Off Season Workouts for SUP

We're going to give you these basic exercises that you can do 2 to 3 times a week. You will be amazed how much SUP fitness you’ve maintained once the weather warms. You will also find that you are less prone to injury on your paddle board.

Let’s face it, there are lots of areas of the country that are still too cold to stand-up paddle board. You don’t want to lose that SUP fitness that you spent the rest of the year gaining.

So let us take you through some effective ways to keep your body in shape that will have you completely ready for spring paddling.


Foam Rolling

Knowing how to use a foam roller is key because after a season of SUP, your forearms, shoulders and calves are probably fairly tight.

A great way to prevent injuries to is to use the foam roller for myofascial release in these areas. Calves tend to tighten up because they are smaller muscles but critical to keeping your balance in rough waters.

Here are some excellent rolling excellent foam roller moves for your lower body. Tight forearms can be caused by gripping the paddle too tightly and can be problematic because they can lead to elbow pain.

Men’s Journal has some great mobility exercises to fix these issues. Shoulder injuries can occur when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become trapped and compressed against the acromion or roof of the shoulder, commonly affecting the supraspinatus tendon.

To roll out your shoulders and traps, try this.

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Strength and Balance Training

Because so many of the physical benefits that SUP bestows upon us are due to the fact you are using many of your muscles to propel the paddle board while you are using some less familiar muscles to balance you on the same board.

We recommend that you create a strength program that incorporates unstable platforms like: Bosu balls, Indo boards, and balance balls while you do your SUP strength training.


Bosu Ball Squats

Core strengthening SUP workout

These squats are a great place to start your workout as working your biggest muscles first will get your blood flow to warm up the smaller muscles that you will be hitting next.

These are harder than they look so we suggest having something nearby that you can grab if you start to go down until you get a feel for your balance on the Bosu Ball.

If your balance just isn’t there yet, we suggest that you start with the flat side down and squat on the ball portion. Start with bodyweight squats and shoot for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Once you have mastered the body weight squats, try doing “Goblet Squats” whereby you hold a kettlebell by the handles or a dumbbell by the top weight in front of you to really challenge yourself. The side-to-side motion of the Bosu ball mimics the motion of a paddle board incredibly well.


Stability Ball Chest Press

SUP Training


The stability ball chest press strengthens the shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles and it also requires you to engage your core for stabilization and we all know that keeping the core engaged will allow you to be more proficient on the paddleboard.

This exercise allows your triceps and chest to move through a broader range of motion than a basic floor press, targeting your chest to a greater degree. This exercise can also be done with either dumbbells or kettlebells.

Shoot for 3 sets of 10 reps. Start with a very light weight until you feel comfortable with the instability of the platform.


BOSU Shoulder Press

balance workout


This one will really test your balance and agility while working your core to the max.

Start with your arms as pictured and push the weights over your head. We recommend that you first try this with the flat side of the Bosu Ball on the ground until you are comfortable with your balance. 3 sets of 10 again.

Once you have mastered this exercise, you will be able to master any kind of rough waters on your SUP.


Woodchopper with Cable

paddle board fitness

This is a great exercise that works most of the muscles that you use to paddle your SUP. Set the cable to the highest pulley position. With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away from the tower.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and reach up with your free hand to grab the same handle. With arms fully extended, pull the handle down and across your body to your front knee while rotating your torso.

Pivot your back foot and bend your knees. Return to the start position slowly under control. Perform 3 sets of 10 on each side.


Jumping Side Squats

SUP exercises

This move will challenge your core, lower body, and sense of balance. All of which are extremely important for paddle board fitness.

It's a great combination of squats and cardio as well. Place your left foot in the center of the Bosu with your right foot parallel to your left on the floor. Bend down into a squat position, clasping your hands in front of you for balance.

In one quick motion, jump sideways to your left, over the Bosu, so your right foot replaces your left in the center of the Bosu. Your left foot should be parallel to your right but on the floor.

Keep your body low in a squat as you plant your foot on the ground. Jump back over the Bosu, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Do 3 sets of 10.



There you have it. Perform these basic exercises 2 to 3 times a week and you will be amazed how much SUP fitness you’ve maintained once the weather warms. You will also find that you are less prone to injury on your paddle board.


Related Topics

Pre-Season Paddle Board Preparation

Why Is SUP Yoga So Popular?

Beginners Guide to Stand-up Paddle Board

Can Pregnant Women SUP Safely?

Improving Your Fitness With SUP