You’ve probably already noticed the integrative involvement of the oblique muscles during the traditional sweeping motion of Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The oblique muscles are part of the abdominals and cross diagonally along the side of your torso from the rib cage to the pubic bone. These muscles are responsible for side bending and twisting of the waist. Strengthening the obliques protects the back, improves posture, and slims the waist.
Oblique exercises are an integral part of Pilates training being that the goal is to create balance in musculature throughout the core. Below are some Pilates exercises that can be done with the added instability challenge of the stand up paddle board.
Lie on your side in a straight body line with one hand supporting your head and the other hand propped in front of you on the board for balance. Engage the obliques to raise up both legs from the paddle board. Maintain balance on the bottom hip while kicking the legs from front to back in an alternating fashion. Complete 12 kicks with each leg on each side.
Lie on your side in a straight body line with one arm resting straight under your head and the other hand propped in front of you on the board for balance. Engage the obliques to raise up both the upper body and the lower body from the paddle board into a side arch position. Hold briefly and then return to the board. Repeat 6 times on each side.
Side plank with leg raise
Position yourself sideways on the board in a straight body line with the bottom arm supporting you in a perpendicular placement and the top arm near the other wrist for initial balance. Once you have reached a point of stability, raise the top arm towards the sky and hold for 20 seconds. For an additional challenge, maintain the side plank position while raising and lowering the top leg 6 times. Repeat on each side.