Paddle Healthy | SUP Barre For Beginners

When it comes to SUP Barre, we're all beginners. The new niche in SUP—created by Whitney Fulton Lee of Virginia Beach, Virginia—just hit the water in early June, and‘s contributing editor, Shari Coble was onsite to give it a whirl.

Lee’s SUP barre class took students through an introductory workout that started with entry-level moves and advanced with increasing challenge. Despite being completely new to barre, we were able to tackle it pretty well, according to instructor Lee (…or maybe she was just being nice?). Besides the fact that it's a great full-body workout, SUP barre is also a low-impact and fun activity that just gives us another reason to get out on the water with our boards and paddles.

To help you get familiarized with SUP barre, we hit up the innovator, Lee, to share a few moves.—Shari Coble

Before getting started, here are a few tips to remember:
-During standing poses, keep the paddle turned upside-down with the grip/handle against board for stability.
-While using the paddle as a barre, hold it at arm's length, centered on the board
. Use an anchor to keep from drifting, especially if busy waterways are nearby.
-Wear something you can move in comfortably—remember, this is SUP with ballet-inspired moves.

Here are three SUP Barre moves from SUP Barre creator, Lee, that will take you from entry-level to intermediate in no time:

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1. Plié with Heel Lift

Standing, with paddle/barre centered on board, move into first position, with heels together and toes apart. Bend the knees to plié, hold for a few seconds, and return back to standing. Repeat for two eight-counts.

Challenge: Staying in first position bend knees to plié as you lift the heels of your feet. Keep heels glued together, then pulse knees out and in, maintaining a diamond shape in your legs.
Works: Glutes, calves, and inner-thigh muscles

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2. Parallel Quad Burner

Start standing with your paddle/barre in position and feet parallel, hip-width apart on the board. Bend the knees, pushing forward with your tailbone tucked downward, and core pulled in. Pulse up and down, maintaining the bend in your knees.

Challenge: Add a heel lift, and perform two counts of 8 reps.
Works: Quads and calf muscles.

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3. Mermaid Pose

This pose doesn't require use of paddle/barre, so place it to the side.

Start by laying parallel on the board, with your head propped on your hand. Bend your knees tightly into your chest. Keeping the lower leg bent on the board, lift the top leg hip-height, with your foot flexed, and bring it in front of your chest. Engaging your core, begin to lift and lower the upper [extended] leg in a small, slow pulse for two eight-counts without letting the leg drop below hip-height.

Challenge: Angle your knee and toes toward the sky, further engaging your glutes.
Works: Glutes, quads, and core muscles

More on SUP Barre.
For more information or to book a slot in one of Lee’s courses, visit: