What Does Hard Science Say About a SUP Workout?

Stand up paddle boarding is an enjoyable, easy to learn alternative to traditional forms of training. This study confirmed what SUP enthusiasts have known anecdotally for decades.

Here's what they did.


At Glide SUP, we've always believed in the transformative power of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) — not just as a sport but as a lifestyle. It's thrilling to see this passion validated by hard science, proving that SUP is more than just a delightful way to spend a day on the water; it's a comprehensive workout that benefits your body and mind.

dog on a paddle board

The Science Behind SUP Fitness

A groundbreaking study has recently shone a spotlight on the substantial health benefits of SUP, a sport that has captured hearts worldwide with its unique blend of adventure and tranquility. This research offers solid evidence supporting the anecdotal claims of SUP's fitness and rehabilitation advantages, which until now, had little scientific backing.

Stand-up paddleboarding is lauded for providing a full-body workout. The sport engages your glutes, legs (including hamstrings, quads, and Achilles tendons), and the entire core and trunk with isometric contractions to balance against the pull of each paddle stroke. The act of maintaining balance on the board itself is a workout, enhancing the exercise's effectiveness.

But the benefits don't stop there. SUP also offers a surprisingly rigorous aerobic workout. Many enthusiasts report being pleasantly surprised by how exhaustive they feel after a session, despite the activity's seemingly leisurely pace. It's a perfect example of how time flies when you're having fun and getting fit simultaneously.

Health Benefits Beyond the Workout

paddle board workout

The health implications of physical inactivity are well-documented, with risks ranging from Type 2 diabetes to heart disease. Regular physical activity, even in small doses, can significantly improve overall health, reducing the risk of heart disease by 43%, stroke by 29%, and high blood pressure by nearly 55%. Moreover, exercise can considerably lower the incidence of mental health issues, including Alzheimer's and depression.

The recent SUP study focused on sedentary individuals with no prior experience in the sport, aiming to evaluate the effects of SUP on fitness, strength, balance, and self-rated quality of life. The training regimen was thorough, with participants engaging in four 1-hour SUP sessions each week for 8 weeks, gradually increasing in intensity and complexity.

Unveiling the Results

The findings were nothing short of remarkable. Participants saw significant improvements in aerobic fitness, including a 23.5% increase in Vo2 Max cardiovascular output and notable anaerobic gains, with a 42% increase in anaerobic power output. The study also documented a positive impact on core strength, aerobic power, and even social relationships and overall quality of life.

Glide SUP: Pioneering Your Fitness Journey

At Glide, we're more than just manufacturers of high-quality SUP boards; we're advocates for a lifestyle that embraces adventure, fitness, and the great outdoors. This study underscores what we've known all along: SUP is an effective, enjoyable alternative to conventional exercise, offering profound benefits for both body and mind.

Our range of boards is designed with this holistic approach to wellness in mind, ensuring that whether you're a beginner or a seasoned paddler, you have the perfect platform to explore the waters and your fitness potential.


paddle board fitness

The science is clear: SUP is a comprehensive workout that enhances aerobic and anaerobic fitness, strength, balance, and overall quality of life. So, whether you're looking to improve your physical health, seeking a new adventure, or simply wanting to enjoy the beauty of nature from the water, Glide SUP is here to support your journey. Let's paddle the planet together, one stroke at a time.

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