Expansive, tranquil views like this require getting out on the water—it’s no wonder 21 million people every year are taking up paddle sports like rowing and kayaking. And yoga is the perfect way to strengthen and protect your rotational core muscles, arms, and back—all key for paddling, says Gillian Gibree, standup paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor and owner of Paddle Into Fitness in San Diego, California. She shares three key poses to activate and strengthen your body and prevent injury before heading out onto the cool blue waters.
Side Plank Pose
Powers up arms and obliques for balance
Start in Plank Pose. Move your right hand to the center line, then shift onto the outside edge of the right foot and stack the left foot on top. Move your left hip over your right hip, keeping the torso in one long, straight line. Extend your left arm toward the sky. Repeat on opposite side.
Tones arms, shoulders, back, and abs
Begin on hands and knees, knees under hips, then lower forearms to the floor with elbows stacked underneath the shoulders, forearms parallel. Tuck toes under, lift the hips with core engaged, and straighten the legs, coming into an A shape.
Full Boat Pose
Increases muscle endurance
Sit on the floor, hold the backs of your thighs, and lengthen the spine. Balance on the sit bones, and lift your feet a few inches off the ground. Raise heels to the height of your knees or higher and extend arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat three times.