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SUP Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney

Improve Balance & Reaction Time: Indo Board Training Gear & Suzie on the New “Gigante” 24″ Disc

Maui Wave Action!

Waves are a force of nature like no other. Susan does a superb job to illustrate this and more. A great read!


Surf Stronger Order This!

Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney Advanced Core Training Exercises on Gigante Flo Cushions

By Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

It’s no doubt that Hunter Joslin, Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder and developer of the popular Gigante Flo Cushion, entertains and trains with me at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point. Hunter was wowing the crowd with some tricks this weekend as Chip Martoccia, VP of Operations and I cheered on.

Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney train with Indo Board Flo Cusion

Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney having Gigante fun at 2012 BOP, Dana Point

I’ve been a team rider and ambassador for Indo Board Balance Trainer for some time, and thoroughly enjoy my time with Hunter and crew. We never miss an opportunity to play around and challenge one another. He’s quite the surfer and in very good shape. We’ve shared a few waves together on Maui, and I can say he is just a little competitive!

Hunter asked if I’d do this photo shoot and share some new tricks I’ve been working on in my studio here at SUZIE TRAINS MAUI. Of course! Turns out he had never tried or seen any of these so I was stoked, but under the gun to give him my best.

These exercises are THE ultimate core challenge and require good form, good posture and good overall anatomical health. Remember the core is where all movement begins and is everything excluding your extremities.

This type of training, I also refer to as proprioception training to encourage cat-like reflexes for your lifestyle, prevent injury and to provide the opportunity for your brain to command each finite muscle, tendon and ligament that supports all joints.

Continue reading Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney Advanced Core Training Exercises on Gigante Flo Cushions

Open Ocean Endurance Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui

In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a and anytime you venture into the ocean, open ocean endurance is not something to take for granted and it is a required physical and mental element that all water sport enthusiasts must have, especially when faced with huge walls of water moving and changing conditions. Besides navigating current changes, surface wind speeds, waves or deep troughs, often experienced and non-experienced folks can get into serious trouble or lose critical momentum needed to paddle over, in and through some of the roughest patches that can form underneath you, near you, in front of you or behind you.

This article is helpful if you’re a prone paddler, surfer, kayak paddler, canoe paddler or stand up paddler. Are you ready if your canoe hulis and you lose your paddle? How to you react if you fall of your down wind board on a big day on Maliko? How prepared are you? Do you carry a waterproof pouch with your cell phone or better yet, a GPS unit? Do you have a regular cardio routine that includes intense bouts of intervals? Do you cross-train? If you’re pausing to think about anything of these questions, then it’s time you take good inventory and learn all you can and implement now. ( See tips below ) Also contributing, is Stacie Thorlakson, MCKC Maui Canoe & Kayak Club board president.

Listen to Suzie's radio segment here!

Listen here for Suzie’s Radio Segment on Open Ocean Endurance:

The Physical Part:

1.Equipment Check: Check integrity of leash, tighten all fins, repair any major dings, tighten drain plugs, charge and take cell phone, fill Camelback, pack extra energy gel, waterproof whistle, wear sun protection, if a one man canoe, strap on an extra paddle.

2. Fuel: Charging the ocean requires food in your belly and hydration to reduce cramping. I like to suggest oatmeal or any complex carb at least an hour before departure. What’s great are two pieces of a nutty whole grain bread with a protein spread like almond butter or low salt peanut butter.  Coconut water is a favorite of mine that offers lots of potassium which allows you to hydrate more quickly.  I also squirt a full pack of an energy gel before a Maliko run. I avoid caffeine or super charged sugary drinks as these can actually dehydrate you and cause your energy to crash hard.

3. Body: Strength, stamina and cardio, and more intense cardio.  The biggest thing I notice when training my sport specific athletes or weekend water warriors is the lack of cardio and cross-training. It’s a common component that get’s overlooked but it’s so important. Strength and body stamina takes time to build but is necessary too. There are many formulas on the how to and it’s based on your sport, your goals and your current level of fitness so I can’t write one program to fit you all. You’ll have to come train with me for your specialized program. Continue reading Open Ocean Endurance Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui

Announcing at Lumeria Maui Suzie Cooney on Water Sports Specialist Team

Suzie Cooney, Maui Hawaii

Lumeria Maui is pleased to announce the addition of two professional athletes to our watersports faculty. Legendary surfers Suzie Cooney and Buzzy Kerbox will be spearheading the Lumeria Maui watersports program, offering classes in surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, wind surfing and kite surfing. Visitors may sign up for classes to enhance their stay at Lumeria and on Maui.  Experience the “sport of kings”!  Please see our watersports page for more information about our watersports classes and activities!

Sign up for Suzie’s May 2012 Stand-Up Paddling Fitness Experience at Lumeria Maui! Limited space is available! More information can be found here.


Balanced SUP Training to Help Prevent Injury Part One by Suzie Cooney for Naish

( Article written by Suzie Cooney, CPT for Naish International ) Direct link, click here.

Stand up paddling is no doubt taking the world by storm, and while you don’t need to be in the greatest shape to paddle, you’ll soon discover the benefits. As you begin to improve your technique, experiment with new gear and maybe decide to enter a race or wave competition, it’s a good idea to learn how to train in a balanced way to prevent injury so that you can enjoy paddling even more and stay on the water.

As the sport continues to evolve, and as a trainer who specializes in educating people how to paddle stronger and better improve their performance, I’d like to share with you first an overview of some of the known complaints and injuries that I’m seeing and helping people manage. I’ll also share with you many training strategies designed to help you better approach your SUP training in a balanced manor as a way to avoid injuries.

This article is part one of a two-part series that will illustrate a more in-depth review of the anatomy and how your muscles function while you paddle and how injuries might occur. Part two will be the actual exercises and training approach I recommend to help recover from some of these injuries and/or avoid them.

I’ve also gathered some helpful insight from one of our Naish Team Riders, Karen Wrenn, on how she trains to help her better perform. In addition, I’ll be highlighting another paddler, Kevin Vangritis from North Carolina and new racing competitor and long distance paddler, with his personal story and struggle with a unique injury and how he’s managed to come back on the water.

Common SUP Injuries

Overuse injuries and strains from SUP are common and include mostly the muscles of the shoulder and/or rotator cuff muscles, the knee joint, foot and ankle and low back. It’s good to have a knowledge base of the anatomy and function of each group so you can better adapt your SUP training to avoid these injuries. There may be more to mention, but in my practice and I too have experienced things such as a nagging bicep tendonitis issue in my right arm and on occasion after long distances over 20 miles, my traps (trapezius) have cramped a bit and my feet have fallen asleep.


photos by Simone Reddingius

Injuries that are more common where there are waves are fin lacerations to the extremities and face, paddle handles giving bloody noses (mine), and leash wrap-arounds I call them, that can cause sprains to fingers and other body parts from wrapping around you after a heavy wave wipe out. Also, as these boards are much heavier than surfboards for example, if you get hit in the head you could suffer a good blow or even a concussion. In addition, some super heavy hold downs at some of the bigger breaks can wreck havoc on your back and lower extremities.

Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injuries:

SUP3Stand up paddling works a lot of muscles and is well known for being a great core workout. It also requires a lot of work from the stabilizers of the shoulder girdle. The paddle stroke is a combination of medial rotation and abduction (of the top hand). The deeper rotator cuff muscles included are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and the teres minor. This requires the work of the subscapularis, latissimus dorsi, pec. minor, pec. major, and teres major along with deltoid and supraspinatus to lift the arm up. The bottom hand is mostly stabilizing to transfer the rotation of the trunk to the paddle the muscles used to stabilize are mainly latissimus dorsi rhomboids, triceps, and middle fibers of the traps.

One client complaint was that of a burning sensation radiating from his elbow up to his shoulder and down to his hand, and another, with numbness radiating down from his shoulder through his pinky finger. These can be common nerve entrapment injuries with chronic tension and overuse of certain muscle groups.

Rhomboid & Trapeziums Strains:

SUP4The rhomboid muscles interact with and help support the shoulder blade. Your trapezius (also referred to as your “traps”) are the connective muscles from the neck to the head of the humerus or top of the shoulder, and are responsible for stabilizing your neck and shoulder while you paddle. These muscles require a great deal of endurance. This is also where we tend to hold our stress and the area that can fatigue and cramp up on long distance races. I often hear of muscle fatigue and recently of a tear of the rhomboid as described by Kevin Vangritis. Read more of his experience and how he recovered:

Kevin Vangritis is a friend of mine from North Carolina and is just getting into SUP racing. Over the summer, Kevin was training for a big 50+mile-long distance SUP crossing in Chicago (with Windy City Waterman and Matt Lennert). Prior to the race, he was helping a friend with an exercise and felt a pop near his right scapulae or shoulder blade. At the time, he thought that to simply take an anti-inflammatory and ice should do the trick.

I should note that Kevin is in amazing shape and has a very consistent, well planned and executed training and paddling routine, so this was a bit of a surprise. Kevin is also well versed in the field of sports orthopedics as he assists surgeons and medical teams and knows the anatomy which is also helpful when recovering from an injury.

He writes, “Over the next couple of days, I began to develop a large knot in my trap as well as radicular pain down my right arm into my hand, which was my major concern. This is a classic sign of a herniated cervical disc. The knot began to limit mobility in my neck. Our endurance paddle of crossing Lake Michigan was fast approaching, and I had to come up with a plan to get better. Continue reading Balanced SUP Training to Help Prevent Injury Part One by Suzie Cooney for Naish

Shred to Shed with Stand Up Paddling Lose Weight Now by Suzie Cooney Radio Segment

Taken from the Maui Breakfast Club August 9th, 2011: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM. Listen here: Radio Segment

Throw away the diet books, thigh blaster or ab roller and if you live near any body of water, hop aboard and paddle to shed unwanted pounds now!

It sounds like an infomercial but I’m really serious. I’ve been helping people shed unwanted weight here on Maui and spreading the word for some time now, on how thousands of people are, as I wrote this article for ATHLETA; are literally “Sweeping Their Way to Health”. It’s really true. I’m hearing from so many people, besides seeing my clients and others around the world completely transform their bodies; paddling away the fat.

I wanted to share with you a couple nice entries of the many of received on how SUP has literally shaped their lives and bodies. It’s so inspiring and I hope they inspires you or someone you know who would like to enjoy losing unwanted weight. It is possible and it’s fun!

Here, my dear friend and avid paddler Lucija Kordic, from Alameda, California, braves the chilly waters of the Bay Area and shares, ” My pants fit much differently now and I fit into some of my set-aside size 6 pants. SUP and intervals on the treadmill both make a difference!” Lucija is now training with me with her new SUP Endurance Program designed to help her improve her paddling strength and endurance for long distance racing. Go Lucy go! See you on Maui soon!

If you live in the Bay Area and want to get to know some paddle buddies, Lucija organizes casual paddling groups and is the ultimate host. This I’ve experienced myself. You can hook up with her group at:

I’ve received so many emails on how stand up paddling, also known as “SUP” is changing people’s lives and it just so happens that one of the keen health benefits is amazing weight loss. I’m not just talking loss of pounds, but more like shedding their old ways.

I’ve always encouraged my clients and everyone to find a sport, especially SUP, to enhance their current training as a cross training tool. What happens more times than not, is it becomes an obsession! Wow. Besides having to throw away hard earned money on marriage counselors, maybe a new pair of $80 Spanx, the moderate investment of one or two boards, paddles, leashes and some sunscreen can also result in relationship bonding. SUP is so easy, couples are losing weight together AND getting quality time paddling off into the sunset.

I’ve always found that most of my clients and people who write me, have had the light turn on in their lives with SUP. They have found their calling and are so taken with the sport, it consumes every waking hour. Now they have racks on their cars, very cool, hang out at the local SUP shop and talk “board talk” or what event they may register in, or simply enjoy the “healthy” camaraderie that develops along with wonderful new friendships.

This sport is very contagious and what comes along with is the healthy lifestyle. What a great bonus. As one develops their love for SUP, unknowingly, because your total body is getting a continuous workout; one can easily start to notice remarkable changes in their body. What is commonly noticed first, is one’s core strength. I’ve written so many articles about the power of the core for SUP, and how to train your core to get stronger to paddle stronger, it’s truly the first thing that people always say, “Wow it really works my core.”

In Redding, way North of my hometown, Sacramento, California lives Matt Ivey, very new to SUP and boy does he have the stoke and has he

Matt Ivey Looking Great!

gotten in great shape! He says he was his wife’s ginny pig and suggested he do SUP with her while she was pregnant and suggested that he join her too. Read the rest to see how he lost 10 lbs and also learn how SUP helped him manage some pretty serious injuries he had. He’s got big plans to grow SUP in his life and business.

Matt writes:


I just got into SUP about a month ago and I am totally hooked. I have lost about 10 lbs and my core/lower back are feeling the increase in strength. I love is so much my wife and I are adding SUP rentals, ecotours, lessons, and fitness/yoga classes. My wife is 20 weeks pregnant and she is a manager of a gymnastics gym. She has been using the SUP to stay in shape while she is pregnant and has been working on a fitness program. So that means I have been her ginny pig when it comes to testing her exercises on someone. I also like my alone time so every other day I have been paddling upstream on a local river for a hour.

I come from a background of playing sports and lifting heavy weights. Over the past 6 years I have broken and dislocated my left ankle, separated my right shoulder, tore one of the heads of my left bicep, broke my right thumb, and sprained my right mcl. I also have several degenerative disks in my back so needless to say I can no longer play the sports I once loved.

But what that also meant is that I could no longer lift weights in the gym. This lead to me becoming frustrated and out of shape. After relocating to a new town and stumbling on SUP (we had seen it on Maui 3 years ago but were more concerned with surfing) I was instantly hooked.

In fact I even had my wife take a before photo so I have something I can compare it to after I feel like I have reached my goal. I have also been incorporating a slackline into my balance and core training. Between the SUP and Slackline I feel like I have found a great routine that works for me.

I could chat all day about SUP and what it has done for me mentally and physically. Both my wife and I have out degrees in Recreation Administration and Business so we are looking forward to putting our education and experience to use helping others share the passion we have for SUP. We have been following you and all that you have done for the SUP industry. Thanks for all of the inspiration and knowledge you share so well.

Matt Ivey
Adventure Recreation LLC
530-255-4505 Business
707-321-7224 Cell ( this is not a typo )

Thanks so much Lucija and Matt, and to the many others that wrote me and shared their SUP weight loss stories. As SUP grows so does the opportunity for more people to get fit and healthy. I really encourage those new to the sport to take the opportunity and feel and experience what all the buzz is about. As I always say, SUP will change your life.

To see all of my articles about how to get stronger for the sport of SUP, go to:

If you’re on Maui in early November, stay tuned for more details on my SUP Cross Enduro Beach and Water Fun Fitness Challenge!

Paddle in good health friends,

Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui

See Naish SUP Team Profile here:

I ride Naish boards. The line up for 2012 is unreal! We’ll have up to 31 boards like last year and the lines, designs and graphics are killer. I’m so stoked for the winter, monster swells and for some exciting Maliko runs. Check out the current line up here:

Buidling Your Dynamic Core with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui for Naish

( All Rights Reserved 2011)Want to explode your paddling core strength? You got it. These exercises require that you understand how to engage your core muscles both before and during the entire set. You become the stabilizing factor as you perform these movements. Also, I’d like you to pay close attention to the tubing or TRX Rip Trainer cord so that it is always taut and under tension throughout the entire series. I call this “time under tension”. If you “let go” of this concept, or your core, you won’t benefit fully from this workout.

Training Note: It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.

Equipment: TRX Rip Trainer, medium/heavy resistance tube
Progression Variables: change the platform you are standing on or use a heavier tubing or cord
Exercise 1: Standing Core Dynamic Stabilization TRX Ripper/Tube Rotations
Naish Team Suzie Cooney Dynamic Core - exercise 1 Click on the photo for a larger view.
In this photo, I’m using the new TRX Rip Trainer with the heavier cord.

Starting with your feet solidly on the ground about shoulder width apart, pointed straight ahead and with good posture, tie the cord to a secure object (Dave’s truck worked great!). Holding the TRX bar at shoulder width and just below the top of your shoulders, begin to engage your core by drawing in your abs and hold while making sure to breathe. Remember, safety loop! Don’t death grip the bar, but start far enough away from post with enough tension that will require you to stabilize the bar and your body. Rotate your body to the right while core engaged, then slowly return just before your start position (critical) and repeat.

Progression 1: Stand on your BOSU or other unstable platform. (An INDO Board on top of a Gigante Disc works well too). Now do the same movements while on the BOSU. Wow…crazy!
Suzie Cooney Naish Team, Dynamic Core - Exercise 1 - Progression 1
Progression 2: Secure a light, medium, or heavy gauge tubing to your secure object and perform the same movement as above, however, this time you’ll need to steady the tubing with your left arm locked. Gently clasp the tube with one hand, but do not grip too heavily. Place a bit of tension on the tube and begin the rotation. Remember “time under tension”. To increase challenge, step further out or hop on your BOSU or other unstable platform.To read the rest of my article and to see all my SUP Fitness Tips go to: visiting Maui, Suzie is available for private ftness training and beginner to advanced stand up paddling lessons. Contact her at 808-283-2121. Suzie is a professional Team Rider for Naish International.Get your TRX Rip Trainer here. The Rip Trainer will really help you build your core to explode that stroke!

Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney: What You See Is How You Perform: Increase Your SUP, Surf, Dirt Bike or Any Sports Performance With Visualization Training

What You See Is How You Perform: Increase Your SUP, Surf, Dirt Bike or Any Sports Performance With Visualization Training

      LISTEN HERE  to Suzie’s Radio Segment

by Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui

See the finish line, the crowd cheering you on the last buoy turn, the last surf heat before the horn, the last lap of your mountain bike or dirt bike race and see your personal victory! Okay, now adjust the speed and tempo, add a little more weight to the bar, do a few more balance tricks and turn up the music.

Visualizing your win, your finish or any goal you set out for your racing or training I guarantee will get you that trophy or medal or simply help you get to the next phase of your training and sport. We watch the networks play over and over in slow motion, two competitors going handle bar to handle bar on the dirt track, paddlers digging as deep and fast as they dig deep into last turn back to the beach, or the Olympic speed skaters pushing off those last few powerful meters.

You can do the same during your training. If you’re a surfer and while you’re performing a weighted squat on your INDO Board, you see the green room and the spray of huge dragons breath; popping you out of that tube standing tall touching the back of that blue wall. For example, when I’m on my spin bike, I close my eyes as the music carries me across the ocean on my Naish Glide at warp speed, catching every bump and trough possible, or better, turning on the face of a big wave.

Whatever your sport, your mental game and how you see yourself as an athlete makes a critical difference in how you perform. Do you see yourself as an athlete? Are you looking to build your game and confidence? I’m not a scientist, but what I do know is that the subconscious captures images of our desire outcomes and holds them and when an opportunity mimics the situation, it retrieves that image and allows our minds and body to shape and make that true.

I have the pleasure to introduce to you my training client, Stephen. Here is his awesome story on how his visualization training became an exciting reality, to a successful 27 mile stand up paddle race finish. The race was Saturday April 23rd, 2011. It started from Honolua Bay, Maui across the open ocean channel to the island of Molokai. Sport, stand up paddle, partner Mike Owens.  ( photos by Joshua Kjorven)

“ I would like to help contribute, it was one of those crazy ideas one gets while I was watching Connor and Dave battle it out in the Pailolo Channel on last year’s race. It was in November when I first watched the video of the battle where Connor ultimately won. Watching him paddle, getting that imprint of his paddle stroke, and ability to read the swell was captivating. I thought with a little practice “I could do that” and why not, what could possibly go wrong? I never think about the details (they usually become a barrier),I just stay focused on the goal, and the details usually work themselves out in the end.

I set up our indoor pool to train and get in shape during the winter months, and then arrived in Maui to start training with you and Jeremy. Jeremy corrected my paddle stroke, and taught me to catch bumps on the four Maliko runs we did, plus several days in the harbor. Suzie helped me focus on my balance and strengthened the areas that I needed to improve upon, and it really helped. In reality was I ready for such a crossing and be a contender? No but my goal was to do it, learn it, and experience the rush, get the confidence, and then do it again next year, hopefully solo.

 This is an excellent example of how Stephen’s visual training of seeing his successful outcome and all the steps he needed to take to get there, seeing himself as an athlete, a competitor and a finisher! Good job Stephen!

What I suggest is that you get real clear on what you want to see. Get real specific with how you want to perform. Do you want to go faster, carve bigger turns, or catch bigger glides or simply finish? Focus that imagery on just that. See in your mind over and over again that perfect picture of the outcome. Some people also explore hypnosis.

When you look in the mirror at the gym, get hyper focused and don’t be embarrassed of how strong you think you look. Right on! That’s what I want. Growl, sing see the confetti! If one of my clients is training for a big event and we’re squeaking out one more set or rep, I just love to whisper in their ear, “this is when you win.” I’ll also say, “Are you not the fierce competitor I know? Then do it.”

Now I’m not the mean trainer you see on TV, but I do give my clients the tools to help them get real with themselves and give them lots of positive images while we are training. I am the one that will keep you very positive and erase any negative and mental obstacles. If you don’t have a trainer, I suggest you try and do the same.

Develop a mantra that you say to yourself as you have your image. This is also a very powerful tool I suggest to my clients that get’s them very fired up and focused. I don’t care if it sounds totally silly, or if it’s a string of unusual sounds, it’s what resonates with them, If it makes sense to them and get’s them to that place they must go, then say it. I know people hear me when I’m surfing, SUP surfing or training down Maliko. I talk to myself all the time out loud.

What I strongly suggest when testing out your mantra with your visual, please don’t say negative things, like “you dummy, just one more stroke” or “I’m an idiot… “. You get my drift. Positive words, positive images equal a positive outcome.

Takeaway: Say to yourself  “I am an athlete, a fierce competitor and I am strong”. See yourself getting tubed, finishing your first 5 or 10k, rounding that last buoy, or hitting it full throttle across the line.

I’d love to read about what you see when you train and what the outcomes are? Are you faster, stronger? How did it change the way you train? We welcome your comments!

Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT

Should you like to learn more about Suzie and train with her on Maui for your next successful experience, go to her website at

Also follow her on Face Book at: Follow SuzieTrainsMaui on Twitter

Suzie is alsoTeam Rider for Naish International. Check out the latest in her SUP specific training tips.

Transform your performance! Train like Suzie’s clients with the INDO Board

It was a great day, emotional and draining but I will do it again next year for sure.” Stephen

Getting ready for the big Maui to Molokai Challenge!

My partner was Mike Owens, we did a great job, for first timers, and we had fun. And we will do it again next year. I started visualizing this goal in November, and kept at it since then, but on the beach that morning I was just grateful to have the opportunity to do such a thing, everyone was giving us course instructions, Jeremy was saying this will be an experience of a lifetime and to enjoy it, but once we put the paddle to the water… That visualization, the memory of Jeremy’s instructions and Connors video all came in to focus and that made the difference.

POWERFUL Legs for SUP: Exercises for Flat Water, Waves and Gliding by Suzie Cooney

Power Exercises for your Legs Exclusively For Naish International
by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui and Naish Team SUP Rider

This is the final series on Leg Strength for stand up paddling:

Last Week: Strengthening Balance Exercises for your Legs    Also: Leg Stabilizing Exercises for Better Board Control

Power Exercises:   To See Suzie’s entire article:

Training for power comes with time and one should have a pretty good base of fitness before attempting some of these exercises. Extra precautions should be warranted to those who may have ankle weakness or other orthopedic challenges. You may have heard of plyometrics, which refers to very powerful, 2 legged, explosive like exercises that help speed and power.

Training Note: It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.

Exercise 1: Box Drops
Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)

This exercise requires you to drop to the ground from a box or raised platform and land softly. It is very important to land on the balls of  your feet, not on your heels. The box I’m using is 29 inches tall.

Exercise 2: Box Hop Ups

Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)

 This powerful exercise can be a great cardio blast too. You can increase the difficulty by changing the speed or height of the box or platform you are jumping to. I suggest not standing too far away from the box or too close; about 12 inches away from the box seems to work well.

 For Exercise 3 & 4  go to:

For more information and tips from Suzie Cooney go to:
and follow Suzie Trains Maui on Facebook or @suzietrainsmaui on Twitter.

Strong SUP Legs for Flat Water, Waves and Gliding Power Part II: Strength

Strong SUP Legs for Flat Water, Waves and Gliding Power Part II: Strength

Suzie Cooney for Naish

Strength Exercises for your Legs
by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui and Naish Team SUP Rider.

Last week we focused on recruiting the finite muscles around your feet, ankles, knees, inner thighs and hips to promote quicker reaction times and improve your stability and balance. This week, I’ll be walking you through exercises to improve your leg strength, endurance and power.Remember when you were first learning to stand up paddle? You may have felt like your legs were like jello and your feet and arches may have burned a little too while you were death-gripping the deck and trying to put it all together. That too shall pass as you develop and strengthen the muscles of your legs and simply spend more time on the water! 

Training Note: It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.

This Week: Strength Exercises

Your glutes (larger butt muscles) and quads (front thigh muscles) are the very large muscles of the legs and offer tremendous power as you shift your body and change position on your board. If you want to kick some butt on the water…do lunges! Lots!

Again, I like to challenge myself when I’m at the beach, so I go shoes off. If you do train at the beach and are used to wearing shoes, you will really notice all the muscles in your feet working hard to stabilize you as you enter the exercise and as you push off. You can do these lunges with the same leg or alternate legs.

Exercise: Simple Lunges
Equipment: weights (optional)
Progression Variables: Weights at side or on top of shoulders

   To see all the photos and exercises go to:

Also to follow Suzie on Face Book  http://www.//

Stand Up Paddle Health & Fitness Clinics with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui March 26, 2011

March 26th, 2011  MAUI!  STAND UP for Health & Fitness with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui.  F R E E! Guys and gals, train on the beach with me, then we hit the water for some SUP water training, strength training, relay fun, and fine tune your paddling techniques.
CLINIC IS NOW FULL! If you are still interested, we are taking information should there be a cancellation.

All levels of fitness and paddling welcome! Meet new paddling friends.

Learn to paddle efficiently, gain better control of your board and glide more smoothly. Enjoy the healthy benefits SUP has to offer and learn from a professional. Learn a few training tips to help build better body and paddling endurance. Check out this SUP exercise tip written exclusively for Naish International:

Space is limited! To reserve your space and inquire: or call 808-283-2121.  You must provide your own board or you can rent from the Maui Naish Pro Center 808-871-1500.  This class is for beginners and intermediate paddlers and is 1.5 hours.

Suzie Cooney is a world renowned SUP instructor and ambassador of the sport of stand up paddling. Her SUP clinics are a day or a week long adventure. As a sponsored Team SUP Rider for Naish International and elite fitness specialist, Suzie has taught hundreds of men and women this fastest growing sport in the world. Her SUP Health & Fitness clinics welcomes all ages and all levels of fitness; are informative and sure to spread the stoke of SUP!

She is available to conduct private or group clinics, host events or customize a week long adventure at your resort. She is also supported by Olukai Premium Footwear, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear and Elite Athlete for The True-Collection Team, owner of Suzie Trains Maui More info: OR

Call Coach to reserve your board!

To inquire more about hiring Suzie for your event, resort or private lodge e:

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Suzie Trains Maui