How to warm up for paddleboarding

How to warm up for paddleboarding

April 27, 2022

HOW TO WARM UP FOR PADDLEBOARDING

REDUCE YOUR CHANCE OF INJURY BY USING THIS WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR SESSION

pumping up an inflatable paddleboard on a beach

Warming up before exercise has huge benefits in reducing muscle soreness and lessening your risk of injury, and warming up before paddleboarding is no exception. A warm-up stimulates your muscles and cardiovascular system, increasing blood flow around the body and getting it ready for the activity you are about to do.

 

Ideally, you want to be warming up the whole body with a focus on the muscle groups you will be using during your session. Save the static stretching for after your session when your muscles are already warm, and instead focus on some active exercises just before you jump on the water.

 

If you own an inflatable paddleboard you can incorporate pumping up the board as part of your warm-up. Pumping is a great way to engage the body and get the heart rate elevated. Start by pumping at a moderate pace and build on the intensity to ease you into the warm-up. Remember to keep your back nice and straight and engage your legs and hips in the movement.

 

If you don't own an inflatable you can warm up on the water by starting your session with some easy paddling. Try paddling with just enough effort to raise the heart rate slightly for 12 minutes before starting to paddle more seriously.

Reverse Lunge with Torso Twist:

Reverse lunge with twist warm up exercise for paddling
Reverse lunge with twist warm up exercise for paddling

Hold your SUP paddle out in front of you, gripping the shaft shoulder-width apart, raise the paddle over the head, and place it on the back of the shoulders for the duration of the exercise. With your right leg, step back into a lunge position, at the bottom of the lunge, twist the torso to the left, pause, then to the right. Use the heel of your front foot to push back up, and return to a standing position. Alternate legs and perform 5 times with each leg.


Alternate Hamstring Stretch:

Alternate hamstring stretch warm up exercise for paddling
Alternate hamstring stretch warm up exercise for paddling

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend forwards from your hips and let your arms fall downwards as far as is comfortable. Fold your arms across one another so your hands are touching alternative elbows, from here gently sway from side to side taking deep breaths as you do so, and allow your body to sink into the exercise. You should feel a good stretch in the hamstrings.


Wide Leg Twists:

Wide leg twists warm up exercise for paddling
Wide leg twists warm up exercise for paddling

Start with a wide-leg stance, feet pointing forwards. Bend forwards from your hips, keeping a straight back and folding your arms forwards so they touch the ground. With your arms straight, take the right arm and reach away from the ground to the sky, allowing the chest to open up, pause for a few seconds when you reach the top. You should feel a stretch in your obliques, shoulders, and chest. Return to the middle and repeat with the other arm. Perform 5 times with each arm.

Shoulder Circles:

arm circles warm up exercise for paddling
arm circles warm up exercise for paddling

Hold your arms out to the side of your body at shoulder level. With palms facing down, perform small shoulder circles in one direction for 30 seconds, change direction and go the opposite way for another 30 seconds. Next, face the palms of the hands-down and perform the same circles for 30 seconds in each direction.

On water warm-up:

Now that you have your body prepped and ready for paddling, we suggest easing into the session by completing an on-water warm-up. Start by paddling at an easy pace for 10 minuets, then complete 4 short accelerations to around 70% effort. Now your body should be reved up and ready for the session ahead.

Cooling down after a session is just as important. We recommend finishing your session with 10-12 minuets of gentle paddling followed by static stretching off the water. You'll want to focus your streches on the muscles that were used during the session. You can adapt the warm-up stretches to static stretches and include some extra shoulder, tricep and hamstring stretches into your routine for a full body stretch out.

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

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