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Red’s Guide To Improving Your Paddle Board Fitness

Posted by Luke Green

Not only is paddleboarding a great way to explore the outdoors and develop your mindfulness, it’s also perfect for keeping physically active and working on your fitness. From pumping up your board and carrying it to your launch point, to engaging all major muscle groups whist paddling, venturing out on your SUP burns more calories than you think. Staying fit will help you get the most out of your time on the water, which is why we have created this handy guide to improving your paddle board fitness!

Do You Have To Be Fit To Paddle Board?

In short, no! Paddleboarding can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. You can choose what type of paddle board adventure you go on depending on your fitness level. 

However, paddleboarding burns more calories than you might think and having a basic level of fitness will help massively. Standing up on a paddle board is no different to being able to stand up on dry land, you just need a bit more balance and core stability to do this effortlessly. When on the water itself, paddleboarding can be as relaxing or intense as you choose, similar to most other sports the harder you paddle the more challenging this will be. 

How To Improve Your Paddle Board Fitness

Whether you prefer to do all of your exercise in the water or like to mix up your fitness routine, there are plenty of different ways that you can build the confidence and paddle board fitness needed to SUP for even longer and even further. 

Try strength training

A great way to improve your paddle board fitness is strength training. You’ll use loads of your major muscle groups to maintain your balance and get power into your strokes. Splitting your strength workouts between upper body and lower body sessions is a sensible idea, as you can target the different muscles that help with paddleboarding more effectively. Try some squats and lunges to focus on your quads, hamstrings and glutes on leg day, or grab some dumbbells for a great back and shoulders workout. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of the gym, working out at home can be just as effective and there are many exercises you can do from the comfort of your living room that will improve your paddle board fitness.

Train your core

One of the elements of paddle board fitness that even the most seasoned SUP fanatics can struggle with is balance especially as you get tired. Maintaining good balance is essential for staying stood up on your board, so factor in some time to work on your core strength. You could do a quick 5 minute ab workout, or try something like pilates. Pilates works a whole range of your abdominal muscles, whilst promoting good posture and flexibility - these are all components of fitness that will help you with paddleboarding!

Don’t forget your cardio

If stamina is something you’d like to work on, make sure you add some cardio to your paddle board fitness plan. You could get out and go for a run to get your heart rate up, but keeping on your feet and walking whenever and wherever you can will still get your blood pumping. Swimming is also a great choice of cardio activity if you would prefer something slightly lower intensity. Plus, you’ll get to spend more time in the water if you choose swimming as your method of improving paddle board fitness.  

Practice, practice, practice!

Last but not least, don’t forget to actually spend time on the water! Getting out on your Red paddleboard and practicing regularly is the best way to maintain your paddle board fitness. As you start to notice how your work at home or in the gym has made a difference, slowly try new things. Sit if you need to, but gradually attempt to stand up on your board for longer to test and work on your balance or plan to go a little further each trip to boost your endurance.