How to Workout on a Paddleboard (Best Tips)

This article will teach you how to workout on a paddleboard, in a variety of different ways.

Paddleboarding is an exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and it can be done at any time of year. It’s especially popular during the summer months, when it’s warm enough to be outside on the water without the hassle of getting dressed for cold weather.

How to Workout on a Paddleboard

Paddleboarding isn’t just for fitness enthusiasts. It’s also a great way to get a workout if you’re new to exercise or don’t have much time to devote to working out. And because paddleboarding is so much fun, you might find yourself wanting to do it more often than your usual exercise routine allows.

The following tips will help you get started with paddleboarding workouts:

Make sure you have the right board for your workout. If you plan to be doing yoga find a board that is at least 32 inches wide like the Bluefin Cruise Paddle Board. This will allow you to balance on it easily without falling off or sinking into the water when doing poses that require sitting on your knees with your feet planted on either side of the board.

Safety Equipment

Make sure you have the proper safety equipment like your life jacket and ankle leash when exercising on your paddle board.

Young boy doing workout on paddleboard
Enjoy yourself ©Ben White


Do some stretches before you get on the board to ensure that you are warmed up and loose.

The Right Clothes

Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing for the weather conditions in which you’re going to be exercising.

Warm Up

Start with a warm-up session by paddling slowly in shallow water, going back and forth in a straight line.

Protect Your Skin

Wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.


Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising on a paddleboard to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion or dehydration.

How to Workout on a Paddleboard: Paddleboard Yoga

One of the best ways to exercise on your paddle board is by doing some yoga! Simply maintaining solid footing while standing on a paddleboard requires core and quad engagement— but bring yoga movements into the equation and you can burn up to 500 calories per hour!

Woman doing workout on paddleboard
Taking in the view ©Holly Mandarich

There are tons of great yoga poses that can be done on a paddleboard. Here are some of our favorites:

Downward Dog: The classic downward dog is one of the most common yoga postures and involves getting into a plank position and then lowering yourself down into a down dog position. This pose is great for strengthening your arms, shoulders, back, calves and ankles.

Warrior II: This pose strengthens your hips and thighs while improving balance. Warrior II also helps open up the chest and shoulders while encouraging better posture through its focus on deep breathing.

Tree Pose: Tree pose is another classic yoga posture that offers more than just strength benefits. It also helps improve balance through its focus on stability while promoting flexibility in the hamstrings, calves and hips (all areas that tend to get tight from paddling!).

How to Workout on a Paddleboard: HIIT Paddleboarding

High intensity interval training (HIIT) on the water is ideal for improving aerobic and anaerobic capacity while taking your workout to the next level. This type of “specificity of training” is ideal when training for any type of (SUP) race as well.

Men on beach with paddleboards
Get after it ©Nicolas Cool

HIIT has been shown to have many health benefits including improved cardiovascular endurance, reduced body fat and increased muscle mass. It also improves insulin sensitivity which helps control blood sugar levels.

To get started, find a paddleboard that fits your body and ability level. The key characteristics are: weight, size, shape, material and knowing how durable your inflatable paddle board is. Once you have your board, practice yoga poses and stretches to warm up your muscles before jumping into a HIIT workout.

When we think about high intensity interval training (HIIT), we normally picture running or cycling on land. However, it can also be done on water with SUP paddling and paddleboarding. So what is a HIIT workout program?

A HIIT workout involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lighter activity. The key here is to push yourself hard during the intense segments and then recover during the rest periods. The idea behind this type of training is that it allows you to exercise at a higher intensity level than if you were just exercising for an extended period of time at lower intensity levels. When performing HIIT workout sessions on your paddleboard you can burn up to 1000 calories per hour paddleboarding.

How to Workout on a Paddleboard: Paddleboard Core Exercises

Any ab exercise you perform on the ground at the gym can also be performed on your paddleboard! You will also be adding a new level of control and balance when doing exercises like situps on your paddleboard.

One of my favorite workouts is to perform a core circuit on my paddleboard. I will do each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest 30 seconds between each set. I usually do three sets of each exercise with minimal rest in between sets. The goal is to get as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, but it’s important to maintain proper form and not cheat yourself by using your legs to lift up or down too quickly.

Man on paddleboard at sunset
Perfect timing ©Michael Henry

Here are some of the exercises I do:

Plank – This works your core and shoulders, especially if you hold the position for longer than 30 seconds. Try alternating holding this position with one arm extended forward or back (like a side plank).

Side Plank – Like planks, these work your obliques (side abs) as well as shoulders, arms and back muscles. This is another exercise that can be done for multiple sets with minimal rest between sets (30 seconds).

Side Crunch – This exercise targets the upper part of your abs (upper rectus abdominus). Hold this position for 30 seconds

Crunches – Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the board. Lift your head, shoulders and chest off of the board as you raise your legs straight up into the air at about a 90 degree angle from your body. Lower back down, repeating for reps if desired.

Leg Raises – Lying flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the board, lift both legs simultaneously until they make an “L” shape above you (remember to keep feet together). Lower back down slowly until both feet are flat again, repeating for reps if desired

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