The Water People Workout

Fresh off of Cascadia SUP's Water People 2019 in Puerto Rico, the Water People Team has collaborated to bring you the Water People Workout. Each one of the team members, Alex Llinas, Jeff Briley, Aaron Vitali and Julie Briley, ND have their own expertise and wealth of experiences they draw from in creating this fitness program. Workouts like this are the basis for how they stay fit on and off the water throughout the season.  

Add this workout to your fitness program and join us February 22-27, 2020 in Rincón, Puerto Rico to put your energy to good use paddlesurfing, freedive breath and safety training, flatwater stand up paddleboarding, learning about nutrition, daily yoga and so much more. 

Breathing Yourself Up To Perform: Let Your Diaphragm Do the Work w/ Alex Llinas @saltyfreediver
Breathing up is an important technique used in freediving to prepare your body for the physical demands of holding your breath. Utilizing your diaphragm allows your body to streamline the process of providing oxygen to your blood for your body to metabolize. It also reduces your heart rate and relaxes your muscles. Breathing up actually has benefits across most physical activities, the more oxygen (aka fuel) we can deliver to our body this way, the better the performance will be during any physical activity or training.  During the Water People experience we’ll challenge ourselves to hold our breath for up to 3 minutes but here are some skills you can use at home to give yourself an advantage on the breathing front. 

In through the nose, out  through the mouth. Since you don’t often wear dive masks while working out, we’ll be able to use our noses to bring air into our lungs to fuel our muscles.  Not only is it the most efficient and natural way to breath but breathing in through your nose has multiple benefits, a couple of which are air temperature regulation and nitric oxide production, the important gas responsible for vasoregulation that can lead to increased perfusion of oxygen in the blood.

Before you jump right into the Water People Workout, breath up with us. Take a large breath in through your nose. Without puffing up your chest, allow the diaphragm to manage your breath. If you need extra help keeping your chest still, try placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. As you inhale allow the air to go deeper into your lungs by keeping your chest hand from rising and letting your belly hand blow up like a balloon. At the top of your breath, let the air out through your mouth with a whistling sound created through a small space you make between the bottom of your upper teeth and your bottom lip. This will slow the exhale and restrict the airflow a bit. Make sure that you ARE NOT forcibly exhaling, but rather letting the air escape your lungs while creating resistance either with your lips or your tongue.  Make each exhale last 10 seconds and each inhale last 2 seconds. 

Please remember, this is not hyperventilation, so if you feel lightheaded at any time, return to your regular breathing pattern immediately. ​
Water People Yoga Warmup w/ Aaron Vitali @aaronvitali

Downward Facing Dog

This one is a yoga staple. Aim for full extension through the spine focusing and solid grounding through the feet and hands. You should feel this one throughout the calves, hamstrings, and shoulders. For a deeper stretch, press through the hands, focusing on the scapulas (shoulder blades).

Upward Facing Dog or Cobra
This is a powerful lower lumber stretch. Make sure to ground yourself with your hands lengthen through the length of the spine, focusing on dropping shoulders away from your head and pinching the scapulas together. Warms up the spine and gets the blood flowing! 

Extended Side Angle Pose 
This is a great hip opener as well as a shoulder warm up. One forearm against the bent knee will help open the hips while the other arm is lengthening the side and the intercostal muscles and shoulder.

Yogi Squat
Sitting in this for a few minutes breathing deeply will open your hips like nothing else. It is important to maintain a straight spine. Hands in a position of gratitude will allow your elbows to push open your knees as needed for a deeper stretch. This is good for ligaments around knees to open and stretch allowing for good blood flow.
Water People Movements w/ Jeff Briley @jeffbriley

In order to keep the fire burning after your yoga and stretching warmup, we will do these Water People movements in a circuit with no more than 30 seconds between each one. Having a solid and ever changing set of movements that focus on various muscular systems in your body will go a long way to ensuring you are challenging different areas that you will need out on or in the water. Here are a few of our favorite movements that keep us strong, healthy and agile out there!


Russian Twist 
Core strength and stability are essential for paddling, surfing, swimming, diving, and yoga. This standard core burning movement is a staple in fitness and it can be done with weights or without. Balance in a seated position with your legs lifted 6-8 inches off the ground straight ahead and your torso supported along the spine at a 45 degree angle away from your legs (Hollow V Hold). Rotating your torso with each repetition clasp your hands together and tap the bas of your fists on the outside of each hip and alternate sides. If you have a weighted item like a medicine ball or slam ball, you can use that to increase intensity.

Monkey Crawl
This bodyweight exercise is not only diverse in it’s output, it is also fun to do. Start in a squat position with you hands on the ground. As you post your weight on your upper body and shoulders, shift your hips to one side leading with your feet. As they land and take over the weight support from your shoulders, shift side to side in a low squat position until your hands land on the ground again and again take over the weight. You can move like this, like a monkey, low to the ground for approximately 15 meters and back. It’s a full body burner just make sure you keep a strong and vertical back with your chest out so your weight is supported by these strong muscles. 

Squat Curl Press
There are several benefits to this great movement. Your transitions turn these three, traditionally isolated exercises, into a full system connected group of movements. Squats for your pilar power and stability, curls for your arm strength and the press for your shoulder development.  Done together, in that order create real compete movements that help you stay on top of your water game. Start in a low squat, spine vertical and strong with a weighted item in each hand (i.e. dumbbell). Extend through the hips as you stand and before you reach full hip extension, start your curl in front of your body. Connect the top of the curl with the bottom of your overhead shoulder press in one fluid movement. Pause at the top briefly then reverse the movement until you reach the bottom of the curl again. Once there transition fluidly back down into your low squat position.  That’s a rep count of one and you’ve taken a movement through basically your whole body incorporating really important muscle systems along the way. 

Single Leg Balance and Tap
This balance based activity can help you build on your water agility and your hamstring strength and stability. Balancing on one leg, keep that leg straight and hover your other leg behind you through the movement. Your balance leg should have only a slight bend to it. As you lean forward, your goal is to tap the toe of the balance leg with the opposing hand and return to a full single leg balanced standing position. Alternate balance legs and opposing hands as you tap out your 20-40 reps. You should aim to stay balanced throughout the entire movement.  To progress this movement, try standing on a balance beam or 2x4 or foam pad or half foam roller. 

Prone Iso-abs (Plank)
The PIO or plank is one of the most important single isometric (held) positions in fitness. It can be both regressed or progressed depending upon your comfort level and strength. No matter how you do it, it is a core strength and stability beast!  Maintaining a straight line from the top of your head to your heels, with your hips aligned as well, balance your upper body weight on your elbows with forearms flat along the ground and parallel to each other. Your toes support the lower body and you hold this position for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. 

Renegade Row
For all the elements of the Water People experience, having a solid core and strong arms is a bonus. The renegade row is part plank and part traditional row. That’s why we love it, because it’s (say it with me) a full body movement.  Start in a pushup position with a dumbell whose weight you are comfortable with in each hand. As you stabilize over one dumbell on the ground, draw (or row) the other one up into your chest, alternating back and forth. This one can be regressed by starting from the knees or doing it without weights as well as progressed by adding a rotation and press to the sky!
Water People Recovery Nutrition w/ Julie Briley, N.D. 
Dr. Julie Briley isn’t just a dedicated mother, author and practicing naturopathic doctor in Portland, OR, she also knows a thing or two about nutrition...ok she knows A LOT about nutrition.  We are so fortunate to have her as part of the Water People Team and the knowledge she brings keeps us healthy throughout the trip! Her post-workout nutrition recommendations start before the workout even begins (huh?). Taking care to hydrate before your workout can prevent issues after you finish training. In general, make sure you consume a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water each day (for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need at least 75 ounces of water daily). Being well-hydrated will help prevent cramping and will relieve muscle soreness, allowing you to recover more quickly. During exercise, your muscles break down proteins and you use your stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy.  It’s also important to replace both carbs and proteins post-workout to enhance recovery. The best way to do this is to aim to eat a meal balanced in carbs, proteins, and healthy fats within 60 minutes of a workout. If you aren’t able to eat a complete meal within an hour, then it’s best to grab a protein shake or protein bar until you can. ​
Join the Water People Team February 22-27th, 2020 for the next Water People experience in the Rincon, Puerto Rico. Daily yoga sessions, flatwater SUP, paddlesurfing, freediving breath and safety training and in-depth nutrition sessions are the core of this experience where fun, culture, food, an epic luxury villa and awesome people are just the bonuses.  Book your spot by placing your deposit before June 1st, 2019 to take advantage of “Early Bird” pricing. To learn more head to

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Cascadia SUP · 5050 SW Taylors Ferry Road · Portland, OR 97219 · USA

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