Although standup paddleboarding can be done in all seasons, we usually prefer getting on our SUPs in the warmer months. Now that spring is here, most of us are making plans to get back on the water on our paddleboards. To avoid injury and make your SUP experience as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to get in shape for the coming season.
Of course, stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to get in shape and also keep your fitness levels up. During a 1-hour paddle, you can burn up to 500 calories and work every muscle group in your body. However, just heading out to paddle after a period of relative inactivity could cause you an injury and delay your return to the water.
In this article, you will find our best tips on how to get in shape for spring and summer.
Strengthen your core
One of the best ways to get yourself in shape before hitting the water is to strengthen your core and back muscles. Your core is one of the most important muscle groups to help keep you more secure on a paddle board.
Some of the best ways of strengthening your core are:
- Plank pose to get your abs strong.
- Side planks to strengthen the muscles on the sides of your core.
- Dolphin poses to strengthen your shoulders, arms, and legs.
Remember, before undertaking any kind of exercise regime to get yourself checked out by a doctor or get professional advice from your local gym.
Improve cardiac performance
You should also exercise during the cooler months to improve your cardiac performance before getting on your SUP. This will allow you to do more when you are on your paddle board. You will find that you can paddle surf for longer and feel less fatigued at the end of your paddle.
Some great ways to improve your cardiac output are:
- Regular aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises will help to increase the strength of your heart and help it pump blood more efficiently.
- Lower blood pressure. Generally, exercising and staying fit lowers blood pressure anyway. But if you still have high blood pressure, speak with your physician to help get your blood pressure down. This will help to boost cardiac output.
- Jogging. Jogging helps to boost your cardiac long-term output and will boost blood flow to your vital organs and keep your skeletal muscles working effectively.
Many SUP enthusiasts make the mistake of just stretching before the get on their paddle. However, this can lead to more injuries when you put your muscles under strain while paddling.
A review of studies in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine reported that static stretching actually decreases performance and can cause micro-tears in your muscles. The review found that there is no evidence that stretching helps to reduce muscle and ligament injury.
You should use a dynamic warm-up before paddling to warm your muscles and get your body ready for the workload. A dynamic warm-up focuses on getting your cardiovascular system going and getting a full range of motion in your major muscles and joints. This will help you reduce the chance of injury on your SUP.
After you finish, you should cool down using a series of stretching exercises to free up toxins that build up in your body tissue.