Working out in the Texas Summer heat has its challenges. Locals are frequently met with triple digit temperatures starting in the morning, making it almost impossible to work out outside after 6am without sweating through your clothes in the first five minutes.
To help make your outdoor workout a little cooler (and a lot more fun!), we’ve put together an instructional guide to an incredible stand up paddleboard workout on Lady Bird Lake.
- Stand Up Paddleboard
- SUP Paddle
- Life Jacket
- Resistance Bands or Hand Weights
- Warm Up: Pick your workout partner and paddle to the perfect spot. Start out with some slower easy paddle stokes to get comfortable on the board and then incorporate a few quick paddle bursts to get the heart rate up. Try bursts of full exertion for 10 seconds on and 30 seconds off. This will get your blood flowing and warm the rest of your body up for your workout.
- Squats: Face forward and position yourself in the center of the paddleboard. Place one foot on each side of the carrying handle and check to make sure your feet are shoulder distance apart. A slight micro bend in the knee will help you maintain your balance. Hold the paddle with both hands either overhead or hands out front. Start with your hips back, your chest and shoulders up, and a neutral spine. Slowly lower your body into a squat focusing on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Repeat 2 rounds of 15 reps.
- Calf Raises: You can hold onto your paddle for additional balance or place it on your board in between your legs. Once you are in a comfortable position facing the front of the board with your feet shoulder distance apart or slightly less than shoulder distance, raise your heels a few inches above the top of the board so you are on your toes. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds, then lower your heels back to the top of the paddleboard. For paddlers with great balance, try hovering about half an inch above the paddleboard vs. Tapping your heels down in between reps. 2 rounds of 10 reps.
- Bicep Curls/ Overhead Press: Bring your own resistance bands or a pair of weights for these exercises. Most paddle boards have spots like the front bungee attachment where you loop your resistance bands through. You can also wrap them underneath the bottom of the paddle board. Once your resistance bands are set up grab one end with each hand and position yourself in the center of the board with your feet shoulder distance apart.
- Bicep Curl: Keep your elbows close to your side and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position. Keeping the arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights or resistance bands while contracting your biceps. Return to your starting position. 3 rounds of 8 reps
- Overhead Press: Grab your weights or adjust your resistance bands so that your elbows are bent, your hands are at your shoulders, and your wrists are facing forward. Your foot stance and grip should be shoulder width apart. Keep your chest up and elbows facing forward with your line of sight. Keep your back straight and your core tight as you press both hand over your head. Bring them back to your starting position and repeat. 3 rounds of 8
- Stationary Reverse Lunges: Begin by carefully getting into a low lunge with your right thigh parallel with the board and your right knee directly over your right ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90° angle and resting on the top of the board with the top of your foot resting on the top of the paddleboard. For added stability, take your SUP paddle in your left hand and place it perpendicular to the paddleboard with the blade resting on the top of the paddleboard. When you are ready, tuck your toes under and light your body up using your legs. Imagine you have a string at the top of your head and someone is pulling you up to the sky. Your goal is to get your left knee to hover 3-6 inches above the top of the paddleboard. Hold at the top of your lunge and then lower back down. Stay on the same knee for 12-15 reps, then switch your stance and repeat with the right knee resting on the board.
- Plank to Push Ups: Plant the hands under the shoulders slightly wider than shoulder width apart like you are about to do a push up. Ground your toes into the top of the paddleboard and squeeze the glutes to stabilize your body. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the paddleboards about a foot beyond your hands. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then lower yourself down for 5 pushups. (Modification: Plank to Knee Pushups. ** Rest in downward dog, child’s pose, or flat on your stomach in between rounds if needed.)
- Round two: Hold the plank for 15 Seconds and then lower for 5 pushups
- Round three: Hold the plank for 20 Seconds and then lower for 5 pushups
- Round four: Hold the plank for 30 seconds and then lower for 5 pushups
- Table Exercises: For table exercises get onto all fours with your palms placed on the top of the paddleboard shoulder distance apart and your knees on the paddleboard directly under your hips. Your hips should be squared with your shoulders. Your paddle can be placed on the top of the board in between your hands and knees.
- Bird Dog: Keep your core tight and your neck and spine in a neutral position with your gaze at the top of the paddleboard just in front of your hands. Slowly extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward. Make sure you are not arching your back and hold the position for 5 seconds before returning to your starting table position. Next you will extend your right leg behind you and your left arm forward. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower. Rotate sides for a total of 20 reps (10 on each side).
- Fire Hydrant: Start in your table position with a neutral spine and your hips and shoulders squared. Lift your left leg keeping your knee bent and raise it out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the top of the paddleboard. Hold at the top of this position for 3 seconds and then lower the knee down. Repeat this for a total of 15 reps. Then switch sides and complete 15 reps on the right leg.
- V-Ups: Make your way down to a seated position on the paddle board. Lower yourself down and lie flat on your back. Get a good morning stretch in here while you can and extend your hands and feet in the opposite direction elongating your spine. When you’re ready, keep your legs straight and lift them up as you simultaneously raise your upper body off the top of the paddleboard. Keep your core tight as you reach for your toes and make a V-shape with your body. Lower back down to flat back position and repeat. 12-15 reps.
- Cool Down: The hard work is over and now you can cool down however you please. Consider a few rounds of e your favorite vinyasa flow exercises like downward dog, cobra pose, and child’s pose or just take a short nap on your board and soak up some sun. Paddle around for a bit with your paddle partner and try out that one move you never thought you could do on a SUP. A few of our favorites that almost always end in a dip in Lady Bird Lake are High Knees and Burpees. Most importantly, end your workout with a high five or a pat on your back for taking time to do something good for your mind and body!
Photo credit: Brian Fitzsimmons