With that in mind, here are 5 exercises you can do at home or at the gym to not only get you into better shape but prepare you for time on your board underneath the sun!
5. Rail Rockers on a Flow Motion Mat
As some of you may know Evolve Paddleboards has been producing Flow Motion fitness mats for use in pools and recreation centers across the East Coast. These mats are the best way to get you back into the groove of being on your board simply because they are an inflatable board that sits in the water. They are the perfect mimic of what it feels like to stand on a board and feel comfortable doing so.
Most classes run around 45 mins to an hour long and consist of plenty of different exercises to get you into the best shape of your life. These include but are not limited to, burpees, squats, pushups, jumping jacks, even jump rope. But the exercise we are going to focus on are rail rockers. These consist of standing in a wide stance on the board and shifting your weight from side to side in order to dip the rails in the water and release them. This seemingly simple exercise blasts your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips in order to improve cardiopulmonary endurance but also strength and even balance. Doing a few sets of these will most assuredly get you back into paddling shape and minimize your uneasiness in the water after a long winter.
For more information and where to take a class visit their site: https://www.flowmotionfitt.com/
Okay, this sounds complicated, but I swear it's not!! For this exercise you are going to have to find some extra equipment- a Bosu Ball and a Medicine Ball (pictured below)
Now, with the medicine ball in your hands you are going to bring it over your shoulder as high as you can go and in one swift motion bring it down, while squatting, to your opposite foot (see picture below). This exercise will immediately test your balance and increase it over time making it much easier to step back onto a paddle board. But also, the chopping motion strengthens your oblique muscles as well as your core which is an essential part of paddling. By making this exercise a part of your routine, you are purposefully training for the motion and balance needed to stand and paddle on a board.
Adding to our number 4 exercise is the old, but good, Russian Twist. This involves the use of a medicine ball once again so don't put it down just yet. If you have a yoga mat or any other padded surface, that will help too.
Now that we have activated the core we are going to really rip it with this exercise. Sitting on your mat and with your medicine ball in hand, lift your feet off the ground and hold them in the air. Keeping your feet floating above the ground take the medicine ball and move it from side to side making sure you are getting a full range of motion and working your muscles. The core is an essential part of paddling so make sure you are implementing plenty of exercises that strengthen it.
As a modification you can also do this exercise with your feet on the ground if elevated is too difficult to start.
Keep your medicine ball handy! We are going to work the upper body for a bit.
In order to do this exercise you may need a padded surface or yoga mat to put under your knees just in case it is hard for you to perform a correct push up. The idea behind this exercise is to get into a proper push-up position with one hand resting on a medicine ball. With that proper lineup, perform a push-up for a certain amount of reps (usually 10) then switch hands with the medicine ball and get both sides stronger.
The benefits of this exercise are plenty: they work your stabilizers, shoulders, and if you have your feet separated far apart enough, your core once again!
Our number one exercise involves the balance of the Bosu ball once again! With it still flipped upside down, stand a little wider than hip-width apart and perform a basic squat. This exercise again challenges your balance stabilizers which is key for paddling, your core, as well as strengthens your legs for those long paddles through the bay.
As an added challenge, hold the medicine ball out in front of you or grip it tight to your chest for weighted squats.