Robert Norman, our new ambassador in Florida is back again with another SUP training video. The Instagram SUP training sensation has been paddling since July 2014 and competed in his first event last month. After revealing the secrets of the Windshield Wipers, he now explains how to improve your paddling performance with some Stabilizing Pushups.
As mentioned in the previous article, exercises promoting midline stability through the core directly translate to performance in Stand-Up Paddling. Introducing elements of balancing into the basic pushup can help increase strength in those core stabilizer muscles, and increases demand on the normal pushup muscles. This leads to a very easy way to introduce a new dynamic to a pre-existing exercise that is only limited by creativity. The more tools involved promoting those stabilizers the more demanding the exercise becomes.
The simplest progression is starting in normal pushup position, then simply lifting a leg up. This puts more stress on your abdomen to stay in alignment during the pushup. Make sure to balance the repetitions with each leg in the air. From here I find the next easiest tool to use is a medicine ball. Choose a single medicine ball you can comfortably place your hand on, keep both feet on the floor, and perform the pushup with one hand on the ball. Once the balancing through this exercise becomes easier, begin to lift a leg as well. The more principles introduced the more demand on the core and upper body to stay in alignment and not fall.
More advanced progressions include using a BOSU ball for foot placement, foam rollers for foot placement, balancing discs for hand placement, and multiple medicine balls for foot and hand placement. Creativity is the key! Testing what tools you enjoy using is challenging but not impossible, just make sure you are making progress and advancing with time. This is an excellent exercise to introduce into a workout routine involving the upper body or the core belt. The pushup engagement should be just as difficult as the core engagement.
Stabilizer muscles are universal, mastering them through the pushup range of motion is applicable to standing upright on a board and being able to perform a race pace full stroke in choppy conditions. The more dynamic the exercise performed engaging the balancing muscles, the more dynamic your stroke can be in all-conditions! Please watch the pushup videos I perform with different tools to draw inspiration for your own routine… and if you can do the impossible pushup, tag me on Instagram in the video!
If you liked that article check out Robert Norman’s Windshield Wipers SUP train.