15 Min Interval Workout for SUP Strength

Some of us are lucky enough to live in dreamy locations where the sun is always shining, the water never freezes and the paddle season never ends… And there there’s most of us, including myself, who have been hiding our pale white bodies under layers of winter clothes, patiently awaiting the return of SUP season. Surprise! SUP season is back! Winter is over, and that pale white body needs to get back in shape to paddle strong.




This spring will be my first season of paddling white water in Colorado and I can only assume I’m in for an ass kicking good time. So in order to minimize the ass kicking and maximize the good times, I’ve put together a 15 minute interval workout that anyone can do to get back in shape for summer. This workout targets the main muscle groups used while paddling. So whether you plan on SUP racing, SUP surfing, battling white water, cruising the lake, doing SUP yoga, or just using your board as a floatation device to drink margaritas; you’re going to be strong and ready.  It’s short, effective, and doesn’t require any props, so you really have no excuse to not get in shape for the season.


The interval workout is made of 5 different exercises and each exercise is done 3 times through. Each exercise will be repeated as many times as possible  for 50 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest, for a total workout of 15 minutes. It sounds short, but its challenging, and if needed each exercise can be modified to make it more mellow or more hardcore. Annnnd if you just made your first excuse to not do the workout because you don’t have an interval timer, your excuse is  a lame one. There’s an app for that, and its free. No gym, no props, no money, no excuses.


So here’s the exercises, let’s party!

15 Min workout #1 -3


Below I’ve explained each exercise along with a mellow modification and a more hardcore variation.



We’ve probably all done these at some point in our life. So we all know how much they suck fun they are. Burpees are great to get the heart rate up and heat up the entire body.


Pro Tip: Be sure to keep your core engaged as you jump back into plank, to prevent collapsing in the low back.


Mellow: Step back and forth from plank rather than hopping.


Hardcore: Add a push up in when in plank position.


2) Plank Knee Crunches with Push-Ups

-Come into a strong plank position by stacking your shoulders over your wrist and drawing your navel up and in towards your spine to keep your core activated.


-Twist your right knee under your body towards your left wrist. On an exhale, engage your core and draw your knee up your left forearm towards your armpit. Press firmly into your hands and round through the upper back (think pike). With control, on your inhale, lower your knee back to hover near your wrist. Repeat this once more, for a total of two crunches of the knee to the armpit.


-Step back to plank and repeat this on the other side, twisting the left knee towards the right arm


– Step back to plank and complete one military push-up keeping the elbows drawn in towards the ribcage. Stop at 90 degrees at the elbows to prevent injury to the shoulders.



Mellow: Drop to your knees for the push up


Hardcore: Do two push ups or a push up between each side.

3) Right Leg Reverse Lunge with High Knee Twist

-From a standing position, step back with the right leg into a lunge position and raise your right arm (elbow bent at 90 degrees as if you were running). Lower until the front thigh is parallel with the ground and avoid having the front knee shoot past your front toes.


-From the lunge, shift your weight to stand tall on the left leg while you crunch your right knee high into the chest and  towards your left elbow.


-Step back into the lunge without touching the right foot to the floor in-between the lunge and the knee crunch. Repeat as many times as possible for the 50 second period.



Mellow: Tap your toe to ground between the lunge and high knee to help with balance.


Hardcore: Jump off your left leg as you crunch your knee towards your chest.


4) Left Leg Reverse Lunge with
High Knee Twist 

Repeat exercise number 3 but with the opposite side, ta-da!



5) Up and Down Planks


-Come into a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrist and your core drawn in strongly.


-Lower your right forearm to the floor, and then the left forearm, followed by  planting your right palm onto the floor, pressing up and planting your left palm.


-Repeat this right, left, right left motion for 25 of the 50 seconds, and then switch to left, right, left right to keep things even.



Mellow: Hold high plank for 25 seconds and hold low plank for 25 seconds. You can always drop your knees if needed.


Hardcore: Add a push-up in every time you arrive in high plank.


These exercises will not only strengthen your whole body and improve your stability to help you paddle strong, they will also help prevent injuries so you can stay in the game all season long.

Stay safe, have fun, paddle fast, and let it Glide!