Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Benefits of SUP: Stand-Up Paddle Surfing

My wife and I finally had the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) or what is better known in the Hawaiian language as Hoe he'e nalu.  This great activity has long been part of that culture and fortunately for us has gained popularity in different regions around the world. During a recent vacation down in R.I. we liked the activity so much, we ended up buying a Naish SUP.
One of the many benefits of SUP that I like is the cross training effect you get on an unbalanced surface, this trains new neural pathways between different muscle groups. In addition to this new found strength, there may even be some transfer that will benefit dynamic movements used in other sports as well as activities of daily living.

Training on unbalanced surfaces is very effective for developing strength and endurance for your core and other postural muscles.  In traditional resistance training your muscles are trained (at times) to work in isolation in a stable environment. In sport, however, your body is required to provide explosive strength while in motion, this is the sort of benefit you get from cross-training in a more fluid environment and where SUP has the potential to excel.

You may be asking yourself in addition to the core and postural muscles I mentioned, what other muscle groups are activated while your having fun in the sun? Well, there are many. First, your core which consist of twenty-nine different muscles that connect your upper and lower body, are worked each time your paddle enters and is pulled through the water from the front to the back of your board. The great by-product here is the fact that there is no heavy load placed on your back or leg muscles as this occurs. In addition your legs, upper/mid back, shoulders, chest, and arms are all stressed with each pull of the paddle through (water) resistance. You can also get a great workout adding in prone paddling, paddling on your knees and even doing yoga on your board if you feel the urge.

I have even found a list of races around New England if your so inclined - and there is a great event down in Cape Cod every August - the 34 mile Cape Cod Bay Challenge - looks like a goal for me down the road - have fun and get out and try SUP and enjoy, I know we will!

1 comment:

Mhie Recio said...

wow, it look s fun!