Stand Up Paddling is indeed a sport. It’s a sport in which one practices strength, endurance and balance all whilst utilising nearly every muscle in your body. If you are implementing correct technique whilst you SUP, you will be using all of the following muscles during your performance and thus providing you with the ultimate full body workout!
CORE: Your core muscles are key to providing the power to your paddling. When implementing the ‘drive phase’ of your stroke, your core muscles are engaged and used to propel your body and your board forward towards the paddle, as opposed to the common assumption that we use our arms to pull the paddle backwards. It is this phase which will determine your speed so the stronger your abs are the more powerfully you will be able to propel yourself and your board through the water. So you are guaranteed an ABSolutely awesome core workout whenever you SUP!
UPPER BACK: You begin your paddle stroke by hinging from the hips and stretching out and lengthening your upper back to achieve ultimate reach during the ‘reach phase’ of your stroke whilst simultaneously engaging your back muscles to ensure a forceful catch during the “catch phase” of your stroke (like you are trying to spear a fish). If correct technique is being applied here then your upper back is what takes the pressure of the stroke at this stage and we guarantee that you will feel the burn in your core muscles throughout your trunk after even just one paddling session.
SHOULDERS: Although not a power source like your back & core, the shoulders play a very important role in your SUP stroke: not only do they work as a leveraging tool for your arms so that you can achieve a full extension when getting into the reach position but they also act as pivot points to gain the full range of movement needed for that perfect paddle stroke! Constant strength is required in order for your shoulders to fulfill their role, especially when engaging the entire girdle. The stronger the shoulders the stronger the stroke – so keep them shouldering on throughout your paddle!
LEG MUSCLES: Larger muscles are easy to target when training within a gym however the smaller supportive muscles around the joints are often overlooked. SUP is an endurance sport so it is important that these muscles are kept in tip top condition to avoid injury and participating in regular SUP training will achieve just that. Our quad muscles engage for each stroke in order to maintain and support correct body alignment and our glutes and hamstrings are consistently engaged to support our cores thrusting motion which propels us and our board forward in the water, similarly to how you would perform a hip thrust and or a deadlift in the gym.
ARMS: When training a larger muscle this means the smaller muscles within that group are getting a workout too. People often think that we use our arms to keep us moving when stand up paddling and although this isn’t the case, it doesn’t mean our arms aren’t benefiting from this work out too. Your biceps, tricep and even your forearms will get stronger with each stroke as you work your back & shoulders. Try doing a pull up that targets your back without engaging your biceps to test this theory!
Stand up paddling has your whole body working together, so if it’s a full body workout you want, then it’s a full body workout you shall get! Make the stunning waters of Sydney Harbour your gym this summer and achieve strength and fitness amongst nature with WATSSUP! Contact us today here.