The Stand Up Experience and Health Benefits
SUP is a superior core workout on both flat water and river waves. It is an ideal sport for cross-training as it brings together legs, back, feet, arms, neck and stomach muscles in a graceful display of core strength and balance. It is a sport that lends itself well to those who want a cardio, balance and strength workout. The great thing is that it can be as relaxing or as vigorous as you want to make it.
What is the benefit of Core Training, and why is SUP good for this?
Core Training is any workout that targets the muscle groups in the mid-section of our bodies, essentially joining our lower bodies to our upper bodies. Training on unbalanced surfaces is very effective for building the core muscle groups, (stomach and lower back) and for training muscles to fire in co-coordinated ways so that the benefits are immediately transferable to other dynamic sports and activities, such as swimming, as opposed to traditional resistance training where muscles are trained to work in isolated groups in a stable environment.
In sport we require our bodies to provide explosive strength while we are on the move, this is the sort of benefit you get from cross-training in a more fluid environment and this is where SUP excels. Because you have to balance on the board, you have to continuously adjust your body weight from one foot to the other, as you pull yourself forward over the paddle, you must balance this force by varying the weight on one foot or the other and this is where applying load on an unbalanced surface comes in. The Paddle Stroke has a very pronounced Torso Rotation and forward Curling Component, this occurs while balancing the force generated against your foot pressure on the board. So you get fantastic Core Strengthening combined with "intelligent muscle". The coordinated firing of neural pathways to get your muscles to contract at exactly the right amount at the right time, with the opposing muscles resisting just the correct amount, is the talent of body memory. SUP is a sport that sees beginners, develop amazing and very rewarding talent in as little as 30 minutes.
Once you work out a basic pattern of motion, pushing the Paddle through the water can be done with barely any effort at all, especially on flat water with no wind or currents. However, tremendous power can also be produced by forcing the blade of the paddle through the water more quickly. These more powerful strokes are great for getting on to river waves, for sprinting, turning quickly and for building larger stronger Muscle fibers. Like any exercise, you need to warm up first and build up your supporting muscles and strengthen the tendons and ligaments that operate across your joints before more heavy and aggressive training begins.
Warming down is also important, some gentle paddling and some light stretching is a good idea, after a SUP session. Remember to listen to your body, many injuries can be avoided just by paying attention to stiffness or discomfort in part of your body and stretching gently through this area prior to more vigorous activity.
Any activity that involves Bending or Twisting your body will benefit from Core Training, I advise that you consult your doctor before trying the sport if you have any back problems.
Anonymous SUP ADDICT