Spring SUP Training Plan

As the popularity of stand-up paddle boarding explodes so too does the number of races and racers. One of the best ways to stay motivated with your training is to sign up for a SUP race.  Committing to a race date provides a goal deadline, and a reason to train and prepare.

Step one:  find a race

Get Race Ready

In Michigan many of the lakes and rivers are currently covered with ice. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your training early. Much of your power in paddling comes from your core. Having strong abs and a strong lower back is the first step toward being race ready. For most people a core workout consists mainly of crunches and other abdominal exercises.  The lower back, however, is just as important and is a key component for maintaining endurance, good form, and power.

Lower Back (spinal erectors) Workout:

Perform as many reps of each exercise as you can within one minute.  Repeat the series of three exercises 3 or 4 times.



  1. To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
  2. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. You should look like superman when he is flying.
  3. Repeat until one minute has expired.

Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.

Variations: You can also perform this exercise using one arm and leg at a time or perform in the transverse plane. Simply elevating your left leg, arm and side of your chest and do the same with the right side.


Crossover Reverse Lunge


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee. As you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
  3. After a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion.
  4. Repeat until one minute has expired.



  1. With someone holding down your legs or holding onto the bench with your feet, slide yourself down to the edge a flat bench until your hips hang off the end of the bench. Your entire upper body should be hanging down towards the floor. You will be in the same position as if you were on a hyperextension bench but the range of motion will be shorter due to the height of the flat bench vs. that of the hyperextension bench.
  2. With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you or behind your head. This will be your starting position. You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
  3. Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Inhale as you perform this movement. Keep moving forward until you almost touch the floor. Never round the back as you perform this exercise.
  4. Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you exhale. Make a concerted effort not to arch your back past a straight line. Also, do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.
  5. Repeat for 10 – 15 reps.