Paddling has been hailed worldwide as one of the best workouts because it puts almost every muscle in your body to work. Besides being a great source of relaxation, paddling can also be an excellent way to exercise your body. A major advantage of Stand up paddle boarding is that it can be a great group exercise. Forget going to a solo workout at the gym, here’s why paddling beats it!
While stand up paddling looks pretty easy, the truth is far from it. It might look like the arms are the only things moving and the biceps and triceps are the only muscles that burn. While this kind of stroke can help you get someplace close, it is not a sustainable stroke and can kill your arms. A sustainable stroke has 4 phases, and each phase focuses on a different part of your body.
- The reach phase: This is where you reach out with your paddle and put it in the water ahead of you. It focuses on the biceps, triceps, torso, and your calves if you have a good grip.
- The catch phase: This phase does exactly what canoeing does but in a better way, because you’re standing. The muscles flexed here are the biceps, triceps, medial deltoids, hip flexors and leg muscles like the calves.
- The power phase: This is where you pull yourself and the board to the place where you initially dip the paddle. It is the most effective phase concerning muscles, and works everything from your arms to your legs including abdominal muscles.
The relaxation: This is equivalent to stretching your body and is a crucial phase. It is important you take deep breaths before you go for the next ‘reach’.