll post additional conditioning exercises for the more experienced stand up paddle boarder but these will be the three single best moves everyone needs to make. As always, check with your doctor is you have any issues.

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