Stand up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, has become an extremely popular sport for anyone living or vacationing near a body of water. Why has SUP become so popular? Besides the cool name and the fact that, unlike surfing, no massive tidal waves are involved, SUP is pretty strenuous, making it an excellent workout. Here are the basics about SUP:
What is it?
Stand up paddleboarding is a sport in which you stand on a board, similar to a surfboard, and use a single paddle to travel around on the water. It first originated in the 1960s in Hawaii as a way for instructors to take photos of the tourists learning to surf. Additionally, experienced surfers found that standing on their surfboards with a paddle was an efficient way to travel further distances to catch big waves.
SUP started gaining traction as a sport in the mid-2000s, partly because it's easy to learn. Surfers, snowboarders, skiers and other athletes use SUP as a cross-training activity because it provides an awesome full-body workout.
Everyone else is catching on, too. You can rent paddleboards and take lessons at virtually any tourist spot that is located near a body of water.
How can you get fit with SUP?
While standing on a paddleboard provides excellent views, it also provides a great core workout because it takes a lot of balance to stay upright.
The body's core is composed of abdominal muscles and the small muscles in the lower back. Getting a good core workout is important for athletes because it's transferable to any sport one plays. During SUP, you must continuously adjust your body weight from one foot to the other as you paddle to maintain balance on the board on an uneven surface – the water. You might only be slightly aware of it, but the motion of paddling causes you to rotate your torso while at the same time shifting your core muscles to balance against the force of your foot on the board as you lean forward to paddle. This twisting provides an excellent core workout. Just make sure to stretch before you hit the water!
There's also a new trend emerging in paddleboard fitness – SUP yoga. As balance and a strong core are important in yoga, doing different positions on a paddleboard is taking blanace and core strength to the next level! It's not recommended for beginners in either SUP or yoga, but one can likely work up to that point.