Elevate Your Fitness Game with Paddle Boarding: Ultimate Exercises for a Killer Full-Body Workout

Paddle boarding isn't just an exhilarating way to traverse water; it's a phenomenal full-body workout that amps up your fitness game. This guide delves into a variety of paddleboarding exercises and fitness tips designed to bolster your balance, core strength, and overall fitness. So, gear up with your inflatable paddle board and dive into a top-notch workout session on the water! 

Key Highlights

  1. Warm-Up Properly: Start with arm circles, hip rotations, and leg swings to prepare your muscles for the water workout.
  2. Paddleboarding Core Exercises: Master the basic paddle for arm, shoulder, and core conditioning, and introduce planks and paddleboard push-ups for an intensified core workout.
  3. Balance Enhancement: Incorporate one-legged stances and paddleboard yoga to improve your balance and stability on the board.
  4. Lower Body Focus: Execute squats and lunges on your paddleboard to strengthen your lower body while enhancing your balancing skills.
  5. Cool Down with Stretches: Finish your session with seated forward folds, pigeon poses, chest openers, and quad stretches to relax and stretch your muscles.

sup yoga on a paddle board

Warm-Up Exercises

Before you embark on your aquatic adventure, a proper warm-up is crucial to sidestep injuries. Engage in these simple yet effective exercises to get your muscles prepped:

  • Arm Circles: Swing your arms in broad circles in both directions to warm up your shoulders.
  • Hip Circles: With feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips, rotate your hips in circles to loosen the hip joints.
  • Leg Swings: Using your paddle for support, swing each leg forward and backward to enhance leg muscle flexibility.

Before hitting the water, it's essential to warm up your body to prevent injuries. Here are some simple exercises to get your blood flowing and muscles ready: Paddle boarding health benefits or hype is a great article for those wondering about sup for health.

yoga pose on a paddle board

Paddleboarding Exercises

Now that you're warmed up, it's time to glide onto the water and integrate these exercises into your paddleboarding routine for a stellar workout:

  • The Basic Paddle: Sharpen your arms, shoulders, and core by focusing on proper paddling form. Ensure your back is straight, your core engaged, and your shoulders are doing the work. For more tips, check out our guide to stand-up paddleboarding for beginners.

  • Planks: Excellent for core strengthening and balance improvement. Transition onto your forearms and toes on the board, maintaining a straight body line. Hold, rest, and repeat.

  • Paddleboard Push-Ups: With hands on the board edges, perform push-ups to work your chest, arms, and core. Aim for 10-15 repetitions.

  • Squats: Stand with feet apart and perform squats on the board, engaging your lower body and core. Do 15-20 repetitions.

  • Lunges: Execute lunges on the board to target your legs and improve stability. Alternate legs for 10-15 repetitions each.

sup yoga on an inflatable paddle board

Balance Exercises

Boosting your balance on the paddleboard enhances paddling efficiency and fitness. Incorporate these exercises to up your balance game:

  • One-Legged Stance: Balance on one leg, switching after 10-15 seconds. This simple act significantly improves your stability on the board.

  • Paddleboard Yoga: Engage in yoga poses like Downward Dog, Warrior, or Tree Pose on your board to boost balance, flexibility, and core strength. For the daring, try poses like Crow or Headstand.

For additional tips on improving your balance, read our article on [3 balance practices to improve your SUP balance](https://www.glidesup.com/blogs/expert-advice/3-balance-practices-to-improve-your-sup-balance).
sup yoga on a hard paddle board

Cool Down and Stretch

Post-workout, it’s essential to cool down and stretch to mitigate soreness and facilitate muscle recovery. Include these stretches to wrap up your session:

  • Seated Forward Fold: Stretch your hamstrings and lower back by reaching for your toes while seated on your board.

  • Pigeon Pose: From a plank, bring one knee forward and lower your hips for a deep glute and hip flexor stretch. Switch sides after 20-30 seconds.

  • Chest Opener: Clasp your hands behind you and lift to open your chest and shoulders.

  • Quad Stretch: For balance, hold onto something while pulling one foot towards your glutes, stretching your quadriceps.

sup yoga on an inflatable paddle board


Paddleboarding is a splendid fusion of fun and fitness, offering a unique way to enhance strength and balance while basking in the beauty of the outdoors. By weaving these fitness tips and exercises into your paddleboarding routine, you'll elevate your physical conditioning and enrich your aquatic experience.

Remember to always practice safety measures and use appropriate gear, like life jackets, when out on the water. Happy paddling!