Strong SUP Legs for Flat Water, Waves and Gliding Power–Suzie Cooney

    If you aren’t familiar with Suzie Cooney, you should check her out on her website, Facebook or Twitter.  She has tons of great content and advice.   Next time I get to Maui, I am going to personally try and book some time with her.  You should also check out the Naish website for some sweet boards and more content like this. 

    and follow Suzie Trains Maui on Facebook or @suzietrainsmaui on Twitter

    Article via Naish Stand Up Paddle Boarding

    Strength Exercises for your Legs

    by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui and Naish Team SUP Rider.

    Last week we focused on recruiting the finite muscles around your feet, ankles, knees, inner thighs and hips to promote quicker reaction times and improve your stability and balance. This week, I’ll be walking you through exercises to improve your leg strength, endurance and power.Remember when you were first learning to stand up paddle? You may have felt like your legs were like jello and your feet and arches may have burned a little too while you were death-gripping the deck and trying to put it all together. That too shall pass as you develop and strengthen the muscles of your legs and simply spend more time on the water! 

    Training Note

    It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.

    This Week: Strength Exercises

    Your glutes (larger butt muscles) and quads (front thigh muscles) are the very large muscles of the legs and offer tremendous power as you shift your body and change position on your board. If you want to kick some butt on the water…do lunges! Lots!

    Again, I like to challenge myself when I’m at the beach, so I go shoes off. If you do train at the beach and are used to wearing shoes, you will really notice all the muscles in your feet working hard to stabilize you as you enter the exercise and as you push off. You can do these lunges with the same leg or alternate legs.

    Exercise: Simple Lunges
    Equipment: weights (optional)
    Progression Variables: Weights at side or on top of shoulders
    Click on the photo for a larger view.

    Keeping a nice and tall posture, from a standing position, move your left leg forward without stepping out too far, only going as low so you can manage control and balance, keeping your knee cap tracking on that 2nd toe for proper alignment. Try to get to a 90 degree bend, keeping your supporting leg behind you off the sand or floor.Drive through the front supporting leg back up to the start position. Switch legs or do the same side in place…or head down the beach! Keep in mind, as you push back to that start, your knee must maintain its proper alignment. 

    Keep it up and stay tuned for next week’s Strength and Balance exercises for SUPer strong legs!

    Disclaimer from Naish and Suzie

    All the information presented in the SUP Fitness section of is for educational and resource purposes only. It is there to help you make informed decisions about your fitness training. It is not a substitute for, or an addition to, any advice given to you by your physician.

    Suzie Cooney, CPT, and Naish International strongly recommend that you consult your doctor and get medical approval before beginning any fitness and/or exercise program. You are solely responsible for the way information in SUP Fitness is perceived and utilized and you do so at your own risk.

    In no way will Suzie Cooney, Naish International or anyone associated with Naish International be held responsible for any injuries or problems that may occur due to the use of this website or the advice contained within.

    March 28th, 2011 | Casey Gotcher | No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

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