Conditioning Tips for Standup Paddle Boarding (SUP) By Dana Von Badinski, MS, and Mike Bracko, EdD IDEA Fitness Journal
With the popularity of SUP surging, trainers should have some exercises ready in case any of their clients have joined the craze. SUP is principally a matter of balance and paddling strength, so that’s what you train for.
When the paddle is being pulled, SUP technique involves straight elbows, a small-range-of-motion shoulder flexion, strong trunk flexion and slightly bent knees. Most of the force during the pull is generated by the rectus abdominis contracting to produce trunk flexion, while the shoulders assist with flexion.
Core endurance is important for SUP performance because the person is always vertical. Therefore, trainers should suggest vertical core exercises on stable and unstable surfaces.
Vertical Trunk/Shoulder Flexion With Rubber Tubing—Stable Surface
-Trainer holds rubber resistance as high as possible (or resistance is anchored high).
-Client holds rubber resistance with staggered hands, as if holding an SUP paddle—one hand up, one down.
-Client produces large-range-of-motion trunk flexion and small-range-of-motion shoulder flexion.
Continuous Paddling—Stable Surface
-Paddle 5 strokes on right, followed by 5 strokes on left, to emulate number of strokes taken to glide straight on water.
-Client changes hand position on each side: paddle on right—left hand up, paddle on left—right hand up.
Continuous Paddling—As if Cruising on Flat Water
-Use high tension on tubing.
-Paddle for 60 seconds; rest for 30 seconds.
-Do 5–7 sets.
-Cadence: 40–50 strokes per minute.
Continuous Paddling—Unstable Surface
-Exercise movement is same as above.
-Client stands on upside-down BOSU ball.
-Tension on rubber resistance is medium to high.