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Are You Balanced?

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

In Stand Up Paddling, we think about balance A LOT. However, we're thinking about physically balancing on our boards when its windy, in the ocean, or if a boat flies by. Many people don't think of the other kind of balance, the balance of strength in our bodies. Some of us start to realize that we may be stronger on the left or the right, and we start to consider being balanced in lateral strength. But, moreover, in order to paddle for long periods of time, or to push it hard in a short period of time, it is important for our strength to be balanced in such a way that it prevents injury.

Our push strength and pull strength in our legs, arms, and core should all be balanced in a specific ratio that I will not be sharing publicly in this post. When I have a new coaching client in SUP, I like to get a base line of their strengths. If they are in Wilmington, I will send them to Crossfit Carolina Beach to get a strength balance assessment from Jordan. (You could go get this test without me.) Regardless of where its done, I like to see a persons ability to do the back squat, front squat, dead lift, bench press, pendlay row, ring dip, pullup, upright row and overhead press. All of these need to be performed with perfect technique with a trained professional to get an idea of a person's maximum strength in each plane of movement. Once I have these numbers, I will take a look at the "magic ratio" and help develop an early season strength base that improves or enhances the athlete's body balance. In the absence of maximum numbers (which can be scary or intimidating, or downright dangerous for those with no lifting experience) we can use maximum numbers reached at a much lighter weight. In addition to these numbers, I also like to get a look at the balance between the left and the right side of the body.

Why do we want to be balanced in these planes of movement? Because it prevents injury! It turns out, for example, i