Get to the Core of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

A hot trend in the exercise world is core training. You’ve seen all those plankers, I’m sure. Now I don’t know about you, but that looks boring. Really boring. If I’m going to develop my core, I need something a little, OK, a lot more exciting. If only there was a core exercise that combined my passions for the outdoors, the water and travel …

Say “Hello!” to stand up paddle boarding. Now it’s easy to work on your tan while you build your core. Core training helps develop the biggest muscle groups in your body – chest, back and abdomen. Take care of these oft-overlooked muscle groups and they’ll help take care of you.

Benefits include:

  • Helps prevent injury
  • Flattens and tightens the stomach
  • Stabilizes and aligns the spine, ribs and pelvis
  • Builds endurance and strength
  • Burns calories
  • Improves posture and balance

As with any new exercise endeavor or craze, you may not want to commit your hard-earned dollars to brand new equipment just yet. Until you’re sure it’s for you, there are cheaper, viable options. You can find quality used equipment online or visit a paddle board rental shop at your local beach or river retreat.

Use your favorite search engine to find any number of great instructional videos on the best paddling forms. When it’s time to start, you need to equip accordingly.

A beginner paddle boarder’s checklist should include:

  • A leash for your board
  • A paddle that is about 6” taller than you
  • A life jacket or personal flotation device
  • A wider, longer touring board
  • A tough, durable personal hydration device (like these tumblers)

SUP tumbler

The best part of paddle boarding is that there is no rush to master it. Your training is done in nature. You’re surrounded by beauty. Take your time to master this craft and enjoy all the sights and sounds – and health benefits – of an extended training period.

Helpful newbie hint: Sit down paddle boarding works too. The core exercise isn’t as intense, but for the balance-challenged, this is a great beginner alternative.

Sit down paddle boarding

You can gradually increase your pace and skill level to match your comfort level. Remember, not every sport has to be competitive. But if that’s the challenge you’re looking for, there are plenty of opportunities in the competitive stand up paddle boarding world. Adjust your training to meet the higher-level demand of competitive racing and you’ll know when you’re ready.

But until then, enjoy one of the most fulfilling – both physically and mentally – workouts there is. You’ll be glad you did.

Now get out there and start paddling.

PJ Butland