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What’s SUP?!

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle boarding. It consists of a long paddle and a surfboard that is longer, wider and more buoyant than a normal surfboard. It has its origins from ancient cultures of Africa and South America. Boards, canoes and watercraft were propelled with a long stick to fish, travel, make war and even ride waves. Only in the 1960s was it popularized in Hawaii (Polynesian Culture) and was referred to as “Beach Boy Surfing”. It has now spread all over the world with increasing popularity. There is recreational and racing SUP across USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.



It is a great overall body workout with lots of emphasis on the core. However, there are certain basic movement biomechanics that you need to know before you get onto one to keep your back safe.

  1. Hip Hinge:
    • Is when the movement is performed through the hip instead of the lumbar region or the knees
    • More power is harnessed through the hip hinge than any other joint
  1. Neutral Spine
    • It is trying to maintain the natural curves (lordotic and kyphotic) in your spine during movement
    • Our vertebral disc are not meant to flex and extend but need to be stabilized during movement

Below is a picture of Dr. Katie on a SUP with neutral spine and hinging from the hips.


The movement tips above do not just apply to SUP, but rather to life. It is more important that you hip hinge when you pick something off the ground or keep a neutral spine when at your desk. If you have questions about the movement tips discussed or questions about paddling, please feel free to contact me at the following below.


Author: Khanh Vy

Registered Kinesiologist | Certified Athletic Therapist (R.KIN(CAT)) | Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS) | [email protected]



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