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Is Stand-up Paddle Boarding a Full-Body Workout?

October 6, 2023
Rear View of Paddler Boarder Resting on Atoll Board in Front of Mountain and Water

One of the most common misconceptions about stand-up paddle boarding (SUP-ing) is its difficulty, or, rather, its lack thereof. Surprisingly, many outside observers see SUP-ing as a simple, easy, and care-free activity. While it can certainly be calming, soothing, and therapeutic, it certainly isn’t easy, especially when one is first starting out! As we recently detailed in a related blog—How Long Does It Take to Learn How to SUP?—getting a feel for the basics of SUP-ing can take a surprising amount of time, energy, etc. While there are many reasons for this, one of the frontrunners is the importance of one’s physical health and fitness, as SUP-ing is a genuine full-body workout. Now, you may be thinking, “What? Really? Is stand-up paddle boarding a full-body workout?” As always, our team at Atoll Boards has got you covered. 

Read more: What to Eat for Breakfast Before You Go Paddle Boarding

SUP-ing is a Proven Form of Exercise

Yes, believe it or not, SUP-ing is a proven form of exercise that works your core and countless other muscle groups. In fact, one could say that it requires cooperation from almost every body part. To be a bit more specific, when you SUP, your arms, legs, knees, shoulders, quadriceps, and other muscle groups are working as a team to propel you and your paddle board forward. While your upper half is constantly working to get you where you want to go, your lower half is doing its part by keeping you balanced, helping you turn, etc. In short, SUP-ing is truly a team effort that requires contributions from every part of your body. 

Five Reasons Why SUP-ing Is Better Than Going to the Gym

Additionally, while you’ll probably feel a healthy burn from strengthening your muscles, assuming you’re SUP-ing safely and properly, you’re much less likely to have overly painful aches like you might after a typical trip to the gym. For more information on this, check out the following article: Five Reasons Why SUP-ing Is Better Than Going to the Gym.

Paddle Boarder Jumping Onto Atoll Board in Front of Rock Formation

How Many Calories Do I Burn While Paddle Boarding?

Last but not least, depending on the type of paddling you’re doing—such as surfing, racing, touring, etc.—you could be burning a massive amount of calories. That’s right, if you’re opting for a high-intensity workout, you can easily burn anywhere from 300 to 1100 calories per hour! To learn more, take a look at our related blog: How Many Calories Do I Burn While Paddle Boarding?

Read more: What to Eat After You Go Paddle Boarding

Explore the Rest of Our Official Atoll Boards Blog

We were glad to answer your question, “Is stand-up paddle boarding a full-body workout?” To learn more about the health and fitness aspects of SUP-ing, please feel free to explore the rest of our official Atoll Boards blog. Once there, you will find several insightful articles regarding all the fundamental dos and don’ts of paddle boarding as well as many other valuable resources.

Contact Our Team at Atoll Boards

What’s more, if you have any specific questions with which we could assist you, then do not hesitate to contact our team at Atoll Boards. After all, we are always more than happy to help. To get the conversation started, simply click here, give us a call at 877-698-8581, or send an email to In any case, whatever works best for you, we look forward to serving you soon. Until then!

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