If you’re nervous about SUP because of your balance, strengthen your core and back muscles through planks, side planks, and even dolphin pose that target your shoulders, arms, and upper back. Before getting on the water, these exercises will help you to be more secure on the board. Another great gym workout to practice your SUP muscles is standing on the Bosu ball with the rounded part towards the floor. It may be a little scary at first as your central nervous system wakes up to activate the necessary muscles to allow you to balance. As this happens, my clients and I will often experience involuntary shifting side to side. Though it will feel strange as your body finds its equilibrium, it’s no reason to hop off. After a little bit of practice, you will be able to do air squats on the Bosu ball, and once those are too easy, try single-leg pistol squats.
With all that being said, don’t be afraid to give SUP a shot. One of the reasons it is so popular is its accessibility. Even if you have been inactive lately, you’ll find that your body will adapt quickly.
Find Your Balance
Once you are ready, mount your board and stand up straight with your feet in a wide, evenly spaced stance. Your weight should be relatively centered on the board as you maintain an upright position with your back straight. Then, maintaining this posture, you will paddle a few strokes on one side to then switch to the other if you feel you are turning. That’s it!
It doesn’t sound like much, and to watch someone do it, it doesn’t look like much. But the secret is in what is going on within your body. The work behind SUP is all isometric and resistance. Your legs and your core muscles are constantly working to keep you balanced on your board.
At first, you will feel it! Your body is working many large and small muscles to hold you upright and stabilize you, as you and your board move over the water. These movements are not favoring left or right, front or back, but working your whole body evenly.
Like any other outdoor activity stand up paddleboarding deserves respect and attention, as it challenges you both physically and mentally. The more you delve into this rich world and the more you become aware of its intricacies, and the more fulfilling it will become for you and your friends.