Five Effective SUP Stretches Made Better with a Paddle
Standup paddling is good for the soul. Spending time in nature while working out is a recipe for health and happiness, but stand up paddling without doing SUP specific stretches can take a toll on your muscles and joints. In this article, Black Project athlete, SUP coach and APP London champion, Seychelle demonstrates some useful stretches which will not only help to improve your paddling but also speed up your post session recovery.
Common SUP Injuries
- Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Strains or Tears
- Lower Back Strains
- Upper Back (Rhomboid & Trapezius) Strains or Tears
- Bicep Tendonitis and Inflammation
- Knee (IT Band) Soreness
- Nerve compression or entrapment
“As tempting as it can be to simply grab your paddle and go, spending a few minutes doing dynamic stretching beforehand can pay off big time for both your session and longevity in the sport. Of course, your Black Project paddle can also help with protecting your body. Before heading out on your next SUP adventure, loosen up with these five paddle-assisted SUP stretches that will help prevent those nagging injuries and soreness that keep you off the water.”
Seychelle, Professional Standup Paddler and Black Project Athlete
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Grab your paddle in front of you with your hands double shoulder width apart or more (the wider the easier).
Step 2: With straight arms, slowly bring the paddle up overhead and behind you to touch your lower back or as far as you are comfortably able. If you have difficulty, spread your hands apart even wider.
Step 3: Slowly return the paddle back to the front to touch your belly. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and lowered.
Step 4: Repeat this 10 times.
Step 1: Grab the paddle with your hands shoulder width apart and reach your arms straight overhead. Get as tall as you can by lengthening your spine and the sides of your body.
Step 2: Keep equal weight in your feet as you reach and lean to the left. Count to three and return to center.
Step 3: Reach and lean over to the right for a count of three and back to center.
Step 4: Repeat this five times per side.
Standing Cow Face Pose
Step 1: Bring your paddle vertical behind your back.
Step 2: Reach your right arm up and over the top of your right shoulder. Grab the paddle keeping the shaft parallel to your spine. Turn your left palm to face away from you and slide your left hand as far up the center of your back as you can, grabbing the paddle.
Step 3: Stand up tall, relax your shoulders and reach your elbows away from each other. Begin a slow, gentle tug-o-war between your hands. Let your right hand pull up for three seconds, then let your left hand pull down for three seconds.
Step 4: Repeat this for 30 seconds, then release and switch sides.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. Bring your paddle behind your head and rest it over your shoulders. Soften your shoulders and elbows.
Step 2: Slowly twist to the left as far as you can and pause.
Step 3: Rotate back to center and twist as far as you can to the right and pause. Let your knees and hips be relaxed.
Step 4: Repeat 20 times. For the first 10, let your hips twist from side-to-side with your body. For the last 10, try to keep your hips still and twist only with your upper body.
Figure Four Stretch
Step 1: Place your paddle blade down in the sand in front of you and hold onto the shaft for balance.
Step 2: Pick up your right foot and place your ankle across your left leg just above the knee to make a figure four with your legs. Pull your hips back and bend your left knee, lowering into a half squat towards the ground. Fold forward at your hips by bringing your chest toward your shin. Feel a nice thigh stretch.
Step 3: Straighten your left leg by lifting your hips to the sky. Keep a slight bend in the knee. Feel a deep hamstring stretch.
Step 4: Repeat this pattern of bending and straightening the left knee 10 times slowly. Release the right foot back to the ground and repeat on the other side.
Full Video – Five Effective SUP Stretches Made Better with a Paddle
The Benefits of Smaller, Softer and Shorter SUP Paddles
Black Project paddles are designed specifically to protect your body to eliminate injury and aid recovery. More specifically, the simple concept that at least when it comes to SUP paddles –– smaller, softer and shorter is better. Call it the Three S’s if you like, but the paddle science behind this philosophy is what inspires the paddles we create. Unfortunately, far too many people in the SUP community are suffering from pain caused by paddling. At Black Project, we don’t want to be part of something that leaves people with back or shoulder problems, which is exactly why we’re spreading the word about size, flex and length.
Fitness & Paddle Coaching from Seychelle
As an athlete and professional paddling coach, Seychelle offers a number of training options and advice via the Paddle Monster platform. If you are interested in having your stroke analyzed, working on a training program or arranging a clinic in your area, please get in touch with her via email. A number of Black Project athletes follow training programs designed by Seychelle.