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Improve Your Balance When Paddleboarding With These 5 Great Exercises

Posted by Luke Green

Balance is an essential part of paddleboarding. It helps us to stand up on the board in the first place, but also to stay standing up, and out of the water! So if you’re looking to improve your paddling skills, one of the best things you can do is work on your balance. If you’re not sure how to improve your balance for paddleboarding, take a look at the following quick and easy exercises:

Single Leg Deadlift


This SUP balance exercise is great for strengthening your core as well as improving mobility in your glutes, hamstrings and hips, all of which are essential when discussing how to improve balance for paddleboarding. To do a single leg deadlift you need to start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Shift your weight to your right leg, with a slight bend in the knee, and begin to drive your left foot back, keeping your leg straight, whilst tipping your torso forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your arms straight, at shoulder height and perpendicular to the wall. Pull your left leg forward and pull your torso up until you’re in standing position again. This is one rep. You can repeat this as many times as you feel comfortable, making sure to switch your leading leg.


Warrior Yoga Pose


When discussing how to improve balance for paddleboarding, there are many different yoga exercises you can practice. Practicing yoga in general will help you improve your balance, however one of the best poses you can do for helping balance and coordination is the Warrior. You can start with Warrior I pose which is in a standing position. Step into a forward lunge position, with your front foot facing forward and your back leg at a 45 degree position. Raise your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders down, lift your chin to look at your hands overhead, hold this pose and then switch legs.


For Warrior II, stand with your feet wide apart and your arms extended straight out beside you. Turn your left foot to 90 degrees and bend your right knee into a lunge, turning your head to the left. Hold and repeat. To do Warrior III, begin in Warrior I pose, move your hands to your heart in a prayer position and lean forward whilst extending your back leg upwards, making sure to keep it straight. Reach your hands forward to a “T position” to complete the pose. Once you’ve built up your strength and paddling skills why not give SUP yoga a go? 


A woman and a man on their paddleboards paddling on a lake.
Woman on a Paddleboard on a lake doing a yoga pose.

Jumping Lunges


When thinking about how to improve balance for paddleboarding, another great exercise you can do is jumping lunges. This exercise involves jumping high in the air and landing in a stable position, engaging muscles in the core and hips whilst helping to improve ankle stability. It also requires lots of coordination which is essential when thinking about how to improve balance for paddleboarding. In order to do this exercise you want to start in a lunge position before engaging your core and doing an explosive jump upwards, fully extending your knees and hips. As you jump, quickly switch your arms and legs so that you land on the opposite side. Aim to land softly on the ground, without locking your knees so that you don’t injure yourself. Repeat the exercise for a few reps at a time building up to a full 60 seconds. 


Stability Ball Jack-Knifes 


There are many different stability ball exercises you can do when thinking about how to improve balance for paddleboarding. Using a stability ball is a great way to build muscle strength whilst boosting your balance and coordination at the same time. One of our favourite exercises to do when it comes to how to improve balance for paddleboarding is Jack-Knifes. To do a Jack-Knife, you’ll need to start in a push up position, with your shins on the stability ball and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Making sure to keep your back flat, engage your core and bend your knees towards your chest in order to bring the ball towards you. This is one of the best exercises you can do when thinking about how to improve balance for paddleboarding.


Balance Board Exercises


Last but certainly not least from our top recommendations on how to improve balance for paddleboarding is to incorporate a balance board into your exercises. Using a balance board will increase the intensity of your exercises and challenge your balance in a way that replicates the strength and coordination required to maintain stability on your SUP. For working your lower body, we’d recommend doing squats and calf raises on your balance board and for working your upper body, you can practice push ups and planks, placing your hands on the board with your legs extended backwards. Incorporating balance board exercises into your training is a key step in how to improve balance for paddleboarding and will have you feeling more confident on your SUP in no time. 

Woman on a Paddleboard on a lake doing a yoga pose.
Woman sitting on her paddleboard on a lake.