In these videos world’s fastest female paddler Annabel Anderson shows exercises with which you can increase your strength for SUP. All you need is your paddle and your body weight. They are ideal exercises for at home on the days in between paddles.


This exercise increases leg strength as well as shoulder flexibility and back mobility.

  • easiest to do with a paddle, if you are at the gym, grab a bar (without weights on it)
  • legs slightly wider apart than shoulders
  • arms grab the paddle about a meter wide (the narrower the grip, the harder it gets)
  • count down from 3 while you go down in a squat.
  • push back up through your heals
  • keep your back straight
  • keep arms/paddle slightly behind back
  • as you progress, put your feet together to make the exercise harder
  • after a while, go into a wider stance with your feet but put your arms together
  • for the final part, which is the hardest, put your arms and feet together



The good old push-up is very good for SUP, as it increases your power in exactly those arm and shoulder muscles which you need for paddling, you are working out directly in front of your body, and that’s what the push-up does on land.

  • depending on your strength, start from your knees or from your feet (knees is easier). Place your arms under your shoulders.
  • the key is to go down really slowly, if you can, count down from 3 while going down
  • holding the plank position for a while in between push-ups will further increase your strength.
  • if you get tired, go down on your knees, but aim for full extension



These exercises increase your arm, shoulder and core strength and increase your core stability.

  • start from the most basic plank position on your underarms
  • palms facing each other, thumbs are pointing up
  • clench your buttocks and pull your stomach in
  • if you are able to hold this for anything more than 2 minutes, you will realize how strong you get!
  • variation1: go up and down from underarms to hands (one arm after another)
  • keep your hip stiff
  • variation2: take plank to the side, you can even bring your leg up or bring arm rotation into it as well
  • after while, change sides
  • variation3: back into normal plank position and start lifting one leg, change legs
  • variation4: go into standing plank (on your hands vs. underarms) and walk your arms forward until it gets uncomfortable, walk back and forth
  • variation5: start from standing plank and bring your elbows to knees
  • to finish it off, go back into normal plank

Look at the video timing, Annabel did this for over 4 minutes….now you know why she is soooo fast!


This is an exercise you might be familiar with, it has it’s origins in the military training, but it’s really important for Stand Up Paddlers. It’s going to help build strength but also anaerobic fitness, you will really feel your heart-rate go up up with this one!

Key to effective burpees is:

  • get your hands right above your head
  • getting full extension out back
  • jumping as much as possible

If you can do 50, you are doing really well!


  • start in a downward dog position
  • reach up with your toeline (into the air)
  • coming down to push-up position, gradually easing yourself down
  • coming over your toes into upward-facing dog position
  • back onto toes, into downward dog position

These videos were shot right after Annabel’s victory in the London Boat Show Indoor SUP sprint challenge. So please excuse the chaotic setting, we decided to prioritize the quality of the exercises over high-end production. more exercises are coming soon, also check out the sections warm-up and flexibility!

More SUP Training with Annabel Anderson

More on SUP Training