I may be a little bias, but in my professional opinion, Stand up paddling is the best form of exercise around. Resistance training through the water, functional fitness by standing, and cardio + core with every stroke…not to mention Vitamin D, and fresh air to boot; something you would never get in a stuffy gym. It’s the best of all fitness worlds wrapped into one amazing experience on the water that just about anyone can do.
Now hold onto that thought, while we ponder what many experts agree is the best single exercise you can do to build a strong upper body – Push-Ups!
Quite possibly the most perfect upper body exercise, push-ups have vast benefits from building strength, boosting metabolism and even improving your confidence. So what do you get when you cross the best form of fitness with the single best upper-body exercise? A double-whammy into achieving a strong upper body, fit for more and more of doing what you love – paddling!
Let’s push it real good with different variations of this incredible exercise. Here’s how it goes:
Pushup Variation #1. Diamond Push-ups
Start on the knees or the toes (feet hip-width apart on this one) in a high push-up position with hands close together – index fingers and thumbs touching, making a diamond shape with your fingers.
Lower into the push-up (now you understand way your feet or knees are hip-width apart, feel the unsteady-ness!)
Push back up.
Pushup Variation #2. Staggered Push-ups
Start on the knees or the toes in a high push-up position with left hand a little lower than directly under the shoulder, and right hand a little higher on the board than right under the shoulder. Be sure that your hands are shoulder-width apart.
Pushup Variation #3. Reverse Push-up Isometric
Sit on the board, legs extended, hands shoulder-width apart a little ways behind you on the board.
Press into the hands and feet, and lift your hips, creating the shape of a sliding board with your body.
Push-up Variation #4. Snake Dive-bombers
Start on all fours, crossing the ankles, hands placed directly beneath the shoulders.
Keeping the buns slightly lifted, lower into a push-up.
One round of this is great for beginners, but if you are feeling saucey, complete 2-3 rounds. Then cool down that pumped upper body with a nice gentle paddle the stretch the muscles open again.
You’ll leave no muscle in the upper body untouched with these variations, and you’ll be amazed at the improvement and strength of your stroke after doing it just a few times.
Photo Credits: Mandy McMurdo, Unique Photographer