Easy paddleboarding workout to get you in shape – Maddleboards

Easy paddleboarding workout to get you in shape

How to hold a Paddle for Paddleboard
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While paddleboarding is already a workout on its own, you can increase the intensity of your fitness routine (and make it more interesting) by working out on your board.


Working out on your paddleboard challenges your stabilizing muscles more than working out on dryland and is a fun and unique way to get in a workout while spending time on the water and in nature.


We’ve put together everything you need to know about working out on your SUP as well as a list of the top exercises you can do on a paddleboard to get into great shape!

Is paddleboarding a good workout?


Paddleboarding is a good workout because it uses every main muscle group in your body. Paddleboarding challenges your balance and builds muscular strength and endurance. Your upper body, lower body, and abdominal muscles are all used while paddling, thus providing you with a great workout.

Is paddleboarding good for weight loss?


Paddleboarding is good for weight loss. One hour of recreational paddleboarding burns an average of 330 to 460 calories (about double what you’d burn on a moderate-paced walk). Plus, if you manually pump up your paddleboard, you’ll exert some extra energy doing that and carrying the board to the water.


Will paddleboarding get you ripped?


Paddleboarding can get you ripped because it strengthens your upper body and core muscles. It builds muscular strength and endurance due to the resistance of paddling and the cardio aspect helps you burn calories; however, if you’re looking to get really ripped, we recommend incorporating weight training to your fitness routine to help build muscle.



What exercises help with paddleboarding?


Exercises that help with paddleboarding are any exercises that help build muscular strength in the upper body and core as well as stabilizing exercises for the lower body. 


The dryland exercises that help with paddleboarding include:

  • Lunges

  • Single-leg deadlifts

  • Push-ups

  • Rows

  • Bicep curls

  • Woodchops 

  • Halos

  • Crunches

Full body workout you can do on your paddleboard 


Here are the top exercises you can do on your paddleboard that’ll get you in great shape, challenge you, and provide a fun new activity to do on the water.

Before you start your workout, be sure to tuck your paddle into the bungee cords at the front of your board to ensure it stays out of your way and doesn’t float off while you’re exercising. You should also make sure there’s enough space around so that if you accidentally fall in, you only hit the water and not anything else.

  1. Squats 

  2. Stagger stance lunges

  3. Glute bridges

  4. Push-ups

  5. Planks

  6. Side planks 

  7. Bird dogs

  8. Mountain climbers

  9. SUP yoga


1. Squats

  • Reps: 8-15

  • Sets: 2-3

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

Executing a standard squat on a paddleboard is a great way to build your leg muscles and improve your balance. Make sure both feet are firmly planted and facing the front of the board and find your balance before you begin. To increase the intensity of the workout, add 2-3 pulses at the bottom of each squat and a calf raise at the top.

Pro tip: Look at the horizon while performing your squat to help with your balance.

2. Stagger stance lunges

  • Reps: 8-15 on each side

  • Sets: 2-3 on each side

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

Lunges on a SUP board are a slightly more advanced move. Make sure you’re feeling stable before lowering and keep your gaze on the horizon while performing this movement to help with balance.

Pro tip: Rather than stepping into a lune position from standing, start in a tabletop position and bring one leg forward and rise up into a lunge.

3. Glute bridges

  • Reps: 8-15 

  • Sets: 2-3 

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

Glute bridges on a paddleboard can be a little tricky with the handle under your back, but they’re a fantastic way to strengthen your glute and core muscles. If glute bridges feel too easy for you, try a single-leg glute bridge for an added challenge—just remember to do the same amount of reps on the opposite side.

Pro tip: Make sure you have your sunglasses on for this exercise as you’ll be on your back and looking up toward the sky.

4. Push-ups

  • Reps: 8-15 

  • Sets: 2-3 

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

When doing push-ups on a paddleboard, you can either do standard push ups from your hands and feet or modified push ups from your hands and knees. 

Pro tip: Keep your gaze down towards the board between your hands. Inhale as you lower and exhale as you come back up to your starting plank position.

5. Planks

  • Reps: Hold for 30-60 seconds

  • Sets: 2-3 

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

Planking on a paddleboard can be done from your forearms or your hands. If you want an added challenge from your forearms, rock yourself forwards and backward while holding your plank. 

Pro tip: Keep your body in line (not letting your butt hinge up into the air) and keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Remember to breathe.

6. Side planks 

  • Reps: Hold for 30 seconds on each side

  • Sets: 2-3 on each side

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets

Side planks can be done on a paddleboard by balancing on your forearm or your hand. If you’ve never done side planks on a paddleboard before, start by doing them from your forearms before trying to balance on one hand.

Pro tip: Lift your top arm straight up towards the sky to help you balance as you hold. Remember to breathe.

7. Bird dogs

  • Reps: 8-12 on each side

  • Sets: 2-3 

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets 

Bird dogs are great for building core strength when you’re on solid ground. They’re even better at it on a paddleboard! For an added challenge bring your elbow to your knee in between extensions instead of placing them back onto the board.

Pro tip: Think about extending your feet and hands out instead of up. This will prevent your back from arching and make the movement the most effective.

8. Mountain climbers

  • Reps: 8-12 on each side

  • Sets: 2-3 

  • Rest: 30 seconds between sets

There are a couple of mountain climber variations you can do on your paddleboard. The first is the same knee to the same elbow (e.g. left knee to left elbow then right knee to right elbow). The second is a crisscross where you bring the opposite knee to the opposite elbow.

Pro tip: Go slow. There’s no need to rush these on a paddleboard. Plus fast mountain climbers will only cause more splashing and might throw you off balance.

9. SUP yoga

SUP yoga is another paddleboarding workout that’s a fantastic way to challenge your balance, tone your muscles, and increase your flexibility. 

SUP yoga includes poses such as:

  • Downward dog

  • Tree pose

  • Chair pose

  • Crescent lunge

  • Warrior I and II

  • Boat pose

  • Pigeon

  • Wheel

  • Headstand

  • Child’s pose

Check out our full blog on SUP yoga for a full list of poses and instructions on how to get started.

Workout with a Maddle paddle board


If you want to get in a good workout on a paddleboard, we recommend doing so on an inflatable board over a solid one. Solid SUPs are more difficult to balance on and the surface is less forgiving if you fall.


Maddle’s inflatable paddle boards are perfect for anyone looking to SUP and have the option to workout on their board. Shop now and start sculpting your muscles on the water with Maddle.