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How To Warm Up Before Paddle Boarding To Prevent Injury

Posted by Alex Clasper

Warming up is an important part of doing any sport, and paddle boarding is no exception to this. Paddle boarding is a low impact sport meaning that the risk of injury is rare, however it’s still important to get your muscles moving before you head out. This will increase your mobility and improve your performance out on the water. Taking a few minutes to do the following simple stretches before you launch your SUP will make all the difference.

Get Pumped

Pumping up your board can be a great initial warm up to elevate your heart rate and get the blood pumping around your body. Start off slowly and build the intensity to ease your body into the movement and prepare you for your session on the water. The Red Paddle Co Titan II pump has been ergonomically designed to reduce impact on the body avoiding unnecessary strain on your body making it the perfect way to start your warm up routine.

woman pumping up an inflatable paddle board using Titan II SUP pump

Overhead Stretch

For this paddle boarding stretch, you’ll start by holding your paddle out in front of you with hands shoulder-width apart, and feet hip-width distance apart. Making sure to keep a slight bend in your elbow, lift the paddle overhead before slowly taking it backwards towards your lower back.Only travel back as far as you can comfortably, being careful not to force the movement. Slowly bring the paddle back to the starting point in front of you and repeat 8-12 times.

Paddle Moon Pose

This paddle boarding warmup exercise is a variation of the “moon pose” used in yoga. Again, start by holding the paddle with hands shoulder-width apart and legs hip-width apart. Inhale and raise the paddle overhead before bending slowly to the side as you exhale. Inhale as you move back to the centre, and exhale as you lower the paddle to the other side. Repeat the movement 8-12 times, in a slow, continuous movement.

Standing Glute Squeeze & Ankle Rotation

This is another important exercise for working the muscles required for good balance in paddle boarding. Start in a standing position and maintain balance with a straight back as you bring your knee up toward your chest. Engage the glute muscles in your standing leg to maintain balance. Meanwhile, rotate the elevated ankle a few times in each direction. Alternate between legs for 8-12 reps.

woman warming up next to the sea bringing knee to chest from a standing position

Shoulder Dips

This warm up exercise works your upper body as well as your quads, both of which are essential for paddle boarding. Start with your knees bent in a half squat, resting your paddle on your knees parallel to the floor. Slowly dip one shoulder down between the knees, return back to the centre then dip the shoulder down to the other side, moving back and forth in a fluid motion. Repeat 8-12 times.

Lunge & Lean Hold

This is a great move for warming up your core and obliques for stand up paddle boarding whilst also stretching out your spine. Start from a standing position and lunge back onto one leg, bending the knee deeply. Lift the arm that’s on the same side of the lowered leg, reaching up overhead and leaning away from the back leg side. Switch between sides for 8-12 reps.

woman warming up next to lake by doing a lunge

Don’t forget to cool down!

Cooling down after a paddle boarding session is just as important as warming up, so it’s always worth taking a few minutes to do some stretches before you pack your gear away.You’ll need to focus on cooling down all the muscles you used when paddling by doing exercises such as lunges, shoulder stretches and tricep stretches. Stay tuned for our top tips on how to cool down after paddle boarding (coming soon!).