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Is paddleboarding good for your back?

by Barnibonn

Paddleboarding (also known as stand-up paddling or SUP), is a great exercise for strengthening your core and back. As with many core exercises you should make conscious efforts to use your core while paddling. You also need to avoid straining your hips and lower back. Paddleboarding has both positive and negative effects, depending on how it affects your back.

SUPing is great for strengthening your back and helping to prevent lower back pain. You should be aware that if your back is hurting from serious injuries, you could inflict another injury.

If you have problems with your back, such as a slipped disc, severe osteoporosis, or other debilitating conditions, it is important to consult a physician before you start paddling on a board.

SUPing and regular stretches are good options for minor ailments like muscle tightness, mild arthritis, or SI joint discomforts.

Are you looking to strengthen your back with paddleboarding?

Paddleboarding has been deemed one of the best water sports for strengthening your core.

Building core muscle, from your abdominals to the quads and glutes of your core, will help strengthen the muscles that support and protect your lower back and spine against injury.

SI and lower spine pain

You can use your core strength and legs for balance while standing on top of a board. It’s a passive workout that you shouldn’t be underestimated.

To slowly increase your back strength, spend an hour each day paddling in flat water, paying attention to form, technique, and stance.

After a few more weeks, you’ll notice an increase in balance and core strength.

Can paddleboarding cause back pain?

Paddleboarding is an excellent core exercise that strengthens your lower back and spine. However, it can also cause back problems if not done properly.

You can avoid back pain by being upright and in the right posture while SUPing. When you pull your paddle along a stroke, allow your lower back-torque. Your lower back will suffer from pain.

Patients who are recovering from back surgery or have degenerative slipped disks or fractures may have weakening of the muscles or inflamed neural surrounding their lower back.

This happens when you do a core workout that requires you to twist your mid-body and torque it. These nerves could become more irritated as they attempt to protect your weak points from further injury.

For people who have no pre-existing medical conditions but are extremely fit and can paddle poorly, paddling boards can cause lower back discomfort.

It is easy to tell if your back is doing more harm than good if there are symptoms such as pain, fatigue, or a sensitivity to the SI joints.

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SI and lower back pain

Lower back pain could indicate that you’re not using your core properly and your glutes aren’t engaging your hamstrings, core, or hamstrings correctly.

The most common issues with paddleboarding form are: Bending forward through your stroke before your lats and abs connect at the catch, and bending at your lower back instead of flexing at your hips.

Poor form can cause lower-back pain in anyone. But it can be worse for those with SI joint and back issues.

Piriformis issues

If you feel pain in your hips paddling, you may be overworking the piriformis, which is located in your glute.

Piriformis issues

When you do core exercises, the piriformis muscle can cause pain in your hips. It connects to your lower spine with your thigh bone.

Hip pain can be managed with the right stretching and physiotherapy.

Is paddleboarding good for my back if upper back pain

Many paddleboarders are concerned about the pain in their upper backs. It can be caused by rhomboid muscular weakness taking up the rest of weaker muscles like the Serratus Anterior, Trapezius, or fighting against tighter Pectorals.

This is another example of poor paddling technique causing pain. Many paddleboards paddle using their arms and shoulders to initiate paddling strokes, putting extreme strain on the muscles.

To avoid problems like this, start with your core, glutes, hips, and abs, then engage your lats with your shoulders and arms. The paddle will continue to move through your body.

Upper back issues can be severe for some people and can take some time to treat. But, with the right stretch, you can usually get them under control.

Can paddle aid lower back problems?

Paddleboarding is a great way to strengthen your back muscles for those with chronic back problems such as degenerative disc disease, mild arthritis, or stenosis.

SUPing strengthens the core muscles supporting the spine. In certain cases, increased back strength may be able to relieve nerve infringement and lower back pain.

Paddleboarders who have recently had back surgery tell us that SUPing has significantly improved their back fitness, decreased their pain levels, and strengthened their core muscles.

Also, paddleboarding can help those with sciatica. If you can paddle with good form, you might be able to improve your core strength without putting pressure on your sciatic nerves.

In addition to the physical benefits of core fitness, there are also mental benefits from being in the water.

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Can stand-up paddling IN SURF be good for your back?

If you go from calm waters to the surf, your chances of injuring yourself or causing further irritation to the back increase. These injuries may result from exaggerated or sudden movements during takeoffs and wipe-outs, muscle overuse in long sessions on the waves, or muscle strain.

Standing up is better than surfing. However, standing upright paddling is better for your lower back that paddling on the surfboard. This causes hyperextension of your spine, neck, and spine.

Your core should bear the brunt of the strokes if you use the correct technique and stance.

SUPs are also longer and heavier than standard surfboards. This means that you will need to use more torque and twist to maneuver your SUP on a wave.

SUP requires a greater lower back rotation than traditional surfing.

You can also use a paddle to adjust the angle of your boards, which adds weight to the board and increases the pressure on your lower back.

If you have a severe injury or lower back problem, it is best to avoid SUP surfing.

Tips for avoiding back pain when paddling

The correct form is key to paddling. Hinging at the hips is essential. Many paddleboarders are too heavy on their lower back muscles while performing their strokes.

Tips for avoiding back pain when paddling

Your hip should be hinged at the hip, not the lower back. This engages your core (hips, glutes hamstrings) and stabilizes your pelvis. To bend at the hips, you need to stick your butt out.

A good hip hinge protects your strokes and helps to reduce lower back issues. If you are attempting to initiate strokes by hip twisting and keeping your spine flexed, this can lead to serious injuries to the lower spine.

Your hips should be parallel. Then, extend your hips and pull the paddle. For a stress-free back, keep your back flat while bending forward from your hips (not your waist).

When you are performing the most powerful stroke, bend your knees slightly so that the torque is transferred to your legs.

Stretch before and afterward a session

You can avoid injury by engaging in a warm-up before you enter the water. A cool-down is also a great way to prevent your lower back from stiffening.

Stretch before and afterward a session

You can make it a habit to warm up and stretch your muscles every day, even if your back isn’t hurting.

It can help you warm up before a session by raising your heart rate.

The right paddle is important

Use a paddle that’s the right length for your height. You could overwork your shoulders by using a long paddle. A short paddle can also cause you to bend down too much, which can lead to potential back problems.

It is also possible to use too stiff paddles (e.g. You may end up straining your body trying to get into the water at the right angle if you use a stiff paddle).

If this is the case then you should look for a paddle made from flexible fiberglass that will allow you to paddle through the water more easily.

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