Benefits of Stand up Paddleboarding for Fitness
"Paddlesports are gaining a lot of steam due in part to three factors: accessibility, affordability, and approachability.”
I became a PaddleFit Certified SUP Coach over three years ago to advance my knowledge and ability around stand up paddle boarding.
Though I do NOT recommend purchasing an inexpensive paddle board Paddleboarding HAS become extremely popular for multiple reasons (trust me on this one as the durability, stability, ability to keep speed and travel in a straight direction is compromised on an expensive board).
Paddleboard is an excellent way to get physically active, experience and explore the outdoors, train your body and target important part of the body for core, stability, posture, strength, injury prevention and longevity and ageing because it works the entire Posterior Chain.
The posterior chain is comprised of the muscles of the glutes, back, abs and core (plus hips/hip flexors, low back, pelvic floor). Workouts that target the posterior chain are critical for posture, wellbeing, and balancing the body out from the overuse conditions that arise from poor positions we place our bodies in on a daily regular basis from sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer or electronic screen, and lack of physical activity and both core and total body strength.
Regular strength and weight training on land is important, but Stand up paddle boarding is such a great versatile outdoor physical activity and sport to round out that land training.
See for yourself with my Paddle Fused Fitness classes on the May River in Bluffton. Or you may sign up for private 1-1 or small group SUP classes, training sessions, or technique lessons.
You don’t need to run, bike, or spend hours on an indoor cardio machine to get in your cardio. Paddlesports like rowing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and canoeing can also increase heart and breath rate enough to qualify as moderate- to high-intensity activity (depending on how hard you push yourself). Learning the correct technique to paddle boarding will allow you to perform better and pick up your pace for an even better workout than you may get on land!
Add to that Paddle boarding is a low-impact workout and therefore a great cross-training option – especially if impact sports like running are out, or if lower-body injuries, limitations or chronic pain are an issue. You can sit, stand, or kneel on a stand up paddleboard!
Paddle boarding is a TOTAL body sport and you will absolutely be targeting your upper body – like your shoulders and mid and upper back – unlike running, cycling, or walking. HELLO SHAPELY ARMS!
Plus, the core (abdominal) and glutes (that booty) engagement necessary to power you through the water, means an excellent means to target, tone and lean those areas as well! You’ll even have to use your core for stability and balance just to keep you on the board.
Stand up paddle boarding is adaptable to all fitness levels and even those with limitations. I’ve gotten individuals on a paddle board that thought they were doomed and incapable of standing, let alone paddling at all, due to knee, back, and other ‘limitations’ they shared they had doing land workouts and exercise. Done correctly, SUP can correct and minimize chronic pain and risk of injury to these areas (due to the training of the Posterior Chain).
You can easily make paddleboarding easier or more challenging depending on the board you are on, water and weather/wind conditions, equipment, and effort put in.
Working out in the great outdoors does wonders for our bodies and minds. Nature and sunshine is important for health and wellbeing, mood, energy, mindset, and immunity.