No matter what your thoughts on CrossFit are, we can all agree that cross training is one of the most important parts of comprehensive fitness. Swimmers go for a run, bodybuilders climb or go rowing, and, perhaps most famously, football players even take ballet classes. Increasingly, though, even professional athletes are turning to paddleboarding to give them the supplementary exercise they need. Says New Orleans Saints’ quarterback, Drew Bees, “It will make the most athletic people feel pretty stupid! Anytime you are having to just balance on the water, it’s a different animal.”
Balancing on the water requires millions of microscopic flexes from your leg and foot muscles. Think about how popular balance balls or planks have become at the gym and then just think how the same motion on a paddleboard is exaggerated by the movement of the water’s surface. Your calves and thighs will be toned up in no time at all.
Back and shoulders
Proper paddling technique has your back and shoulders working constantly. Every stroke works your lats as you pull your body forward to where you paddle catches the water. Meanwhile your shoulders are hard at work keeping your paddle firmly planted at the spot of your lunge. Regularly switching lead hands means your whole upper body will get a great workout in every session.
Aside from yoga or pilates, which of course you can do on paddleboard, even on SipaBoards’ dedicated Balance Board, SUP might be the world’s very best core workout. Not only are core muscles involved in the same stabilizing as described above, they also provide the torque necessary to turn properly into your paddle strokes. Spend a couple hours on a paddleboard every week and your abs will toned perfectly in no time.
Cardio and calories
The whole-body aspect of paddleboarding makes it a fantastic calorie burner. In fact even a leisurely paddling session will burn somewhere around 400 calories per hour, which is twice what you’d burn going for a walk for the same time. Intense paddling, meanwhile, can see you shed calories at the same rate as runners. We don’t know about you, but if given the choice between burning calories on the pavement with shoes or on the water barefoot, that’s one of those decisions that makes itself 😉
No matter what your primary fitness goals are, paddleboarding can help you reach them. You can build muscle with a board, shred fat and calories, and tone all your major muscle groups. SUP is a workout from head to toe, getting your whole body involved as you go from stroke to stroke. The best part is that you get all these benefits for your body even when you are just paddling recreationally. So forget the gym, get yourself a SipaBoard and a good friend, and go get the ultimate workout on the water. Oh, and, as an added bonus, if you still don’t think SUP is a good enough workout, you can always put the SipaDrive in backwards and try your hand at paddling AGAINST the propeller. Oh, and send us a video of that, too 😉