Workout I Did: SUP Yoga and Core


Prior to my recent vacation, I had tried stand up paddleboarding (SUP) once. It was in the Gulf of Mexico during a volleyball tournament. My back was hurting from hitting the ball around the day before, my legs were in ridiculous pain due to my first week doing Insanity, and, well, I’d had a big night the prior evening — and let’s just say my balance and overall sense of well-being was not great.

(Hey, I’m usually all about moderation, but sometimes you’re dancing for hours and you’re thirsty and suddenly you realize you probably should’ve stopped drinking vodka tonics, like, an hour ago. It happens to the best of us, right?)

Anyway, having never surfed or really done anything much with any sort of balance board before, I didn’t fare too well. I was able to stay on and paddle out into the waves, but coming back in? Oof. After falling in three times, I just settled in on my knees and paddled my soggy butt back to shore.

So, when I learned that I could rent a SUP from an outfitter near where I would be staying in Canada, I jumped at the chance. I just knew I could master the sport if I could take my time and practice on a body of water without serious waves.

And I was right. My first time out was tricky — I stayed on my knees for a good while, and nearly fell in on my first attempt at standing because my feet weren’t evenly spaced. I started to wonder if maybe I should just stay on my knees, but realized I would be wildly disappointed in myself if I did. Wasn’t the whole point of this to push my boundaries while getting in a fun workout?


I gave it a few minutes, then tried again. And getting to my feet this time? Piece of cake. Remaining standing was challenging that first time out — my legs trembled constantly — but absolutely exhilarating. I tried pushing the speed a little, then mixed things up with a few yoga moves and some core work. I tried something new each day, and each day I became stronger and more confident, paddling way out beyond the sheltered bay. By the end of my rental, I came up with a workout I positively loved and can’t wait to do again!

Oh, and if you like this, come back next week — I’ve got a whole slew of tips and great moves to try from the folks at Naturally Superior Adventures, which is where I rented the board.


Got any moves you love (or would love to try) on an SUP? —Kristen

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  1. Ashlee says:

    Mountain climbers on a stand up paddle board. You’ve got to be kidding me?! YOU GO GIRL.

  2. Charles F. says:

    Wow! This is great. I love paddle boarding but have never thought about working out on a paddle board. Awesome article!

  3. Randi says:

    I have been wanting to try this lately – I definitely will now. Thanks for posting!

  4. christina says:

    what was the temperature !?

  5. Thank you for sharing the paddle board workout. We’re putting together an aqua therapy class for patients with low range hip movements and this is perfect! Low impact and great on the core!

  6. Jason says:

    Glad to hear you that your first time out was a positive experience, Kristen! SUP isn’t very difficult to pick up, most new paddlers typically find their legs on the first or second time out.

    Happy paddling!

  7. Jamie says:

    I love to do yoga on a sup. Nothing like it, calm morning, water is glass and nothing but silence. It’s a totally different experience that anyone that does yoga has to try to understand. Glad you like it Kristen.

  8. Bruce says:

    I’ve done yoga a few times, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve paddle boarded a bunch of times and I love it. I just don’t think I’d do that well if I tried to combine the two.

    I have a hard enough time when I’m doing regular yoga, I often fall out of the poses and the instructor usually has to come over and show me how to do the correct pose.

    I also love to paddle board and I’m ok at it. But I also expect at any time I’m can fall into the water.

    Maybe I’d try yoga on a SUP if I could get a private lesson. I don’t want to take a yoga SUP class because I’d be too embarrassed.

    The fact that you were doing yoga posses your first time on a SUP is darn impressive.