Paddleboard Exercises

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A traditional Polynesian practice, paddleboarding gained popularity in Hawaii during the 1940s, providing a unique twist on surfing. Individuals stand, kneel or sit on a large surfboard-like board and use a long paddle to maintain balance and direct the board through the water. While paddleboarding alone delivers an intense aerobic workout, performing exercises on the board can further strengthen the body, forcing the targeted muscles to work extra hard to stabilize on the water's unsteady surface.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold your paddle with both hands and keep your arms extended in front of you to help with balance. Now sit down into a standard squat, lowering your trunk until your knees bend to a 90-degree angle. Slowly stand back up to the starting position, making sure not to lock your knees. Perform at least 10 reps. The exercise will strengthen your hips and tone your leg muscles.


For an intense core workout, support your entire body with only your toes and forearms contacting the board. Keep your torso straight and your back rigid. Focus on squeezing your core and glutes to sustain proper body line. Hold the plank position as long as you can, building up to 60 seconds or more. The plank will not only work the core but also strengthen your shoulders and hips. Be sure to keep your shoulders positioned directly above your elbows to avoid any potential shoulder strains.

Mountain Climber

Start in a standard push-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and your legs extended straight out behind you. Bring your right knee up towards your chest, planting your right foot on the board like a sprinter in the starting blocks. Now jump and switch leg positions in midair, pulling your left knee towards your chest and driving your right leg straight behind you. Continue alternating leg positions in the same fashion as fast as you can for up to a minute. The exercise will strengthen your legs and hip flexors.


Lie on the board with your arms overhead and your legs extended straight. Squeeze your abdominals and lift your chest off the board, rolling up into a sitting position while also lifting your legs off the board. Remain balanced in the sitting V-position, holding your arms parallel to your raised legs. Maintain the position as long as you can to strengthen the core, arms and legs.