Men’s Fitness Fall Adventure Guide: Stand up Paddleboarding

This fall, Men’s Fitness adventurers John Teague and James Pribram are hopping into their roomy and rugged Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, trekking through beach, mountain, and desert to take on fun and fit challenges. First stop: Laguna Beach for a bit of stand up paddleboarding (SUP), the world’s fastest-growing water sport. Although paddleboarding just started gaining popularity in recent years, the sport actually dates back to 1960s Hawaii, when surfers would stand on their longboards and use outrigger paddles to get a better view of the surf. Pros like Laird Hamilton started SUPing to continue training when the oceans were too still to surf. (Still waters, like rivers and streams, are actually best for beginners trying to get a hang of it.)

In this video, pro surfer Pribram gives paddleboarding newbie Teague a tutorial before the buds head into the ocean for a SUP session. As Teague quickly finds out, paddleboarding is a total-body workout that targets your core, back, shoulders, and legs. There are, however, a few exercises that you can do in the gym to help prep for the paddle: 

  • Cable woodchop: This move essentially mimics the motion for paddling and helps strengthen your core.
  • Bosu ball or wobble ball: Stand on either of these, for time, to improve balance—which will translate to better stability on the board.
  • Straight-arm pulldown: This exercise strengthens the lats, which help with the downward and outward motion of your arms when paddling.

If you’re new to stand up paddleboarding, consult our First Timer’s Guide to SUPing for more tips. Then come back next month, when John and James load their bikes on top of the Outlander Sport bike rack—and race down a mountain on two-wheels.


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