Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Workout by Jami Lower


Sunset Stand-Up Paddle BoardingThere is no question why Stand Up Paddle (SUP) is the newest craze to hit outdoor fitness. It is fun, effective, cool and on the water.  Performing exercises on a SUP on the water allows you to improve your balance and core, perform bodyweight exercises, and enjoy a relaxing and fun environment.   Functional training at its best, SUP is a great way to stay fit, get outside, and have fun this summer!


The following SUP exercises are sure to keep your body moving, working, and looking beach worthy while enjoying all that an island like Nantucket has to offer!  Just remember, keep your focus, have some fun, wear sunscreen. The worst (or best?) thing that could happen is you will get to go for a swim!  Not a bad way to spend a workout!

Basic Standing Lunge (Focus: Legs, Core)

Basic Standing LungeStand at the center of your board with feet hips width apart.  Using your paddle for balance, put your right foot forward into a lunge position. Engage your core, stand up tall and strong through the shoulder and slowly lower into a stationary lunge.  Slowly return to beginning position and repeat.  Aim for 3 sets of 12 each leg.

Benefits: This move will challenge your balance as the surface is unstable and will force you to concentrate more on keeping your abs engaged and posturally in line.

Moving Plank (Focus: shoulders, arms, legs and abs)

Lower Plank

Moving your paddle to the center of your board, carefully lower your body into basic plank position (elbows directly under shoulders). Engage abs as you carefully walk your right hand up to a push-up position, then your left until you are in a full push-up position. Next, slowly lower each right hand back down to plank. Do the same with your left hand, and repeat that cycle for two sets (one set is complete when you finish the transition from plank, to push-up position, and back to plank).

Benefits: Working your arms and deep core, the movements will cause your board to rock slightly from side to side adding benefits from the ocean to provide a deeper more intense abdominal workout.

Single Leg Squat (Focus: standing leg, core, balance)

Lift your left leg off the group, and stand upright on your right leg with your knee soft. Focus on engaging your core andslowly lower into a slight squat.  Once you have lowered as low as you can (while still remaining balanced on one leg), slowly return to the starting position.  One set consists of completing 12 repetitions for each leg. Do 3 total sets.

Benefits: This slight movement on water provides benefits for balance the land does not.  Standing on one leg challenges your core and posture right away and the lowering movement increases the throw off balance, forcing your body to work to a deeper level.

Tricep Dip (Focus: triceps, standing leg and core)

Tricep DipSlowly lower your body to a dip position being careful that your hands are placed directly in line with your shoulders and your fingertips are pointing towards your toes. Balance gently on the heel of your left leg while raising your right leg straight into the air and firing your right quad. Engage your abs and bend your elbows to work the tricep, lowering yourself close to the board. Return to start and repeat 12 times. Switch the leg that is raised in the air, and do another 12 dips. This is one set.

Benefits: This dip on the water will again throw balance off to a deeper level forcing not only your triceps but your entire body to react with the change in gravity every time.

Bicycle on the Water (Focus: balance and core)

JLowerBicycleKNP_4601Lie face up on your paddleboard with your paddle behind your head and your arms along paddle.  Bring your knees to tabletop position and slowly raise your right shoulder up with paddle.  Bring opposite shoulder to hip and switch sides. Repeat two sets of 30.

Benefits: This popular and effective ab move will go farther while on the water.  Use the paddle to elongate the rotation and work further into the obliques and rectus abdominus.

About Jami: Jami Lower, Nantucket, MA, is an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor who has taught group classes for the past ten years.  She privately trains clients, is the fitness director at The Westmoor Club, and leads SUP tours through Sea Kayak Nantucket.  Jami has always had an avid interest in sports, having played field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse through high school and went on to play lacrosse in college. After school, Jami's focus turned towards running, and she now competes in marathons and half marathons. She earned elite status in 2009 and placed among the top women's finishers in the New York Marathon in 2009, the Miami half marathon in 2010, and the Chicago marathon in 2010. Jami aims to help her clients achieve and surpass their goals. However, her primary goal is to be a positive and inspiring role model for her two daughters, Bailey and Mayson.

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