Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.
Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.
The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.
“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2 Mind.org.
Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!
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 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.
Thanks for checking out my video! Whether you want to charge big waves or shed weight, strengthen your core or get inspired, I’m here to help YOU!
I specialize in water sports performance training on Maui;- (SUP)stand up paddle stronger, surf stronger, windsurf stronger, paddle or kite stronger. Pros and non-pros are welcome! Or if you’re not a water athlete, I can help you too. New mom’s wanting to get a jump start, reentering fitness or coming off an injury, I’m in your corner.
My training will challenge and motivate you. Improve your core and balance, land and ocean endurance and learn all my jewels to keep you balanced and avoid injury. Training is functional training. On the beach, in the studio and on the water, I want to see what you’ve got!
If you are visiting Maui be sure to contact me well in advance to assure my availability. Contact me e: firstname.lastname@example.org Also be sure to visit: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/suzie-cooney-certified-personal-trainer/
As used in video: Indo Board Training Gear. To order yours to be a stronger surfer, paddler or strengthen your knees, hips and ankles click photo here:
Aloha Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
A Simple Training Tip For SUP to Maximize Leg Strength and Endurance with the Indo Board Training Gear
By Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
More and more people are stand up paddling and I get flooded with emails on how to strengthen the legs to help reduce fatigue, increase performance for distance, wave paddling and simply cruising. There is not one answer but I have a tip that can help all the above at some level.
From beginners to professional paddlers, everyone can benefit to learn how to maximize your leg strength and endurance to you can enjoy paddling longer, possibly reduce injury or to push your limits and improve your performance.
I’ve been a Team Rider for Indo Board for years now and love how the sport and gear have evolved together to allow for smooth paddling and more water time. I’ve had numerous major injuries over the years, and seriously, my Indo Board gear has brought me back faster and stronger than ever.
When folks are making transitions from flat water to wave paddling, it’s all footwork and water reading. It’s pretty awesome when you can train your body to connect to your brain’s intention and have it all right there. Connect your body to the waves, bump or trough if downwind paddling.
This simple tip I offer will wake up all the fine muscles around the feet, ankle, knees and hips independently of your other leg. I like this exercise ( see blow ) because although all the muscles of your body work together, by breaking it down and loading up each joint; we can then maximize each point to perform with it’s own strength and consistency, then ultimately allowing for every joint to excel in unison.
Additionally, the strength you gain will then allow for quicker reaction times to changing conditions, increase muscle endurance and hopefully minimize injury or overuse syndromes and other compensations. ( I am not a physician but have worked in sports orthopedics. Always consult with your personal specialist with regards to any injuries or if embarking on a new fitness routine.)
Even though I’m a “regular” surfer and paddler surfer, funny thing is I skateboard and snowboard “goofy”. So fortunately I will benefit from training with left foot and right foot forward. My point is, even though you may be one or the other, train both legs.
Inflate the Gigante Flo Cushion with less air for more difficulty or more air to slow it down. Place the Indo Board Rocker or Indo Board Kicktail on top with nubby side up for maximum traction of board to cushion. I also suggest that you kick off your shoes because any rubber will act as a false barrier between you and the real thing.
Step onto board slowly in a surfer’s stance with kettle bell or dumbbell in the hand of the opposite side of the foot your approach with. So if goofy or right foot, step up and hold weight in left hand.
To maximize results, hold weight “above” the joints we intend to stress, so up to shoulder. My joint targets: ankles, knees and hips.
I suggest “time” your set. For example, beginner would hold for 5-10 seconds, and advance to 30-60 seconds in each direction or with each foot.
Lower body into squat position, gaze forward, breathe and hold. Burn to fatigue. Shaking is okay and expected.
You will begin to feel your ankle, knee and hip burn and or shake! This is good! Hold on to this position as best you can and time yourself now. See how low you can go. Relax your feet and don’t look down.
Rise up slowly, step off the back of board onto ground rest then switch it up over to the opposite leg. Repeat.
If you have the opportunity to try both boards, the Ying and Yang ( links here ) and then the Kicktail, wow what a difference. The Kicktail, which is my favorite, is very challenging and offers a lot more ankle and foot action. This requires the small, tiny stabilizers to fire and fatigue, which is the result you want.
Again, the point I’m also attempting to illustrate is that by holding a weight over and above the joint or muscle group that you’d like to strengthen and train, you will maximize the benefit and outcome. The fact that we also get to add the variable of an unstable platform gives us the ultimate opportunity for your training. If the weight is below or at joint level it will produce a different result.
This kind of training is efficient and I promise you that you will definitely notice a difference the minute you get on the water. People who train with me are blown away of how much easier it is to literally step onto the wave, or last longer in channel crossing, or for any distance paddling.
This particular exercise can also transfer well to surfing, kiting and windsurfing.
I hope you enjoyed this tip. Here is a link to other articles I’ve written for SUP Fitness.
If ever on Maui, I’m available for private specialized training and can show you all my training tips to maximize your results and SUP water performance. I also offer private and semi-private professional SUP lessons.
Don’t forget to order your Indo Board Equipment here. Here is a photo of my training quiver from Indo Board. Having good balance, strength and leg endurance is key for more time on the water. Other articles you may enjoy allows you to learn more SUP training applications.
Join Us Saturday April 28th, 2012
OluKai and Suzie Cooney host a Free 3 Mile “Practice” Fun Paddle
Paia Youth and Cultural Center 9AM
( no preregistration required )
In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, and the Fun Paddle Division, join us again for the 3 mile “practice” fun paddle, mini downwinder that everyone can enjoy. Build your water confidence. Anything paddle powered can enter as this is not a competition. The start is at the Paia Youth and Cultural Center and will finish at the lifeguard tower at Kahana Beach Park. ( Details below )
All ages, all levels of paddlers will enjoy an escorted practice paddle with me and other safety folks. This is a great opportunity for those who desire to experience Maui’s N. shore in a fun and safe manor. Here’s a video from one of last year’s practice paddles: ( 2o11 )
So, grab your stand up paddle board, kayak, 4 man, 6 man, prone paddle board, canoe or anything you can paddle! This is your chance to get ready, test your paddle skills, meet some new friends and join the OluKai ohana. The paddle will take the fastest paddler approximately 30 minutes or less to complete and the average time will be about and hour. Take your time, soak in the sun and paddle with your friends. This is not a race, paddle at your capacity.
PRACTICE 3 MILE FUN PADDLE:
DATE: Saturday, April 28, 2012
WHERE: Start – 28 Hana Hwy: Paia Bay Cultural and Youth Center Finish: Kanaha Beach Park Lifeguard Tower
TIME:Start time is 9:00am ( please arrive by 8:00am to sign in and for course review and safety meeting )
We suggest paddlers carpool and prearrange transportation after the paddle so you can retrieve your car from the Paia Youth and Cultural Center. You will need to provide your own board or gear to paddle.
Any questions, please contact Matthew Murasko, OluKai Premium Footwear Hawaii Ambassador email@example.com
To register for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a Fun Paddle on May 12, 2012, click here. The cost is $20 and includes your entry and luau dinner.
More about the Fun Paddle May 12th, 2012:
The ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, is a non-timed, non-competitive 3-mile fun paddle designed for all members of the community to get out in the ocean for a good cause. The shorter course is less strenuous, and a great way for paddlers of all skill levels to experience a portion of the legendary Maliko downwind run. No timing chips, no age divisions, just come out and paddle! Maui’s own fitness and training expert, Suzie Cooney, will lead paddlers on the 3-mile course.
Represent your ‘ohana in coordinated colors and outfits, or wear your best Hawaiian warrior costume. This is meant to be a fun event! The most festive participants will receive special prizes from OluKai.
A portion of proceeds from the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle go to our ‘Ohana Giveback Program benefitting Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.
Also for those who are interested in the 8 mile SUP race May 12th or the OC1 race May 13th 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.
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:
Stand 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:
The 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
Introducing Matt Lennert, long distance and wave SUP paddler, SUP event director, windsurfer and surfer; stopped in for an all-on SUP performance tune up with me in my studio during his recent visit to Maui. He was up for any challenge, that’s for sure! I threw medicine balls at him full speed while he managed to amazingly hang onto whatever training apparatus I placed him on top of.
His sheer determination and already a finely tuned athlete; he was on top of his training game. Wow! He performed well this day and left with a good sweat. Unfortunately the conditions for a Maliko Run were not up to par but we’ll have to try again Matt when you come back with your family!
Paddle Your Way Sexy! SELF Magazine July 2011 Issue:
Stand up paddling definitely gets you in AMAZING shape. Brody Welte in Florida mentioned offers some tips through his paddle fit course on how to do so. I also teach SUP beginner to advanced, and as a competitor know first hand that this sport will transform your body! Anyone can do it and you don’t have to know how to surf!
( 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.
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!
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: http://www.naishsurfing.com/sup-fitness/dynamic-core/While visiting Maui, Suzie is available for private ftness training and beginner to advanced stand up paddling lessons. Contact her at 808-283-2121. TweetSuzie 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!
Left to right: Gigante Disc, Suzie, smaller 12" disc, 6.5 in roller, 8.5 in roller, INDO Board Pro, Ying & Yang Rocker Board, Kicktail
Aloha! Everyone knows that trains with me or reads my blogs and articles that I ‘m a huge fan of the INDO Board. It has brought all my clients to new levels in fitness and is always exciting and fun; meanwhile allowing me to cater to each individual and their unique needs. I’ve been a team rider and contributor for INDO Board for some time, and their product development, trainer curriculum and application continues to blow me away. My surfers, stand up paddlers, kiters, windsurfers and those also coming off of injuries have enjoyed building their strength on the different INDO Boards and platforms. Even those reentering fitness again or for those who want to freshen up their routine, love the challenge and discover new things about their abilities which allows me at any level, help them reach their personal fitness goals.
Functional training is the key focus of my practice and it’s how I’m sure that when I’m training a surfer or a new mom, all of their kinetic checkpoints are tracking properly before we embark on any new fitness program. The INDO Board training equipment offers me the expansive opportunity to test, observe and ask folks to perform on different, unstable platforms and is part of every assessment for each individual. It allows me to really measure one’s core strength, balance and reaction ability while I’m developing their unique program in my mind, all the while watching them discover new abilities they thought they never had. As a trainer, this is my biggest reward!
Suzie Cooney on Gigante Disc photo by Darrell Wong 2011 All Rights Reserved
The Gigante Disc, which has been a dream come true not only for training my SUP clients on land before we train on the water, but I’ve discovered so many other modalities and exercises that I’ve never before knew one could do. I often make up a lot of this stuff as I go based on the individual’s ability. You will see this piece of gear as one of my favorites and now on Naish’s website with my fitness articles. My mind is always thinking in that direction as I develop more and more exercises and also combine other tools and weights in conjunction with. It’s literally exponential on what you can do for your own training.
My second favorite new deck is the simple INDO Board Kicktail and the INDO Board Ying & Yang Rocker Board, which is very loose and wide, offering my more advanced clients a lot more freestyle action on a larger surface, but I’ve already implemented other uses! For example, today, setting up my hard core windsurfer, Tim Ellison loves it when I place the INDO Board Kicktail board on top of a semi-inflated Gigante disc in the surfers stance. This is his way of practicing his foot work for wave sailing. Then I fire at him an 8lb medicine ball in all planes of motion. He loves it! The INDO Board Kicktail is narrow and challenging, while the Gigante forces him to keep his knees bent and manage the force production and movement caused by the weighted ball. He’s be happy and completey satisfied if we did this the entire session!
The photo above shows me on my Naish 9’0″ Hokua. This is quite a sassy quad fin and with the INDO Board Gigante disc inflated almost to the max, I’m able to push my body to the max. ( beginners, remove your fins and I may suggest you place two Gigantes with less air at first, one in front and one in the back of board ). Aquiring upper body endurance with a medicine ball or weighted bar, while at the same time challenging all the finite muscles from from my feet, ankles, knees, hips to the core. This will get your heart rate up and burn your legs! AWESOME!
Advanced INDO Board Core Training. Not just for surfers or paddlers! Everyone can benefit!
SUP paddlers, you can take your paddling to the next level with just a few pieces of key INDO Board equipment. This kind of training REALLY transfers to many different types of water conditions. Flat water, to big waves, to Maliko down wind coast runs, require all muscles to fire and this type of training also known as “propreocetion” work is key. You want your body to respond quickly and naturally. That’s why this gear makes that difference. Be sure you take your time and train your brain with the new reaction benefits that will challenge you. Safety is paramount and as you progress in your leg, core and even upper body strength, go back to the basics and start from the top.
Progressions should be safe, managable and always proper form. Progressions are as simple as two legs to one, less air in disc(s) or more air. Tempo, speed shift, holding weights below your knees or resting on your shoulder as you might perform squats on top of the Gigante disc while standing on the Rocker Board.
Hunter Joslin, Chip and Georgette at INDO Board, thank you for all that you do to help us trainers help more of our clients and water sport enthusiasts, and putting smiles on thousands of hard training folks, and for providing a most excellent quiver of fun under the sun or studio lights!
Mahalo and in good health,
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
While visiting Maui, Suzie is available for professional private training sessions. These may include on and off water sessions should you like. She will take you through all the progressions based on your current level of fitness and assist you safely to success. Call at 808-283-2121 or go to: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/suzie-cooney-certified-personal-trainer/