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Harness the Power of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Fitness: A Comprehensive Guide to Benefits and Workouts

Sup Fitness Dales Boats

Have you ever watched a stand-up paddleboarder gracefully skimming across the water’s surface and wondered about giving it a try? The allure of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is undeniable, but did you know that it’s more than just a fun, serene water activity? It’s also a fantastic total-body workout that enhances your fitness level while letting you enjoy the great outdoors.

The beauty of SUP fitness is its versatility. It’s a low-impact exercise suitable for people of all ages, skill levels, and fitness backgrounds. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking for a new challenge, a yogi seeking a balance-testing workout, or just someone who loves spending time on the water, SUP fitness could be your next favorite activity.

The Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding provides a broad range of health benefits. It’s a full-body workout that targets your core, legs, arms, back, and shoulders while also improving your cardiovascular health.

  • Core Strength: SUP requires you to maintain your balance on the board, which works your core muscles continuously. From your abdominals to your lower back, your entire core will feel the burn after a SUP session.

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Just like jogging or aerobics, SUP can help reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping, especially if you incorporate high-intensity intervals into your paddling.

  • Low-Impact Exercise: SUP is kind to your joints, making it a great choice for those with knee or hip issues. Despite being low-impact, it still provides a significant calorie burn, making it an effective way to manage weight.

  • Balance and Coordination: Regularly practicing SUP can greatly enhance your sense of balance and overall body coordination, skills that translate to other sports and everyday activities.

  • Stress Reduction: There’s something inherently calming about being on the water. The combination of physical activity, fresh air, and nature can significantly reduce stress and promote mental wellbeing.

Choosing the Right Paddleboard for Fitness

Before you dive into SUP fitness, it’s important to choose the right board. There are various types of paddleboards available in the market, and your choice depends on your goals and the conditions in which you’ll be paddling.

For SUP fitness and yoga, a wider and longer board may be best. They offer more stability and space to move around, which is beneficial when performing workouts or yoga poses, also  a great choice, especially for beginners, as they provide extra stability and are easy to transport and store. If speed and agility are your focus, consider a narrower, longer board designed for racing or touring.

Remember, the paddle you use is equally important. An adjustable paddle allows you to alter the length based on your height and the type of paddling you’re doing. A good starting point is to choose a paddle that’s roughly 6 to 8 inches taller than you.

Getting Started with SUP Fitness: Basic Techniques

For those new to stand up paddleboarding, mastering the basic techniques is crucial before incorporating fitness exercises into your routine. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Stand Up: Start by kneeling on the board, then stand up one foot at a time and stay in the center of the board. Keep your feet parallel, shoulder-width apart.
  • Balance: Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Look at the horizon rather than down at your board.
  • Paddle: When paddling on the right, your left hand should be on the top of the paddle and your right hand roughly halfway down the shaft, and vice versa for paddling on the left.

Practice these techniques until you feel comfortable and balanced on your board.

Integrating Fitness into Your Paddleboarding

Once you’re comfortable on your board, it’s time to add some fitness exercises to your paddleboarding routine. Here are some SUP fitness workouts to get you started:

  1. Paddle Sprints: Start by paddling slowly for 5 minutes to warm up. Then paddle as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of slow paddling. Repeat this sequence for 15-30 minutes.

  2. On-Board Exercises: Perform exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups on your paddleboard. Start with a set of 10 reps for each exercise and gradually increase as your fitness improves.

  3. Yoga on SUP: Yoga poses on a paddleboard not only work your muscles but also improve your balance and flexibility. Try simple poses such as downward dog, warrior, or tree pose. Make sure to perform the poses on both sides to maintain balance.


Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is not just a fun way to enjoy the outdoors; it’s also a powerful fitness tool. Its low-impact nature combined with the balance and strength required make it a holistic workout that caters to people of all ages and fitness levels. The physical health benefits, combined with the calming nature of being out on the water, make SUP fitness a well-rounded approach to wellness.

Remember, the key is to start slow and progress at your own pace. Everyone’s SUP journey is unique, and what matters most is that you’re out on the water, getting active, and having fun. So, why not grab a paddleboard and give SUP fitness a try?

Remember to check our online shop for all your paddleboarding needs, from boards and paddles to safety gear. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler, we have something to offer you. Stay fit, and see you on the water!