Often overlooked during training, is flexibility. Many people don’t want to invest time into limbering up, when they would rather just become stronger. But, just as important as being strong, is the ability to manipulate your body to generate more power. Robert Norman, our SUP ambassador in Florida, shares his ingenious mobility drills.
SUP MOBILITY DRILLS BY ROBERT NORMAN
My favorite analogy to use in describing the importance of this is: high level youth golfers. You have kids ages 9-12 who can out drive most recreational golfers between the ages of 20-40. Why is that? They are on a smaller frame and definitely aren’t as strong but, can generate more power. It lies in their hip and torso mobility, they wind up 5-8 inches further back and follow through further… so they generate more power per swing because of the extra distance. Same exact idea for SUP, if you can properly extend at the reach and catch and have good enough mobility to load the paddle, you will generate more power throughout the stroke regardless of muscular strength.
Now before I get too off track with anecdotal advice let’s look at what parts of the upper body we are using in the paddle stroke. The top hand we are stretching the lats (lattissimus dorsi) and the obliques while the shaft hand is rotating the hips and engaging our rotational core muscles. The goal is to be able to keep the top hand relatively straight overhead, while rotating the hips and while lowering your level closer to the water. Doing each as an individual may be simple, but combining each component takes some effort. Pictured here is an exaggerated reach to kind of highlight the body movements.
Let’s start with some drills to increase mobility. Each of these sup drills are primarily setups to extend the reach and catch a few more inches. Most all of these sup drills can be done with a pvc pipe, or even with your paddle. If you’re on land with the paddle, make sure to choke up on it as needed for each sup drill.
Arms overhead and directly to the side. Hold for about 1 minute then switch to the other side.
Place top hand firmly on top of shaft and bring chest to ground while bending the knees. Feel the stretch through the lats then take the opposite hand and reach as far down the shaft as possible and hold. Rotate those hips on the reach. Alternate hands after holding each position for 1 minute.
Place your paddle/pvc behind the back and hook with the arms. Rotate the hips forward and hold, then bend the knee on that side and rotate further. This simulates what the hips should do during the shaft hand reach.
Incorporate these 3 drills into your warmup before going out on the water or at the end of your strength training routine and you’ll find it easier and easier during paddle sessions to extend your body during each stroke and ultimately make your race pace easier to maintain!
Hello again TotalSUP readers! It’s SUPerman back with a new paddle tip. This is another simple tip that will help you maximize your body to paddle better. Many of these paddle tips are going to be on better muscle engagement and postural cues to help athletes. Let’s talk about hip engagement and how crucial it is to SUP success. Now, I’ve talked to a […]
Hello again TotalSUP readers! It’s SUPerman back with a new paddle tip. This is another simple tip that will help you maximize your body to paddle better. Many of these paddle tips are going to be on better muscle engagement and postural cues to help athletes. Today, let’s take a step back from our stroke and just look at where we are holding the […]
Hello again TotalSUP readers! It’s SUPerman back again with a new paddle tip. This one is another simple tip that will help you maximize your body to paddle better. Many of these paddle tips are going to be on better muscle engagement and postural cues to help athletes. Today, let’s look at the reaching phase of the stroke. Reaching is […]
Hello again TotalSUP readers, it’s SUPerman back with another paddle tip! This one isn’t exactly a “right or wrong” type of paddle tip… more of something to think about and experiment with. Today we are talking about stroke speed (the time and length your paddle is in the water), and understanding your boards glide. The […]
Hello again TotalSUP readers! It’s SUPerman back again with an other paddle tip. This one is a simple tip that will help you maximize your body to better paddle. Many of these paddle tips are going to be on better muscle engagement and postural cues to help athletes. Today we are talking about upper back […]
Hey TotalSUP readers! It’s Robert Norman AKA SUPerman here with another paddle tip! Water starts are a prominent feature in SUP races. Two easy tips to get ahead of the crowd in your next race or your next friendly sprint with a friend. In the first clip, I take three full strokes then switch sides. […]
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Hey TotalSUP readers! It’s Robert Norman AKA SUPerman here with a fun paddle tip. Today’s subject matter is beach starts. This is applicable for a race situation…or just trying to look smooth when you go on your next paddle adventure. The first clip is primarily how many people look, very timid, cautious and unprepared. A slow […]
Robert Norman, the new (and first) Men’s 24 hour SUP Guinness World record holder received a little surprise from QuickBlade’s very own founder Jim Terrell yesterday: a superb commemorative paddle, with the SUPerman sign (SUPerman being Robert’s nickname). Also on it, the inscription “Robert Norman, World Record, 24 hours, 111,8 miles”. Here is what Robert said on his […]