the SUP guru

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11 of the Best Stand Up Paddling Workout Routines to Try Today

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of testing out your skills (or lack) on a SUP, it’s a good time to start. A recent study has shown that the pandemic has caused an increase in anxiety and stress. One of the best ways to relieve that stress is through exercise. So get ready to shake it up because you’re in for a wet surprise!

If you’re just starting out with fitness on the water or you’re already an active mover and ready for exercise variety, working out on a SUP will bring you to the brink of your limits, regardless of skill. But, where do you start, and how do you avoid the fluff and fuzz of online confusion that lands you in the water more often than not?

Our gurus have you covered as they compiled some of the best SUP workout routines to leave you sweaty, rasping, and sore at the core – in a good way! Get ready for some serious burn!

Alternatively you may just want to look for the best paddle boards on the market.

Table of Contents

11 Stand Up Paddle Exercise Routines

#1. The 10 Golden Rules Of SUP Training


The 10 Golden Rules are a perfectionist’s 10 commandments to paddle boarding competitively or being able to exhaust everything you have to endure the best stand up paddle boarding workout you’ll ever get.  They explain a highly-researched and beneficial routine known as Periodization.

According to an article by the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA), the idea is to train in the most appropriate water conditions that matches your racing or competitive terrain. You’ll need to expose your endurance levels to a high amount of stressful training scenarios and then let your body rest to rebuild itself to handle that amount of stress. Then you’ll follow up with providing even more stress to further condition your body.

SUP Training The Smart Way ebookWhile the workout routine on the SUPAA website is an excellent and informative read, they also offer an e-book called “SUP Training The Smart Way” that can also be purchased from Amazon. It  includes a 12-week Race Ready SUP Training Program to provide even more details for you to reach your paddle boarding goals!

#2. The SUP Bod Routine

the supper bod routine

For a full body workout while on the water, you need to check out the easy to read SUP Workout that body trainer Juris Kupris demonstrates for Each outlined routine consists of a slide show picture with written instructions for each move. The exercises are all performed while on the SUP and covers the glutes, legs, and abs; shoulders, arms, and chest; obliques, back, and thighs.

They provide even more tips on picking the right board for stand up paddle boarding exercise, how to use your paddle, how to get back up when you’ve fallen off, and much more!

Paddle boarders that are already active and who enjoy the idea of mixing up their daily workout routines will love the idea of getting on board and strutting their stuff. While the exercise moves are probably what you’re already doing at home, when out on the water, it gives you an adrenaline rush and burn that brings a whole new meaning to working out!

#3. SUP Cardio Workout by StandUpPaddlingTV

StandUpPaddlingTV has put together a great and short video that only consumes five minutes of your limited time! All the workout moves are done on the board while on the water and the instructor even shows some modification moves if you’re a bit stiff in the knees. These are great moves for beginner stand up paddle boarders and those relatively new to water exercise.

The video covers three moves that will really get your heart pumping: burpees, board pull ups, and kick paddling. Sounds simple enough but once you’re done, you might want to stay in the water to cool off!

But, this isn’t the only SUP workout that will get your heart pumping and your pores dripping. They also offer many other videos on SUP fitness basics, SUP Yoga, and working your core! Most of the videos are under 10 minutes which leaves plenty of time to get working out now

#4. SUP Training Drills Compiled by SUP Velocity

sup velocity

If you want more torque with every stroke that you make while on-board your SUP, then these drills will help you speed up and perfect your paddling techniques!

Each drill is demonstrated by an informative video that will help you master one technique at a time. They’re designed to help paddlers of all skill levels as they offer basic instructions and then more complicated techniques once you’ve got the foundation strokes down.

The video compilation put together by SUP Velocity covers topics like race training stop and go, how to accelerate, stance transition, exit drills, and many more!

There are 11 videos in all to really help your muscles learn and memorize technique. When you’re out stand up paddle boarding, it’ll be more than just practice, it’ll be natural habit.

#5. Off-Board SUP Training

ace fitness

To avoid looking like an amateur toppling and splashing about in the water, you should probably think about doing some prep work first and this routine by ACE Fitness is the perfect place to start.

There are six exercise moves that you only need to perform for about a minute, one to three times. You’ll perform the dorsiflexion, tandem balance, and the single-arm pull; arm and leg reach, plank, and squats. Each workout is fully described and accompanied with pictures for demonstration.

Each off-board workout is designed to strengthen the muscles that you need to enhance muscle endurance for paddle boarding. You’ll have better balance, a stronger core, legs, and arms, and your paddling movements will be fluid to reduce the number of times you fall off the board. If you do find yourself in the water, you’ll be getting back up and on easier than before. Besides, a little swimming is good exercise!

#6. Create a Focused Training Plan

sup racer

Don’t take advice from an amateur when you can get it from a four-time Olympian pro! Bad-ass Jim Terrell weighs in and says you’ll be able to win every SUP race if you have a focused training plan.

In this routine featured on, Jim outlines some beneficial tips to help you identify your stand up paddle boarding goals first. He even goes into extra detail about how to set up interval training schedules and specific paddling techniques.

If you’re more into recreational stand up paddle boarding, this really isn’t for you. But, if you’re ready to take your paddle boarding to the next level with competition races, get on board with Jim as your coach!

With Jim’s tips at your disposal, speed and performance will be the name of the game, but you’ve got to be focused and all in for the race. He doesn’t train losers, he trains the best!

#7. Five Move SUP Workouts


For any stand up paddle boarder who wants to maximize the burn while on water, there’s really only five moves you need to get started right away. Each exercise is fully described on with photos to demonstrate. They’re even followed up with a bonus tip to help take that burn a notch higher.

You’ll cover the core, squats, chest stretch, plank, and straight up cardio moves. If you love yoga or your doctor’s orders include for a stress-reducing but beneficial workout, you’ll love this routine!

Each exercise incorporates renown yoga poses that are great to do on a SUP board. A little bit of calmness, a handful of sweat, and a whole lotta burn!

#8. Dry-Land SUP Training


You don’t have to wait until you’re on the water to start your workout. Dry-land training is very important before you ever get on the SUP. Because stand up paddle boarding requires endurance and a ton of balance, dry-land training will prep your body for it before your toes can test the water.

There are 11 moves in this workout routine by, and you will need some equipment to perform them all. It’s best to print it off and take it to the gym with you. Each exercise is accompanied by picture demonstrations to show you how to do it right.

The first four exercises are great for beginners and those with little workout experience. But, as the steps progress, so does the level of expertise. It’s best for those already active and familiar with lifting weights to perform the latter moves.

#9. Paddle Fitness Tips

grind tv

Stand Up Paddle professionals are making exceptional use of the internet by sharing their master pro tips online to help out aspiring stand up paddle boarders. One such professional is Gillian Gibree who can be found either in the water or in her San Diego-based Paddle Into Fitness company.

She shares a plethora of information from exercise moves, yoga poses, and even some healthy recipes for optimum fitness and performance on a SUP. Each pose and recipe on GrindTV is accompanied with pictures so that you can see exactly what you’re in for.

Some of the yoga poses are definitely meant for the limber who are already familiar with the poses. However, burpees, squats, and lunges can be attempted by all! You’re in for a great workout with some on-the-water and dry-land exercises!

#10. Ten Yoga Poses Anyone Can Do

isle surf and sup

Isle Surf and SUP helps to educate all stand up paddle boarders into getting the most out of their paddle board. One of the best ways to get a full on burn while on the water is to strut your yoga stuff!

The moves are described with pictures that will be helpful for the beginner. While some moves may seem elementary to even some practiced yoga gurus, just try doing the chair or headstand pose on moving water – not so easy.

Each yoga pose ensures that you engage your core, create a sense of grounding, increase flexibility, and reduce stress between your vertebrae. What you’re left with is an awesome stretch for the body and a ton of calories burned up and out of your body!

If you need a walk-through of the yoga poses, the page also offers a short three minute video that takes you through each exercise. Happy cal’ burning!

#11. The 6 Week SUP Training Plan

mens journal

Some guys want to feel manly by doing a whole bunch of various types of exercise that isn’t limited to just yoga. The 6 week plan by Mens Journal is your hardcore 5 day a week training plan that will leave you with a body worth showing off for surf or stand up paddle boarding!

The workouts are intense, so it’s probably best saved for those who are already into fitness and very active. Each day is described in explicit detail with helpful links to instructional visual aids if you’re unsure of any of the moves. You won’t just be on the water doing surf burpees, you’ll also be doing 30 minutes of yoga, an 800 yard continual swim, and a six mile bike ride!

That’s not all! You’ll also be running two miles, lifting weights, sprinting, and paddling, and yet there’s more! We did say it was hardcore! You don’t get a SUP body without working for it! Are you man enough to try it?

Get a Stand Up Paddle Boarding Body Burn!

Stand up paddle boarding for fitness requires a lot of strength, balance, and power to make the best of it. It’s for the serious stand up paddle boarder who has confidence in every downward dog or burpee that’s done without falling in the water.

Don’t be self conscious sporting your moves on the water. Haters will look on and hate. Besides, the ones who mock won’t have the body you will have once you’re a pro! Ha!

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