Surf’s up! If you are looking for a way to get shredded for the summer plus take the opportunity to learn an exciting, new skill set—look no further than our own backyard by hitting the ocean waves. Surfing is a highly demanding sport that challenges your endurance, stamina, strength and balance, offering an unparalleled experience of exercise and fun. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as spotting, catching and riding a wave. In fact, after a solid surf session, you’ll hardly remember it was exercise. The sheer fun and adrenaline rush makes it an activity you’ll want to do again and again.
Surfing, unlike most sports, challenges you to the extreme through all planes of motion. It’s physical demands are typically unmatched because of the full body muscle interaction that must happen quickly when reacting to catching a wave. It is beneficial to have solid swim skills and the ability to pop up from a lying position to a balanced standing position quickly.
Because of the physicality of surfing, a proper warmup is required. There are also exercises in the gym that can enhance your surf sessions. A highly dynamic sport, surfing demands body movement in three dimensional space, so you need to train your body to become strong and efficient in motion, not in isolation. You’ll want to use full body movements that help to develop full body strength.
Balance is also extremely important. A program should include exercises that challenge your balance and enhance your reaction times but also encourage the stabilization of your joints.
A proper program help in ensuring that you can stay injury free.
This month we highlight 5 of our favorite exercises to get you surf ready. These movements are for those hitting the waves, but can also be incorporated in any land fitness program. If you’ve never surfed before, a lesson from a professional is suggested.
Warm Up Wood Chop
- Start in a standing position
- Lift your arms diagonally across your body while pivoting through your outer leg.
- Rotate arms across your body down and diagonal, pivoting as needed
- Move with force but control
- Perform three sets of fifteen each side.
Knee Hug with Ankle Rotation
- Start in a standing position with core tight
- Lift one knee balancing on your supporting leg
- Hug tightly the lifted knee towards your torso without rounding your back
- Rotate your ankle twice one direction and twice the other
- Repeat on the other side
- Perform 2 sets of fifteen each side
- Start in a lying position on your board
- Extend one arm forward into the water and push back as the other arm duplicates the motion
- Paddle at a moderate pace for 3-4 minutes parallel to the shore
Surfer Get Up
- Start lying face down with hands underneath chest
- In a swift motion, push up and pop into a surfer stance with one foot front and the other back
- Return to start
- Perform three sets of 10 each side.
- Start in a plank position
- Rotate your body to one side reaching upward with one arm
- Rotate back to plank position and repeat on the other side
- Perform three sets of ten each side.
Board Bulgarian Split Squats
- Start in a standing lunge position with your back foot elevated onto your board. Front knee should be over ankle, core braced, and chest in the upright position
- Lower down until your thigh is parallel to the ground
- Return to start and repeat on the other leg
Leah Seacrest, Corporate Vice President of Fitness & Operations at REGYMEN Fitness, has over 25 years of experience in the fitness industry as a fitness instructor, director and studio owner.