SUP Sculpting | A Land-to-Water Workout
As race season gets underway, our focus in training shifts to better preparation for the challenges of competition. Successful race results typically take root in a variety of training methods, and Capital SUP’s head trainer, Christopher "Goose" Norman, is experienced in helping standup paddlers achieve their SUP racing goals. Transitional workouts that take standup paddlers from land to water are standard at Capital SUP’s training grounds in Annapolis, Md.,—and they’re extremely effective. Here’s one land-to-water workout from Norman and the gang at Capital SUP. —Shari Coble
Transitioning into paddle season with races every other weekend, the main focus of your training should be focused on aerobic conditioning; this differs from off-season training, as the focus then is on strength development and flexibility. The intensity level is kept low to build muscle and aid in recovery time.
Workouts should focus spending more time on the water, and, less time focused on building muscle. Conditioning your muscles to contract for sustained periods of time during training will help result in successful performances come race day. But, as increasing SUP events include beach runs and biathlons, it’s not a bad idea to try adding some land time to your training to increase aerobic capacity and stamina.
At Capital SUP, we hold a boot camp-style class each week that includes activities on both land and water. During land segments of the workout, paddlers perform weighted exercises, but for longer intervals, to train the sustained workload and muscle maintenance. Along with three to four water training sessions per week, the single-day resistance training allows the body to maintain muscle strength gained from off-season workouts. The land segments focus on paddle-specific exercises, using gear including kettlebells, the TRX suspension trainer, and elastic bands.
After completing a round of the land exercises, it’s water time. We suggest paddling at race pace for a set interval.
Here's a more detailed look at our typical land-to-water workout:
—Christopher "Goose" Norman
Warm-Up: Perform a proper warmup of your choice on land, with bodyweight movements and balance exercises. (Link to sculpting series #1)
Mobility: Once warmed up, focus on range of motion and activate stabilizing muscles. Side note: It's important to train specific movements before adding load/weight, or, resistance to your paddle once on the water.
1. Kettlebell Swing x 12 reps
2. Single Arm Dumbbell Row (perform on each side) x 10 reps
3. Alternating Pushup with Medicine Ball x 10 – 12 reps
4. TRX Bodyweight Row x 12 reps
5. Banded Low-to-High Wood Chop (perform on each side) x 10 reps
Select a distance that can be paddled in a minute or two (at maximum); we typically set a turn buoy about 150 yards from land. Paddling the selected distance, focus on maintaining intensity between 90 and 100 percent. Rest one minute before repeating the Land Circuit.
Warmup and mobility exercises should always be carried out properly prior to the workout, and, should take about 15 minutes. Upon first starting land-to-sea training, complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Each week, increase the duration of the workout by five minutes (to increase endurance and stamina). Record the workout duration and number of rounds completed to track your progress each week.
Again, the main focus is aerobic conditioning. Don't try and go all out in Week One. Progressing from week to week will safely train and condition the muscles, and, avoid injury. Nobody enjoys sitting out of competitions.
Train Smart. Train to Win.