Bikini bodies are made in the winter. And in the case of San Diego, (where we at Tower Stand Up Paddle Boards are headquartered) there practically is no winter. So bikini bodies are made out on the water, now. Stand-up paddle boarding is already a great workout in itself. SUP targets our small muscle groups and creates lean muscle. But, did you know that you can pump up your SUP workout by adding core-crunching abdominal exercises? The combination of balance necessary to stay on the paddle board and perfectly engineered exercises will help you get a bombshell babe tummy in no time at all.
Sports Illustrated bikini beauty Marissa Miller, Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, and toned mega-babe Cameron Diaz have all been photographed getting their SUP workouts in. While it’s true that these babes who SUP have personal trainers, dieticians and glamour teams dedicated to personal hotness, their beach bodies aren’t entirely out of reach. (The tousled hair, expensive swimsuits and subtle makeup we’ll leave up to you.) We’ve created a fun, simple, core-crunching workout for you ladies to do on your stand-up paddle board that will have you leaving behind the one-pieces. Guys, this is a great workout for you too!
Since you will be moving around on the board quite a bit, it’s best to perform the SUP Flat Stomach Workout in calmer waters, such as a bay or lake. This way a rogue wave won’t cut the workout short by knocking you off the board. It’s best to first become comfortable with standard SUP (a great workout itself!) before adding in any exercise movements.Many of the exercises require you to lie down on your paddle board. Keep your center of gravity centered, and contract your core muscles to slowly sit, and then lie down on the paddleboard when you’ve reached your perfect exercise spot.It’s important to keep your movements slow and controlled in order to maximize results. Slow and steady is the name of the game.
Eight Moves to a Flatter Stomach
1. Bicycle Crunch: The bicycle crunch is sure to really warm up your muscles. Start by lying on your back with your legs straightened and elevated a few inches, and place your hands behind your head with elbows point out. Pull your left knee and right elbow to meet, and then extend back to start. Repeat on the other side--left elbow to right knee. This exercise targets your side abdominals, also known as the obliques! Translation: say sayonara to those not-so-lovely “love handles.” Both sides = one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
2. Reverse Crunch: Like the Bicycle Crunch, this move targets one of those other “problem areas.” While lying on your back, keep your arms extended toward the bottom of the board with your palms pressed downward. Lift your legs to the sky while maintaining a slight bend in the knee. Keep them up there. Next, contract your abdominals and, using only ab strength, lift your butt up a couple inches, then lower back down with control. It’s important to use abdominal strength, not the momentum of your legs to complete this move. The Reverse Crunch targets the lower abdominals, often tenderly referred to as “tummy-pooch.” Repeat 10-15 times.
3. Vertical Leg Crunches: This move is similar to a standard crunch, but we’ve turned up the heat a bit. Lift your legs up to create a 90-degree angle with the board; you may cross your ankles if that’s more comfortable. Next, with your arms behind your head in crunching position, fold your upper body up to meet your legs, while making sure to keep your neck safe and straight. You may feel like a pretzel now, but you’ll feel like a bikini babe soon. Repeat 10-15 times.
4. Plank: Everyone’s favorite. Lying on your stomach this time, tuck your toes under and plant your forearms firmly on the board. Push up on your arms and toes and hold your body up like a straight, you guessed it, plank! It is important to contract everything in this move: arms, stomach, butt, and legs. Imagine you are pulling everything tight, tight, tightly up and in. But, don’t forget to breath! Breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth will have that 60 seconds over in no time 60 seconds.
5. Flutter Kick: Lie on your back again with your arms straight down at your sides. Contract your abdominals and lift your right leg up, making roughly a 35-degree angle with the board. Keeping your legs straight and controlled, switch sides, lower your right leg and raising your left to reverse position. Both legs should be up off the board this entire time, the lowered leg hovering an inch or so. Although your legs will be moving the intention is to keep your upper body completely still. Your legs will look like scissors; your abs will look like a washboard. Both sides = one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
6. Side Plank: Back to our old favorite--the plank, but this time with a twist. Roll onto your side and stack your feet one on top of the other. Next, push up on one forearm, hand pointed out front with your gaze, and place the other hand on your hip for balance/because it looks cool. Keep your body rigid and in a straight line with your bottom hip elevated the whole time. Then switch to the other side and repeat. Hold for 60 seconds on each side.
7. Mountain Climbers: We’re almost to the end of the workout and it’s time to turn up the heat. Start in a high plank pose, hands directly under your shoulders and arms straight. Bring your right knee across to your left arm and back to start, then your left knee to your right arm and back. Experiment with speed, eventually both legs will be moving in the air at the same time. This is a great move for both muscle building and calorie burning! Both sides = one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
8. Regular Crunches: Finally onto the last move. We’ll slow it down with an oldie but goodie: standard crunches. Make them count though! Elevate your legs so that they create a 90-degree angle with your calves parallel to the board. With your hands behind your head and elbows extended out and back, crunch up while keeping your legs steady. Repeat 10-15 times.
That’s it! Now the SUP Flat Stomach Workout is in your workout arsenal. Assuming you aren’t going to take your iPad out on the water with you, (please don’t!) it’s not a bad idea to practice on dry land first to really get the moves down. Feel free to start with 5 or 10 repetitions before graduating up to a belly-burning 15. See you on the beach!