There’s no escaping it, the cold days of winter are in full swing. Sunset paddles are now a distant memory and the dark nights make it tricky to head out for a paddle and hone those SUP skills. Short of hopping on a plane in hunt of warmer waters we asked the team at Red Paddle Co to share how they maintain their SUP fitness during the winter months.
As it stands a few of the girls at Red Paddle Co HQ are currently in training for their first SUP race, a 9-mile paddle along the River Dart. The team of four will be paddling together on their 22ft Dragon inflatable SUP and with the help from personal trainer and team coach, Hollie Shillito, they’ve kindly shared their SUP fit secrets so you too can stay paddling fit this year. So, take it away girls…
8 SUP Fit exercises to try at home:
Paddleboarding is an awesome sport that develops overall fitness and is a great way to work out your whole body. Each exercise we’ve featured below will help to replicate the benefits of SUP, so you can build strength and fitness for when you get back on your board.
As abdominal strength is an important part of improving paddling technique we’ve selected some key core and shoulder workouts to help improve our stamina over longer distances – but they also are perfect for anyone looking to get the most out of their time on the water.
We recommend you do these exercises in a circuit. Try all 8 or mix and match 4 with 10 – 20 reps and repeat each exercise 3 – 4 times.
Paddle Squats – Works out your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
A standing squat helps to develop basic lower body strength which is key to building strength, so you can enjoy your time on the water for longer. Holding your paddle square over your head activates the back muscles as well. Increase the difficulty by holding it in a lowered position for 1-2 seconds on each rep.
Jumping Lunges – Good for building strength in your hamstrings, glutes and calves.
Begin by perfecting your static lunge then incorporate a jump as you switch legs. This is great for developing power, balance and coordination – just make sure you have enough room to jump around!
This exercise activates shoulder and back muscles that are often used in paddling, whilst engaging the core. As paddling is a very dynamic form of exercise why not add some variation here by walking out in different directions.
Press Ups – Great for strengthening chest, front of shoulders, abdominals as well as your lower back.
When paddling, all the upper body muscles are used, so this is a great exercise to include in your SUP fitness routine. Play around with variations to keep it interesting; try staggering your hands one higher up than the other and place your hands narrow or wide.
Plank T Rotations – This builds your abdominal muscles, upper and lower back muscles and shoulders.
The movement here mimics the core rotation required when paddling and it helps to develop shoulder strength. Complete equal reps on either side.
Kick through – Another great exercise that works a range of muscle groups – Shoulders, abdominals, upper and lower back and quadriceps.
This total body exercise develops core rotational strength and extension of the shoulder, required in both phases of paddling.
Side Lunges – Great for your hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves.
A great SUP fit workout which works leg muscles in a way that is more similar to paddle boarding than a standard lunge and it helps to develop balance.
SUPerman Plank – Great for working a whole range of muscles such as abdominals, upper and lower back muscles, shoulders and legs.
Moving your arms and legs away from floor creates instability and forces your core to work harder to stay stable. This is of course similar in paddle boarding; the main difference is you are standing!
That’s it. Feel free to pick and choose the best exercises suitable for your SUP fitness requirements.
Thanks so much to Hollie, Robyn, Charlie and Sam for sharing their SUP fitness routine with us. While the girls are still in the early days of training they have introduced these exercises into their weekly fitness sessions at the Red Paddle Co HQ and have also been hitting up the local bouldering wall…although we’re not too sure how much climbing gets done! Good luck at the Head of the Dart girls.