It is obvious and well known that you have to be trained and prepared to be a surfer. A lot of surfers do Yoga and it is really great and helpful for your better surfing, but not enough. Except flexibility and good balance that you get from yoga surfing requires high level of muscular power and endurance. You also have to strengthen and take care of those parts of your body that are loaded and suffer while you paddling and standing on the board. Cause some of the postures that you have to use while surfing are not correct for your body. We reckon that sometimes you feel pain in your neck, or shoulder after surfing, some discomfort in your knees or other joints. So you have to train so that your surfing brings you only good emotions without any damage for your health. Here are some basic exercises that are focused exactly on those muscles that are mostly involved.
It’s not a secret that the most exhausting part of surfing is paddling. You know that feeling when you are trying to fight the white water, paddling and paddling but still seems like not moving forward. It is necessary to have strong shoulders, arms and upper back to paddle efficiently and reach line up still having power to surf. So the efficient exercises we can do at home or in the gym are those that repeat the movements and biomechanics of your body in a water. Different body-weight pull ups and dumbbell rows for your arms, making emphasis on triceps and shoulders. In some way it makes sense to make an exercise with high speed, to improve your endurance. One example of a good exercise for serratus anterior, rotator cuff and trapezius that are active in paddling: laying on your belly on a fit ball or just a bench holding a weight in both arms – spread your arms up squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Chin ups are also necessary cause paddling is mostly a combination of pulling movements. So while doing chin up with narrow hands you involve both arms, shoulders and back.
Next difficult movement that your body has to be prepared for is a popup. To jump into a correct posture on your board in one movement you need strong arms and chest part for good push up and flexible legs so that you find yourself in a good deep squat on your board, standing on your both feet, not your toes or knees or something else. So good deep squats will train all your legs muscles, buttocks and footsteps.
Second one must do are pushups. To make it more efficient especially for surfing – do it with a quick clap between pushups. It will imitate that little one second pause that you have in a water to stand up on your feet after push from your board.
The important part of your good surfing is balancing of course. You can have strong body, best paddling and perfect quick standing on your board but there is no point in it if you lose your balance immediately and fall. Yoga improves your balance a lot. All the static one leg poses are for this aim and also the skills of concentration and breathing that you learn from yoga will influence your good posture on the board. But still you can add some functional exercises to your workout f.e. lunges, some movements with closed eyes. Exercises that train your core cause when we talk about balancing – it is mostly about the core of your body. When you know how to stabilize your body posture involving the inner muscles that support your spine – you will stand on your board riding a wave as long as you need. We recommend to include Pilates to your training schedule cause it is a good working with your core, back muscles, good training for releasing those parts that are tensed in surfing and good correcting workout after some uncorrected surf postures.
And don’t forget about endurance trainings. Surfing requires full body endurance to sustain long paddling or difficult sessions for long period of time. Aerobic or interval trainings will help with it, swimming, running, workout circuits.
Surfing is the most funny and enjoyable sport in the world but the most physically demanding at the same time. So start to improve your body now to perform better in the water and catch your best waves.