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Is paddleboarding good for my back?

by Max Richardson

Stand-up paddling, also known as SUP or stand-up paddleboarding, is a great way to strengthen your core and back. Like many core exercises, paddling is great for strengthening your back and core. However, it’s important to remember to use your core and not over-torque your hips and lower back. Paddleboarding can have either negative or positive effects depending on how your back is doing.

SUPing is a great way to build back strength and prevent lower back pain. It can also be very beneficial for those with minor back issues. If you are recovering from a serious injury, it is possible to re-injure your back by using poor form.

You should consult your doctor if you have debilitating back problems such as a slipped disk or severe osteoporosis before you attempt to paddleboard. The paddling motion can cause more injury if it is not done correctly.

SUPing, combined with regular stretching, can be used to treat minor conditions like muscular tightness, mild arthritis, or SI joint pains.

Can paddleboarding strengthen your back?

Paddleboarding is a popular ocean sport that can help you strengthen your core.

You can build muscle all through your core, from your abs to your quads, glutes, and lower back, and prevent injury to your spine and lower back.

Passive exercises that require you to use your core strength and legs to balance while standing on the top of the board are not underestimated.

You can slowly build your back strength by paddling in flat water for an hour every day. Pay attention to your form, stance, and technique. You should begin to notice a change in your balance and core strength after a few weeks.

We also recommend reading the article Best Kayak For Women to choose the right kayak.

Can paddleboarding cause back pain?

Paddleboarding can be a great exercise for the core, strengthening the muscles supporting your spine and lower back. However, it can cause back pain if done incorrectly.


It is important to maintain the correct form and posture when SUPing in order to avoid back pain. Your lower back can torque as you pull the paddle through a stroke. This will cause pain and make it more difficult for you to control your back.

People who have had back surgery recently or are suffering from degenerative slipped discs, fractures, or other issues may have weak muscles or inflamed nervous systems around the lower back.

These nerves may flare up if you engage in a core exercise that requires you to twist and torque your midbody.

Even if you don’t have any medical conditions, paddling can cause lower back pain in people who aren’t very fit and use poor form.

If you feel pain in your lower back, SI joints, or other symptoms that indicate you are doing more harm than good, this is the best way to determine if your back is suffering.

Lower back and SI pain

Lower back pain can be a sign you are using the wrong muscles. If your glutes, hips, and core is not engaging correctly, your lower back will carry the weight of your body.

The most common issues in paddleboarding are bending through your stroke before your abs and lats connect at the catch. Also, bending at the lower back rather than flexing your hips when paddling is two of the most common problems.

Poor posture can lead to lower back pain in any person, but it is more severe for people who are susceptible to SI joint problems and back pain.

Piriformis issues

You might feel pain in your hips while paddling if you are overworking your piriformis muscles, which are located inside your glute next to the sciatica neuron.

Piriformis issues

When core exercises are performed, the piriformis connects your lower spine and your thigh bones. It can cause hip pain.

These hip pains can be treated with the right stretches and, if necessary, physiotherapy.

Upper back pain

Paddleboarders should also be concerned about their upper back. This is often caused by rhomboid muscle taking up the slack from other weaker muscle groups like Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, or fighting against tight Pectorals.

These pains are often caused by poor paddling form. Paddleboarders often paddle from their shoulders and arms, which puts extreme pressure on the mentioned muscles.

These issues can be avoided by starting with your core, glutes, and hips, and then moving to your lats. Your shoulders and arms will only transmit the movement through your paddle.

Upper back problems can be very painful and may take time to resolve. However, most upper back problems can be resolved with the right stretching.

Can paddling help lower back pain?

Paddleboarding can be beneficial for people with ongoing back problems, such as mild arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and stenosis.

SUPing helps strengthen the core muscles that support your spine. Sometimes, a stronger back can relieve lower back pain and nerve interference.

Many paddleboarders who have had back surgery say that SUPing has helped them to feel stronger and in less pain.

Paddleboarding can be beneficial for people with sciatica. You can improve your core strength by paddling with good form.

Apart from the physical benefits associated with maintaining core fitness, we should not forget the profound mental impact that getting out on the water can have.

Do you think stand-up paddleboarding IN THE SURF is good for your back and health?

You are more likely to injure or cause further irritation to your back when you leave calm waters to surf. These injuries can be caused by sudden or exaggerated movements in takeoff and wipe-out, as well as muscle overuse during long wave sessions.

Do you think stand-up paddleboarding IN THE SURF is good for your back and health

Stand-up paddling is more beneficial than surfing for your lower back.

Your core should carry most of the weight of the strokes, as long as you are using the correct technique and stance.

Because SUPs are heavier and longer than average surfboards, it is more difficult to maneuver a SUP while riding waves.

SUP is a more challenging form of surfing than classic surfing. It involves a significant lower back rotation when you are up and riding.

A paddle is a great way to control the angle of your board. This adds to the weight and pressure on your hips and lower back.

SUP surfing may not be a good choice for those with severe lower back problems or recovering from a serious injury.

How to prevent back pain while paddleboarding

It is important to paddle with the correct form. Hinging at your hips is the most important aspect of paddling. Paddle boarders often put too much strain on their lower backs when they paddle.

To hinge at your hips instead of your lower back, engage your core, hips, glutes, and hamstrings and stabilize your pelvis. Bending at your hips means sticking your toes out.

A hip hinge is a good way to secure your stroke and reduce lower back pain. However, if you twist your hips with your spine bent and your lower spine open, it can cause serious injury to your SI joint and lower spine.

Keep your hips parallel to the ground and extend the paddle by pulling the hips. To keep your back from straining, bend forward towards the hips.

To transfer the torque from your legs to the stroke’s strongest part, bend your knees slightly.

Stretch before and after a session

It is important to warm up before getting in the water. After a hard session, a cool down after the session is a good way to keep your lower back healthy and prevent injury.

Even if your back doesn’t hurt, make it a habit of warming up and stretching your muscles. You can also increase your heart rate before you start a session.

Read more useful tips about sea kayaking here

Make sure you have the right paddle

You should ensure that your paddle is the right length to suit your height. A paddle that is too long can cause your shoulders to strain and a shorter paddle could make it difficult to bend over, which could lead to back problems.

You should also avoid using a stiff paddle (e.g. You might also put too much pressure on your body when you try to get the water in the right direction).

If you are experiencing this, you can find a paddle made of a flexible fiberglass material that is more forgiving when paddling through the water.

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