Exercises You Can Perform on Your Paddle Board

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, you've probably noticed that paddle boarding is a fantastic full-body workout. But did you know you can take it up a notch by incorporating some targeted exercises?

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, you've probably noticed that paddle boarding is a fantastic full-body workout. But did you know you can take it up a notch by incorporating some targeted exercises? That's right – your paddle board can double as a floating gym, offering a unique and fun way to enhance your fitness routine. Let's dive into some awesome exercises you can perform on your paddle board to boost your strength, balance, and flexibility.

1. Paddle Board Planks

plank on an inflatable paddle board

First up, let's talk about planks. Planks are a great core exercise on solid ground, but doing them on a paddle board adds an extra challenge due to the unstable surface. Here’s how to do it:

  • Position: Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the board and your feet together.
  • Execution: Engage your core, keep your back straight, and hold the position. Aim for 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your fitness level.
  • Tip: Focus on keeping the board as steady as possible. This will engage your stabilizing muscles even more.

2. Paddle Board Push-Ups

push ups on a paddle board

Push-ups are another excellent upper body exercise that becomes more effective on a paddle board. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Position: Start in the plank position described above.
  • Execution: Lower yourself down by bending your elbows, then push back up to the starting position.
  • Tip: Keep your core tight and back straight to avoid sagging or arching.

3. Paddle Board Squats

Squats on a paddle board are fantastic for working your legs and improving balance. Here's how to do them:

  • Position: Stand on your board with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Execution: Lower yourself into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, then return to standing.
  • Tip: Keep your chest up and core engaged. Try to maintain a steady board throughout the movement.

4. Paddle Board Lunges

Lunges are perfect for targeting your legs and glutes. Doing them on a paddle board also helps with balance and coordination. Here's the process:

  • Position: Start standing in the middle of your board.
  • Execution: Step one foot forward into a lunge position, lower your hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees, then return to standing. Alternate legs.
  • Tip: Focus on controlled movements to prevent the board from rocking too much.

5. Paddle Board Sit-Ups

sit ups on a paddleboard

For a killer core workout, try sit-ups on your paddle board. Here's how:

  • Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the board. Place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest.
  • Execution: Lift your upper body towards your knees, then lower back down.
  • Tip: Exhale as you lift up and inhale as you lower down, maintaining a steady pace.

6. Paddle Board Yoga

sup yoga on a paddle board

If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing but still challenging, yoga on a paddle board is the way to go. It combines the benefits of yoga with the added challenge of balance. Here are a few poses to try:

  • Downward Dog: Start in a plank position, then push your hips up and back to form an inverted V shape.
  • Warrior II: Stand with your feet wide apart, turn your front foot forward and your back foot slightly in, and bend your front knee. Extend your arms out to the sides.
  • Tree Pose: Stand on one foot and place the sole of your other foot against your inner thigh or calf. Bring your hands together in front of your chest.

7. Paddle Board Leg Raises

leg lifts on an inflatable paddle board

Leg raises are great for working your lower abs and hip flexors. Here's how to perform them on a paddle board:

  • Position: Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Execution: Lift your legs towards the sky while keeping them straight, then lower them back down without touching the board.
  • Tip: Keep your lower back pressed against the board to avoid strain.


Incorporating these exercises into your paddle boarding routine not only makes your workout more effective but also more enjoyable. Plus, the natural instability of the paddle board engages your core and stabilizing muscles more than a traditional workout on land. So next time you’re out on the water, give these exercises a try and take your fitness to the next level!

Remember, safety first – make sure you're comfortable on your paddle board before attempting these exercises. And always be aware of your surroundings.