While it may be a simple move to do, it won’t feel so simple to your core. This exercise packs a serious punch not only for your abs, but also the front of your thighs. For those of us sitting behind a desk all day dreaming of the water and chronically shortening the hip flexors, the move will help to create strength and length in the hip flexors and challenges your core to stay tight throughout the movement. It’s just one of many SUP Pilates-based moves that you will find on my upcoming Stand Up Paddling TV SUP Pilates episode coming soon! www.youtube.com/standuppaddlingtv Chisel your core like never before, and sculpt lean, mean legs while your at it!
To begin: Start with knees hip-distance apart on the “sweet spot” of your SUP, or typically the widest point of your board. Begin with arms extended straight out in front, holding your paddle if you like. Keep your body in a straight line, and core engaged, lower your hips towards your heels with losing that straight line. *Note: if it bothers your knees consider doing this on land first with extra padding under the knees before attempting on the SUP.
Keep the abs tight and have the sensation of lifting your heart away from your low back so that you don’t curl back and compress the lumbar spine. Another good tip: maintain a tuck of the tailbone to keep your lower back from being compressed.
After you lower towards the heels to your level, lift back up to a straight line position, paddle reaching up to the sky. Repeat the movement 8-10 reps and then rest. Always keep the core engaged, the tail slightly tucked, the knees hips-width apart and a smile on your face!
Key point to remember: In an effort to go further back, many people push the rib cage out and over-arch the back. This will put pressure on your low back. Be sure to keep the rib cage down against those tightened abs, and only go back to the degree that your hip flexors and knees allow. Respect your body where it is and it will thank you in the morning!
[author image=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Jodelle-Fitzwater1.jpg”>Jodelle Fitzwater “Jodelle Fitzwater is the Midwest Ambassador for BiC SUP and Certified Fitness Trainer for SUP TV. She is also a self-proclaimed mermaid because she has no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living. Find her instructional fitness videos by visiting SUP TV on YouTube and by visiting www.getfitwithjodelle.com “liking” on Get Fit With Jodelle on Facebook.” [/author]