To enjoy a good long surfing session requires more than just great waves and an appropriate surfboard. Your surf fitness will have a profound impact on whether you are carving up the set, or floundering around unable to get out the back and paddle yourself onto a wave. Or maybe you’re alright for the first few, but then you have to come in too soon because you’re flagging. Whether or not you think your surfing fitness is an issue, there is no doubt that the fitter you are, the better your session will be.
Surfers have to be well-rounded individuals from a fitness perspective. Strength and cardiovascular fitness are both going to play important bars, along with stamina. You need to have enough endurance to be able to paddle out the back repetitively. You need cardio fitness for any swimming that may come your way as a result of losing your surfboard, and or being held under. Your shoulders and arms need to be strong for paddling and pushing yourself up onto your board. Your legs need to be able to jump quickly onto the board. Your core muscles need to be strong to support your torso.
Surfers also need the flexibility to be able to move around quickly.
Why not try some of the following tips to boost your fitness for surfing?
- Swimming is a great form of exercise for surfers for several reasons. Firstly, it is great for cardio fitness and endurance. Secondly, if you come apart from your surfboard and leg line you will have to be able to swim competently. Thirdly, freestyle is great for building up the muscles in your upper body and shoulders. Lastly, swimming can be an effective way to keep your waist size down and the pounds off the scales. Do you really want to go to a longer surfboard just because you have been a bit slack with the surf fitness campaign?
- Stretches. Stretching is important to minimize muscle sprains and tears while surfing. Regular stretching is also an excellent way to improve the flexibility of your muscles, which means being able to move faster and quicker up on a board.
- Upper body. Chin ups and push ups are 2 pretty basic routines that everyone can do to improve their muscle strength in their upper arms and shoulders. Rowing machines are another way to work out those muscle groups.
- Lower body workouts and stretches should include the calves, hamstrings, and the hip joints, as all of these are getting plenty of attention when surfing. Lunges and squats are great for the leg muscles. Do not forget to stretch those Achilles tendons before getting out there. Once you sprain that little tendon (in behind your ankle) it will be a while before you will be leaping up on a surfboard.
- Core. Your core muscles are those that lie in your abdomen and surround your lower back. These are vital for protecting the lower back from strains and injuries, and also for keeping that 6 pack in good nick. Strong core muscles are also necessary for rotating the upper body. There are plenty of core muscle workouts to select from. Be sure to mix it up a bit to keep it interesting and those muscles burning.
Surfing is a workout session in itself. However, to maximize your performance, lengthen your time in the water, and reduce the risk of injuries and strains, good surfing fitness is a must. A well-rounded surf fitness training program should incorporate strength work into the muscles, cardio for overall fitness and endurance, and stretches for better flexibility and minimizing aches and pains. Once you have a surfer’s workout established you will be amazed at the difference it will make to all aspects of your surfing.
Feature Image: TotalSurfingFitness