Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most physically demanding types of sport, burning about 800 per hour on average. This is probably one of the reasons this water sport has risen in popularity quite fast since its introduction not so long ago. It looks easy, but it’s actually challenging. Keeping your balance on top of the board and controlling its movement are difficult tasks. You will know when you try it here in Antigua. And if you want a leg up on the competition, then you can start getting in shape BEFORE you get to the island.
That’s why you have to be fit, and being fit for SUP means having prepped up muscles. You need to have strong shoulders, arms, core, and thighs. How do you build a body suitable for this sport?
Pullups and Muscle Ups
Pull ups and muscle ups are great upper body builders. Aside from a pull up bar, you don’t need any other equipment. Pull ups are a great arm and back builder. Put your hands, shoulder width apart, on a pull up bar. Squeeze your shoulders. Raise your chin. Then grab the bar and pull yourself all the way up until your chin reaches the bar. Then slowly bring yourself down. That’s one pull up! Your goal is to get stronger at pull ups, so you would be able to do 20-30.
Pull ups are incredibly hard for beginners. Even those who have been in the gym for a while may have difficulty performing a single pull up. If this is the case, then try doing rows or doing negative pull ups.
Once you have built decent strength for pull ups, you can start progressing into muscle ups. Muscle ups don’t only build the back and biceps. They also build your triceps.
The alternatives are lat pull downs and triceps press.
Push ups/bench presses
Push ups are great triceps and chest builders, but most people can’t do a push up. That’s not a problem. Start with wall push ups and then progress to inclined push ups. Get stronger until you can do a single standard push up. The goal is to progress to 20-30 reps. After that, you can start doing variations, like diamond push ups and elevated feet push ups. But one of the most important variations is the balance push up, wherein you rest your grip on a weighted bar that also rests on a balance board. This is incredibly challenging. You will have to bring your body down and push it up while keeping the bar’s balance all throughout. This is an effective balance exercise. You will need this ability once you’re on the board over the water.
Bench press is the safer alternative.
Get stronger at regular squats. Start with air squats. The idea is to do them with proper form. Get stronger until you can do 20 air squats. Then squat with weights. Start with the weight you can squat in proper form for 8-12 reps. However, as a training for SUP, you have to practice squats whilst balancing yourself on a bosu ball. This is very difficult and should be done by beginners with caution, especially if they are squatting on a bosu ball with weights. Balancing on the ball while squatting is an excellent core trainer. Of course, the squat trains the quads.
After getting in shape and doing some SUPing at the beaches here in Antigua, you just might find out that you love this sport. Luckily, you can buy cheap iSUPs online so that you can enjoy this sport at home too.