Lucy is a Brighton-born watersports and fitness enthusiast who has a broad experience of stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, wakeboarding and snowboarding. Lucy has always loved sports, taking part in lots of school sporting events from a young age. She qualified as a fitness instructor after leaving school, and soon discovered watersports. Lucy first learned to windsurf at Lagoon Watersports, before completing her instructor course out in Greece. Since then she has worked both in the UK and abroad teaching windsurfing, and has also spent a couple of years in the French Alps snowboarding.
In 2008 Lucy began working at Lagoon Watersports, which is where she developed a passion for SUPing – surfing, racing and cruising. Lucy helped set up Lagoon Fitness, a branch of Lagoon Watersports – promoting Stand Up Paddling in Brighton and offering SUP fitness classes. This has been a great success and in Lucy’s words, “is due to get even bigger and better this year!!”
Lucy is super passionate about SUP and particularly the benefits of SUP yoga.
“I soon realised the benefits that SUPing brings, for both your mind and body, as well as being loads of fun.” – Lucy McCormick
Part 1 – SUP YOGA
Stand Up Paddleboard (YOGA) Yoga is a great new way of working out and is already a craze in the states. Essentially SUP Yoga comprises of yoga postures with Stand Up Paddle Boarding, the board playing the part of the yoga mat. SUP YOGA provides great benefits to the mind and body, this is easy to see when each of the aspects alone gives amazing benefits to health, and together they provide the perfect combination. The board is used as an alternative yoga mat; the intensity of each pose is increased by providing clients with a greater challenge and added benefits. Your balance will improve as will your yoga performance – as the board is constantly moving, you body is working hard to stay stable, if done regularly it will lead to improved proprioception. It’s also a great way to tell if you are performing your yoga poses correctly – if you put to much weight through one side of your body, the board will react.
You don’t need to be a Yoga pro to get involved, starting with the basic poses on land, they can soon be transferred onto a Stand Up Paddle Board.
It’s a great advantage to learn the basic paddle board skills first as you’ll get a feel for the board and gain stability. Once you feel comfortable on the board and start to move about, you can then progress to some basic poses.
SUP YOGA strengthens the core, improves your balance, tones muscles, reduces stress and increases body awareness. As well as this being on the water can be both tranquil and rejuvenating, helping you to achieve a relaxed and clear mind, whilst enjoying the surroundings of nature.
Below are a few great SUP Yoga moves to try out and get you started.
A great pose to strengthen the core, the plank works many major muscles of the upper body and core.
• Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line.
• If your arms or abdominals are not yet strong enough to support your body weight, you can lower your knees to the floor, making sure to keep your head and spine in a straight line.
The Bird Dog
The bird dog is an awesome pose for improving balance and core strength.
• From your hands and knees, extend one arm and the opposite leg parallel to the floor.
• Keeping a neutral spine, create a straight line with your arm, torso and leg.
The Downward – Facing Dog
The Downward-Facing Dog energizes and rejuvenates the entire body, as well as stretching and strengthening certain parts.
• Begin on your hands and knees. Position your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.
• Distribute your weight evenly across your hands.
• Lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an “A.” Imagine your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs.
The bridge stretches the front of your hips and opens your chest, targeting muscles deep in your lower back and hips.
• Lie on your back with palms down.
• Bring the soles of your feet to the floor, hip-width apart.
• Press through your feet to lift your hips.
With all the poses above try to hold them for 30 seconds to start with, as you become stronger lengthen the time.
REMEMBER TO CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING PART IN ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
For more information about Lagoon Fitness with Lucy check out the Lagoon Fitness Facebook page
In her next article Lucy will be talking about the benefits of SUP Fitness and how to use a SUP to enhance your workout.