Surfing is an awesome sport that can be enjoyed for an entire lifetime – it has fantastic physical and mental health benefits and is so much fun! However, it’s often a lot more tiring than people think! If you want to improve on your skills, lengthen your time in the water and prevent soreness after each surf, there are a few super simple home exercises that you can do from home that will prepare your body for each session!
Let’s start simple – stretching is absolutely essential when preparing your body for a surf. It should be done on a regular basis, as well as before entering the water to warm up the muscles in the body in order to prevent injury. The more flexible you are, the easier that you will find every aspect of your surf, from paddling, to popping up, to doing turns! It may feel like it’s not doing a lot, but you are slowly changing the mobility of your body over time with regular stretches.
Tip: YouTube has a HUGE amount of stretching tutorials and classes. We love anything by The Intertia.
2. PUSH UPS
Onto the arms – the first thing you’ll be using when you jump into the water at the beginning of a surf! Depending on the conditions, you might have a super easy paddle-out the back, or you could feel like you’re exhausted by the time you’re even in position to catch a wave – hence the benefit of this arm strengthening, core-working exercise!
Tip: quality over quantity is important with push ups. Ensuring your hands are placed directly below your shoulders, your elbows aren’t bending outwards and your hips aren’t ‘dipping’. We recommend watching a few YouTube tutorials and using a mirror!
Squats are an awesome way to prepare your body for surfing – you need a lot of lower body power as a surfer including lower back, quads, core and glutes. From jumping up, to turns, to stability on the board, these muscles all talk to one another and will greatly improve your surfing. Finally, and very importantly, they will strengthen the muscles which will greatly decrease the risk of injury – a common problem in many surfers. So get in your squatting exercises before you surf!
Tip: ensure your feet are hip width apart, your toes slightly raised (promotes pushing up through your heels) and you are not bent forwards. SQUEEZE your buttox to look like a raisin (lol) each time you are fully standing.
As previously mentioned, a strong core is an absolutely essential part to surfing. Even though it may not look difficult, holding a plank for longer than 30 seconds or any plank exercises is actually extremely difficult AND beneficial. It works all of your core muscles at once whilst allowing you to focus on your breathing. The more you practice, the longer you will find you’ll be able to hold your plank! Set yourself some goals!
Tip: DON’T let those hips dip to low or raise too high – you want a perfectly straight line! Use a mirror so you can adjust when needed.
Similarly to squats, bridges work on strengthening your core and glute muscles, both important so all things surfing related – in particular, balance. Also similarly to planking, it will feel like it’s not doing a whole lot unless you are using the correct positioning and technique and use higher reps.
Tip: Ensuring your body is making a straight line when lifted is imperative. We recommend starting with normal bridges for 10 reps (getting the technique perfect) then raising one heel for 10 reps, then the other heel for 10 reps, then both heels for 10 reps, then holding everything up and moving your knees inward and outward, now REPEAT!
6. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
Mountain climbers can be great fun – they work your core muscles, strengthen your arms and get your heart rate pumping! Fantastic for your body all over! This workout activates from your upper thigh down to your shoulder, and it connects the power from your lower and upper body! How cool.
Tip: Ensure you don’t raise your bottom beyond your shoulder level. Alternate your inhaling and exhaling with each leg switch & try to get a bit of a pace going!
Ahhh yes, we saved the best for last; the dreaded burpee. It’s one of those a love-hate exercises for anyone that has done them before. They’re hard work, but you’ll feel GREAT afterward. They are AMAZING for mastering your pop-up – nailing that quick transition from lying down to squatting upright. This hardcore exercise works your abs, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, glutes, arms, chest, and shoulders!
Tip: Keep your core tight the whole time, try to maintain a steady breathing pattern and remember your technique for the push-up part (note: you can start with knee push-ups).
Whilst all of these exercises are fantastic for your strength, fitness and mobility, you won’t see any progress unless you practice them on a regular basis. Don’t forget to get a professional to watch over your technique once in a while, making adjustments so that you aren’t causing more injury than repair! And have FUN whilst you do them – there’s nothing better than a good workout playlist!