Paddle or stand up paddle is a sliding water sport in which you have to stand on a board longer than a classic surfboard, pushing yourself with a paddle. Paddle gym is a fun activity deviated from the paddle, which consists of doing gymnastic exercises on the board. Abs, sheathing, balance, is a complete physical activity that allows you to do gymnastics in a new way, with enthusiasm.
One of the peculiarities of the gyms is that the exercises are practiced in balance on a board, which allows you to exercise the whole body. The board is often attached to the front and back, especially if the activity is practiced in the pool. It can also be practiced at sea, without equipment, which increases the level of difficulty. The boards are wide and long (up to 4m), which allows you to stand, lie down or kneel.
The exercises as such resemble those of a classic fitness class that aims to build muscle.
Pay attention to your posture
Balance is the essential ingredient to practice paddle gym well. That’s why posture is the first thing to work on. The basic paddle posture consists of placing both feet parallel, firmly anchored to the board, knees slightly bent, back straight and looking away. One hand is placed in the center of the paddle handle, the other at the top of it, a few strokes of the oar are given alternately on each side of the board.
The advantages of the gyms
The gym allows you to work the whole body. All fitness activities can be carried out on the board: muscle strengthening, pilates, cardio training, etc.
Depending on the exercises covered, it is possible to:
- tone the abdominals;
- develop deep muscles;
- refine the size;
- work on cardio;
- strengthen the upper arms and thighs;
- sculpt the back and shoulders.
The results are often spectacular because keeping in balance multiplies the muscular stresses. Ideal for those who want quick results.
Also, the gym is an exotic activity that allows you to decompress on the water. The concentration this requires allows both to clean the air and to recharge the batteries.
Who can do paddle gym?
You don’t have to be a great athlete to get into the gym. It’s about having a good balance. Depending on the level of the practitioner, the degree of difficulty will be different: with or without wind, with or without current, etc. You need to know how to stand up paddling, but this is generally learned in class and is an integral part of learning.
Each session lasts approximately 60 minutes.
It starts with a warm-up of about 15 minutes. Leaning against the board, the lower part of the body is first solicited with kicks in the legs. The warm-up also works the upper part of the body in general with the following exercise: lying on the paddle, the circular movements of the arms must be repeated several times, stretching all the muscle fibers well.
Get on the board
Once the warm-up is over, we go up on the board. It’s rare to get it right the first time. To be successful in the exercise, you need to be well sheathed, which makes the body work even before starting the exercises.
Practice several exercises
Then follow the exercises, such as squats, push-ups, jumps, etc. There are different levels of difficulty, so we must be careful to register in the right slot, the one that best suits our abilities.
The lesson ends with stretching in the water.
Example of a paddle gym squat
The paddle is held horizontally with both hands, then raised above the head and placed on the shoulders. Feet are hip-width apart, knees bent and glutes down, without taking your heels off the board.
To practice paddle gym, you must be in good physical condition. If you haven’t practiced any sport for a long time, we recommend that you go to your doctor for a complete check-up.
The second imperative is to know how to swim and not be afraid of water because it is not uncommon, especially during the first sessions, to fall into the water. So you don’t even have to be afraid of water. This activity is therefore not recommended for people with chronic ear infections but also for pregnant women due to the risk of falling.
Why is gyms so good?
The gym is another way to train. Far from the sometimes monotonous sports halls, it allows you to train outdoors, most of the time in the midst of magnificent landscapes (sea, lake, etc.). Particularly appreciated is the recovery time at the end of the session: lying on the table on the back, it is an invitation to relax and daydream.
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