What Muscles Does Paddle Boarding Work? Maximize Fitness Benefits Using This Guide

Want to know how good of a workout paddle boarding is? Explore the core strength, balance and general fitness benefits of stand up paddle boarding. Dive into the world of this full-body workout and learn exactly which muscles are targeted for a healthier, fitter you. Perfect for new paddle boarders or experience alike!

Paddle boarding has been quickly gaining popularity around the world over the last few years. The best thing about paddle boarding is that its not only a blast, it also helps you increase your fitness to achieve a stronger, healthier and more toned body. But what muscles does paddle boarding work exactly and how can you maximize your time out on the water for both fun and fitness?

What muscles do you use in paddleboarding?

In this comprehensive guide for new paddle boarders, we’ll discuss how to approach paddle boarding as a workout, what muscles you use in paddle boarding, and the benefits of paddle boarding as a workout. Additionally, we’ll share some effective stand up paddle boarding workout routines and the number of calories you can expect to burn while engaging in this fun and challenging activity. And if you need a stand up paddle board to try out this kind of workout - we've got you covered!

Paddle boarding muscles

What muscles does standup paddle boarding work exactly?

Paddle boarding involves a lot of paddling, balancing, and maneuvering, which requires you to engage different muscle groups in your body. Here are the major muscle groups that are targeted by paddle boarding:

  • Core muscles: To maintain balance on the board, you need to engage your core muscles, including your abs, obliques, and lower back. Every time you stroke the paddle you are engaging each these muscles. They also are vital for maintaining an upright posture and keeping your balance on the board.

  • Arms and shoulders: Paddling also directly works your arms, forearms, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. The harder you paddle the more you will engage these muscles. Next time you're out there, see how fast and far you can go!

  • Leg muscles: Your legs are responsible for stabilizing your body on the board. You’ll engage your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes while maintaining balance, steering, and performing various movements on the board. Choppier conditions will maximize the stabilization that these muscles need to do.

  • Back muscles: A straight and upright posture is essential to paddling well, which works out your upper and lower back muscles. Stabilization through a good posture on the water is a great low impact workout for your body.

Now that you know which muscle groups are targeted by paddle boarding let’s discuss how approach your time on the water specifically as a workout. Paddle boarding can be an excellent way to achieve a full-body workout, but to maximize its benefits, we recommend trying to incorporate some of the additional exercises below into your routine. If you need some guidance on where to go as well, check out our guide on best paddle boarding near Seattle.

Top Stand Up Paddleboard Workout Routines

Here are some effective paddle boarding workout routines that you can try to build muscle:

Paddle boarding workout
  1. Paddle sprints and intervals: This routine involves sprinting while paddling to improve your cardiovascular health and burn calories. If you alternate between high-intensity paddling and rest periods you'll build both stamina and endurance.

  2. Yoga on the board: You can combine paddle boarding with yoga to improve your balance, flexibility, and strengthen your core muscles. Try out some stretching and balance poses on the board for a fun and challenging workout.

  3. Paddleboard push-ups: These are actually much harder than you'd expect and are a great exercise in stabilization and strength for your arms, chest, and core muscles.

  4. Paddleboard squats: Squats on the paddle board also can help strengthen and tone your leg and glute muscles while maintaining balance and stability. The choppier the water, the more difficult this will be! See how many you can build up to over time and consider alternating these with push ups.

How Many Calories Does Paddle Boarding Burn

The number of calories burned during a paddle boarding workout can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the individual's weight, how intensely you are paddling, whether you are doing specific workout exercises and water conditions. For example, is the water choppy? Are you fighting against a current? Both will increase the number of calories burned while on your paddle board out on the water.

On average, a person weighing around 150 pounds can expect to burn approximately 300-400 calories per hour during a moderate-intensity paddle boarding workout session. Incorporating some of the exercises outlined above can also significantly increase this number.

Maximize Your Paddle Boarding Workout By Getting Out Routinely

Paddle boarding is a fun and challenging water sport that provides a great low impact, full-boy workout. It engages various muscle groups in your body, including your core, arms, legs, and back muscles. By adding in the exercises outlines above to your routine, you can maximize its workout benefits. Whether you're new to paddle boarding or an experienced enthusiast, we hope this guide has helped you understand what muscles paddle boarding works, how you can use paddle boarding as a good workout, and all of the incredible benefits. So grab a paddle board and paddle your way to a fitter and happier you!

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