Top 4 Exercises To Build Up Core Strength For SUP

Standup paddleboarding is a popular sport, especially amongst people who reside near a water body. Despite the fact that it may seem fun and easy to do, it requires a lot of core strength and physical energy. The act of balancing a much taller paddle while staying stable on an unstable surface explains the difficult part itself.

The most challenging part of standup paddleboarding is maintaining balance. The core is the part of our body responsible for helping us do so. Strengthening the torso is extremely important to ensure that your body is stable and well balanced.

Golden Rules For SUP Training

A common mistake made when it comes to core strength training for SUP is that people tend to take up a lot of loads at the beginning of the training. This is extremely harmful as it not only increases the chances of injuries but also puts the body in immense pain.

Maintaining a proper load to rest ratio and ensuring that the load and intensity of the workout is increased gradually is the golden rule to success when it comes to core strengthening for standup paddleboarding.

Moreover, focusing on a good diet and taking of all the vital nutrients is also critical. The body must have everything it needs, as core strengthening can take a significant toll on the entire body. Warmup before the exercises and take breaks whenever the body feels too exhausted or overworked.

Core Building Exercises For SUP

Here are a few exercises that are extremely helpful in building core strength:

1. Planks:

When it comes to exercises dedicated to core strengthening, there is no better option than planks. Planks are a comprehensive form of exercise that strengthens the core and at the same time, helps with shoulders, hips, and arms as well. It is one exercise that can stabilize the entire body.

It is recommended that one alternates between different variations of planks such as side plants, raised leg planks and swiss ball planks etc. Videos and tutorials are readily available on Youtube, and one can start with simple planks and eventually increase the difficulty level and duration accordingly.

Doing planks for a few weeks will help you get better balance and reduce fatigue while paddleboarding.

2. Ab Exercises

Ab exercises are best not only to stay in shape but to prepare the body for standup paddleboarding as well. Moreover, it is a simple exercise that one can do even at home because it does not require any special equipment.

In order to work on the side oblique muscles, widen the feet apart to meet the shoulder level and lift your head up. Stay in this position for as long as possible. Once you are comfortable with holding this position, you can challenge yourself.

Add new poses and increase the duration of holding the position gradually. Initially, the abdomen area may feel tightened and hurt a bit. But as you practice and get in the habit of doing ab exercises, this may get easier, and eventually, your body will get used to it.

3. Pilate Exercises

Pilates is a very popular exercise when it comes to core strengthening. There are a number of workouts and exercises that are based around pilates, and the same is the case when it comes to standup paddleboarding.

“The Hundred” is a popular pilates pose that is preferred by standup paddle boarders. For this position, you will lay flat, bend the knees at an angle of 45 degrees and lift them above, now incorporate inhaling and exhaling with the position. Upon inhaling, the arms and knees should be raised up and they must be brought down when exhaling.

SUP ankle taps and SUP teasers are also very helpful. For the SUP ankle taps, extend the arms and legs when lying down on a board. Now curl forward and sit up while bending the knees. Hold this curled position for about thirty seconds and then go back in a relaxed position on the board.

The SUP teasers require one to hold the paddle and extend their limbs. When the paddle is lifted towards the legs, hold the core and release once the paddle is moved back. This is great for strengthening the muscles in the abdomen and enhances blood circulation in the body.

4. The Boat Pose

The boat pose is a great exercise, especially for people who are beginners. The good thing about the boat pose is that it has many variations. One can pick a style that is suitable for him and is easy for the body to adapt to. But when holding the boat pose, bear in mind that this is a core intensive exercise and the core will feel the strain.

To hold the boat pose, sit on the board and align your shins parallel to the ground. Now slightly bend your knees and lift them at a 45-degree angle. The back and the knees should be at a right angle from one another.

Once you get comfortable with this pose, you can straighten your legs, as this will add more pressure to the core. Start slow and increase the time of the boat pose as your body gets more comfortable with it.


When looking for a sport that is fun and enjoyable but at the same time, is a source of exercise and fitness as well, there is no better option other than standup paddleboarding. However, jumping straight into standup paddleboarding will do you no good.

If you really want to enjoy the SUP experience and get the maximum benefit from this sport, preparing your core and strengthening it is key. Begin with simple and small exercises and gradually work your way up.

These exercises are simple and beginner-friendly yet highly effective. Begin working on a flat surface, and when comfortable, feel free to use the board itself as the workout surface.

These exercises may seem trivial and unnecessary, but in reality, you’ll notice a clear difference in your paddleboarding experience after preparing your core.