If your into stand up paddleboarding you probably want to spend more time doing it and would love to get to a better level where you fall in less, paddle faster and can surf more waves? The best way to improve is to get more practice paddling but there are other ways you can improve your stand-up paddling without even touching the water. Training For stand up paddling may seem like it’s a little overkill for the average leisure paddler but I promise you it will make such a big difference to your overall health and fitness not to mention your supping performance you won’t want to stop.

Stand up paddle boarding training is a great way to stay healthy and fit, whilst practicing movements that you know will mean you’re more stable on a sup. These exercises will improve you turns and ability to catch waves easier on a stand up paddle board. If you looking to get that dream SUP body give some of our top 20 sup exercises a go have been specifically chosen because of their relationship to Stand Up Paddle boarding and the potential benefits they have to improve muscle strength and endurance as well as work the energy systems needed for stand up paddling.

Before doing any of our stand up paddle boarding exercises make sure you have completed a full warm up and only try the exercises that you are capable of performing and ensure you have clear and area around you to lessen the chance of injury if you do fall off.

For some of these exercises, you will need the following.

Bosu Ball

The Bosu ball is the perfect sup training piece of equipment for any home workout or gym. Not only is the Bosu ball going to mimic the unstable surface of the water but will hell improve your balance and stability with any exercise, which is perfect for paddler as we could all improve our balance coordinate and strengthen our muscles

Swiss Ball

The swiss ball is a stable in any gym but also another great tool helping to in prove stand up paddleboarders multiple muscle groups, whilst strengthening the body’s core specifically the  abdominal and back muscles which are some of the prim muscles used in stand up paddle boarding, its also great for helping to improve balance, coordination and trunk strength all whilst helping to speed up sharpness in reaction time anticipation and awareness

Balance Board (Indo-board)

The Balance board or Inboard has been used in the board sports world for a long time This simple piece of equipment is easily made at home and is perfect for helping to improve  balance as well as foot flexibility and strength, which benefits all board sports especially stand up paddlers and surfers. In addition, you can use this board to perfect shuffling or cross stepping technique through increasing their stepping agility.

Stability disks

The stability disks are great for stand up paddle boarding as they mimic the unstable nature of a board in choppy conditions helping to make any exercise more realistic and more in line with the needs of a paddler.

Resistance band

The resistance band is going to perfect for mimicking the resistance of the water on your paddles and will give you multiple resistance point and angles to which you can mimic the movements of paddling. It’s worth getting a variety of strengths in resistance bands as you may want resistance depending on what exercise you are performing.

Weighted bar/ barbell about 5-12kgs

A weighted Bar will be supper helpful when training for paddling the sup as it can help strength wrists and grip strength as well as condition the lower back, abs and really works the shoulders perfect for mimicking paddling in the ocean a barbell is ideal or any weighted paddle with work.

Medicine Ball 5-12 kgs

Medicine balls or wall balls are a great piece of equipment in the gym for stand-up paddlers and they can help make movements more function and help to improve the dynamic strength in more powerful exercises

These pieces of equipment aren’t essential, but they can help really improve your stand-up paddle boarding ability and especially for more advance paddler test your core strength and stability to mimic the relief muscle of paddle boarding

  • First of all, before you do any of these exercises make sure you have a good warm-up and improve mobility and increase heart rate before performing any exercises as it will minimise the risk of injury


  • The swiss ball pike is great for paddler looking to improve their abdominal core strength as well as the upper body and shoulders this is going to help create function movement and contraction in the should helping to strengthen the rotate cuss and build some built proof shoulders for stand up paddling


  • The swiss ball tuck through is super functional for your core and upper body and requires incredible foot dexterity and leg strength to twist through the motion ideal for improving your core strength for pivot turns in a race or the surf


  • Swiss ball push up is a classic for a lot of water sports and boards sports as it will help strengthen the chest, triceps core as well as really work on your upper body balance and control not to mention improve your functional strength for paddle boarding


  • The swiss ball squat is not to be attempted lightly this as an advanced exercise only for the advanced and the brave, make sure you have a soft land around you in case you fall off and if you do fall try land on your feet with legs bent. This exercise is perfect of paddleboards to improve their leg strength and stability in a function movement like the squat. Just like paddling on the sup this squat will be unstable and need continuous balance to stay on top.  These are great for stand-up paddler looking to improve their balance and overall fitness for sup


  • Swiss ball lateral raises are ideal for all stand up paddleboarders you can do them either on the swiss ball or on the floor kneeling. The great for building strong shoulders back neck to help keep you injury free on longer races.


  • Swiss ball resistance paddles are Problay the most life like supping training you can do the paddle and the resistance band mimic the waters resistance when pulling the blade towards you and then standing on the swiss ball ads another element of stability and lower body and core control. If you wanted an easier version give this a go on a Bosu ball or stability disks


  • The Bosu ball weight paddles is the perfect exercises to train those shoulders for a paddleboarder controlled movements over many repetition really make this one a shoulder burn.
    Try to keep this one slow and controlled and you will start to feel your deltoids, back, biceps arms and chest not to mention your lower body for stabilisation and core to maintain balance and good form.


  • The Bosu ball push up is a great exercise to help strengthen paddleboards upper body specifically the chest triceps core and lower back, perfect for building up endurance and strength in the arms

  • For more advance paddler with greater fitness level try our advanced one-legged Bosu ball push up this is really going to stress the core and lower back more to build up more endurance in those areas. If you are feeling strong alternate the legs and get a little hip flexor action as well.


  • Balance board Push-ups are a more difficult version of the Bosu ball Push-ups as the balance board require more upper body shoulder stability and practice to do correctly, start off with 2 feet on the floor and if you want it to be more challenging take one leg off the floor to involve the stomach muscles a lot more


  • The Bosu ball spider man Push-ups just like the normal version but ads more core stability into the movement whilst having to stabilise the upper body and contract the abs. this a full body movement and will smash that upper body


  • This advanced version of the spiderman push-up on the balance board or indo-board is really going to test your upper body and core strength as some points you will only have 2 points of contact making this movement very unstable forcing your core to be used more and to work harder to keep you stable.  Great exercise for developing function core strength that will give you better balance on the sup and improve your balance whilst turning the sup.


  • The balance board plank is perfect to test your abdominal endurance. Just like a normal plank its going to test your isometric contractions of the full body specially the abs and lower back but doing in on a balance board (indo board) will turn up the heat and make it very unstable and difficult to remain in one position.


  • To make this one a little harder take 1 foot on the floor in your plank position keeping your upper body and core stable without the BOSU ball wobbling to much. Ensure that your tense your abs and glues to stop the lower back and the spine taking all the weight.


  • Bosu ball wall balls are a tough exercise for stand-up paddlers. This one is going to be explosive, dynamic, and more difficult to control and balance the Bosu ball. Try and keep the bosu ball and balanced as possible without wobbling to much through this exercise. As you throw the ball try to fully extend your legs and then absorb the weight of the ball by descending and slowing to a gradual stop with no rest between reps


  • Bosu ball deadlifts are a great lift to really strengthen the hamstrings and glutes whilst using most major muscles, whilst standing on the bosu ball try to use lighter weights to begin with as your legs will have to work harder than normal to maintain balance and stability. This is also a great lower back exercise



  • For the more advanced paddler with really good balance give the balance board deadlift a go as with will more challenging and difficult to maintain balance. Ensure you keep good form through this exercise as it’s easy to injure yourself if you use too much weight or perform the deadlift with bad form


  • The Bosu ball dumbbell clean and press is a super functional movement that will strengthen legs arms shoulder core and of course improve your balance and stability. When Doing this movement ensure you keep your back as flat as possible limiting any bending of the spine all whilst maintain the Bosu ball as level as possible. This exercise can help mimic long distance racing or sprints because of the leg movements and the high intensity 


  •  A traditional big movement compound exercise ideal for helping to build a big strong back but whilst also working the core strength, stamina, and upper body stability. This exercise is ideal of working that lower back and butting it under to heavier stress   whilst mimicking the unstable ness of standing on a sup.


  • The Bosu ball torso twist and super functional and work multiple planes of movement first of standing on a bosu ball is going to test your balance and stability whilst twisting against a resistance band works your core strength and puts more pressure through the legs which is similar movement to making a turn on a sup bringing the paddle from side to side and putting pressure through the core to stabilise or turn the sup. These exercises can help massively improve core rotational strength and make a big difference when it comes to staying on the sup in choppy conditions


  • Pullups the ultimate exercise to gain some serious strength for a paddler. If you struggle to do pullups unassisted try adding a resistance band around your feet or knees to help pull you up or use a suspension trainer to mimic the movement but with less weight. Pullups are great for stand up paddlers as they help to strengthen the upper back biceps lats scapula and rotator cuff all muscles that take a big beating paddling so it’s a great idea to add in strength training to keep them strong helping to prevent injury from over use in paddling   


  • Works multiple body parts at the same time, predominantly shoulder and arm mobility and strength and simultaneously controlling and stability and balance on the balance ball. This exercise fires up the glutes hamstring and quads whilst really making you focused on the movement and keeping the external weight outside of your centre of gravity making it more difficult


  • Bosu Ball Lateral hops is a great dynamic workout that’s going to make training a bit more interesting this is a great way to help work on foot placement, dexterity and also specifically jumping up and down the board to change position, all whilst trying to keep your balance.


  • The lunge is a great exercise for paddler as it works the glutes hamstrings quads, hip flexors and core adding in a weight twist helps to make this movement more difficult and stand up paddleboard orientated as it works multipul planes of movement. Try and do this lunge 12-15 reps each side for 3-5 sets depending on your fitness


  • A great lower body exercise working on glute and quad strength whilst also activating your core and arms through the torso twist, super functional helping to improve your core rotational strength and functional stability perfect for adjusting your paddling stance and stroke to adapt to the condition or waves.

For more stand, up paddle boarding exercises check out our other videos and blogs on how to train for stand-up paddle boarding and the best exercises to improve your SUP training

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