pilates stand up paddle

Doing pilates on a stand-up paddle (sup) board

Pernelle is a sales assistant at the Decathlon Watersports Centre in Hendaye and a keen Pilates coach. She explains how she learnt how to do Pilates on a stand-up paddleboard.

#1 Start by learning how to use a stand-up paddle board...

Against the magnificent backdrop of the ocean and the mountains in Hendaye, the sun is out and the conditions are perfect for a session on an inflatable Itiwit stand-up paddleboard with my friends
After the instability of the first strokes standing up, I eventually found the right position, and my instinctive movements as a pilates coach quickly came back by themselves! With my knees slightly bent to absorb the waves, and my feet spread as wide as my pelvis, my gaze fixed the horizon and my abs were as hard as a rock! My core was hard at work! Apart from that, keeping your balance is quite a challenge...But I breathe slowly and deeply for a better feel, and to make my abs work harder. I soon become accustomed to the conditions, the waves and the boats, and I really enjoy the experience! Then I take a short break to enjoy the scenery and I sit down with my feet in the water... or I even lie down! And then I feel another relaxing sensation, as the waves gently rock me!

pilate exercice stand up paddle

#2 First exercises

I try out two or three Pilates postures with this feeling of instability that is permanently present, and I realise that this work is highly beneficial for my deep core muscles, my stabilising muscles, but also for proprioceptive exercise! The bearings I usually have on land have gone, and I must adapt to a new environment and control this instability! Concentration, centring, breathing, fluidity, precision, control ... Doesn't that remind you of something else? I discover many points in common with the Pilates method, because the fundamentals are the same! Great!

pilates on inflatable SUP

#3 What are pilates?

Pilates is a method that globally strengthens the body's muscles by using slow and fluid methods and controlled thoracic breathing. Firstly, Pilates strengthens the core muscles that determine our posture. These muscles are located between the ribs and the pelvis and all around the spinal cord (abs, pelvic floor, and back muscles). 
They form the body's center of energy that enables us to be stronger and more stable. Pilates is a discipline that improves our awareness of our body, its strengths, and its limits so that we can make better use of it. They aim to elongate and strengthen the muscles and to harmonize your body shape in order to have a better posture. They also make your articulations more supple, prevent back pains, and strike the perfect balance between suppleness and power. This method also improves your sporting performance and helps to restore the balance between your muscular chains! When you exercise and continually repeat the same movements required by your sport, you can unwittingly create muscular imbalances. Some muscles are overused, while others are neglected. Now that you know all about Pilates, it's time to get started!

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