Jul 05, 2019 | By Mike Galvin

The ‘Core’ Workout

One of the biggest ‘buzz’ words we hear in the shop is how good of a ‘core workout’ Stand Up Paddling is. Absolutely can you get a damn good core workout from Stand Up Paddling. But an important but lesser known factor is how you get it.

How To Get The Best Core Workout from SUP

There are 2 main ways to get a core workout form Stand Up Paddling.

The Accidental and Not Recommended Method

The first is to get on a board that is too small for you. You can then spend more time just trying to balance and stay upright rather than actually paddling. This is the less enjoyable way of getting a core workout! And remember we do this sport/hobby because we enjoy it, not because it is hard work.

We have all seen that one person, particularly in the surf, who is wobbling around on their board and spending half their time in the water rather than on the actual board. This person is getting a great core workout when they are actually standing. But that is only part of the time. Chances are, they are also getting frustrated.

The Deliberate, Recommended Method

The second way of getting the core workout is by getting on a board you are nice and comfortable on. And then understanding how you can use the right muscle groups to paddle.

A beginner’s tendency is to stand up right with a tensed body. And then use nothing but arms to pull the paddle through the water. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and we all do it.

However this technique relies heavily on your arms, which are relatively small muscles in the scheme of the body. This means fatigue will set in quicker.

By concentrating on using the larger muscle groups in your body, you will be able to generate more power and paddle for longer. The muscle groups that you want to concentrate on include your glutes, hamstrings, quads and stomach muscles.

Move those hips baby

The first step is to use your hips to rotate. The hip on the same side as the paddle should come forward. By doing this you should create a triangle with your arms. From here the paddle goes directly down into the water and the pull should come from your hips and core coming back, rather than your arms.

Below you can see the hips are starting to rotate forward, the arms are creating a triangle and the paddle is about to enter the water.

By engaging your stomach and core muscles before starting the stroke and pulling with your hips rather than your arms, it will take all the pressure of your arms and focus on the larger muscle groups.

How Many Sit Ups?

Essentially, it’s like doing a sit up or crunch every time you take a stroke. With each stroke, you engage  and release your ‘core’ muscles. At a casual pace, a stroke takes approx. 5 seconds, that’s 20 strokes a minute or 1,200 strokes an hour. Now that’s a lot of crunches!

If you would like more information on getting the most out of your SUP core workout, give us a call on 08 9335 5636. We can organise a 1-on-1 technique lesson with one of our qualified instructors.