Whether you are trying to hang 10 on an old-school long board or are splashing around in the shallows on a boogie board, surfing is a fun and satisfying aquatic activity. Whether you are a serious surfer looking to improve your fitness or simply want the toned, lean body of a professional surfer, there are numerous exercises you can incorporate into your regular workouts.
BOSU Ball Squats
A BOSU ball is a semispherical inflatable ball that can be used domed or flat side up. Using a BOSU ball will increase your balance and core strength, which are important in surfing. Doing squats on a BOSU ball will also strengthen your legs. With the flat side up, stand on the BOSU ball with your feet as wide as the surface allows. With your weight evenly distributed, push your hips back and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand back up and repeat. Use your arms for balance if necessary. Once you are proficient, make this exercise more demanding by holding dumbbells. Perform sets of 10 to 20 repetitions of this exercise.
After paddling your board into the surf, you need to be able to get onto your feet quickly when a wave comes along. To train the necessary muscles, perform pop ups. Lie on your front with your hands under your shoulders. Push yourself up off the floor and simultaneously jump your feet in so you land in a split-stance crouch. Lie back down and repeat for a set of 10 to 20 repetitions. Not surprisingly, this exercise is much easier in the gym than it is on the water.
Paddling your board out through the breaking surf to get in position to catch a wave is hard work. Your arms and shoulders take the brunt of the effort, so strengthening these muscles will make paddling easier and also help tone and strengthen your upper body. Lie face down on an exercise bench with a light dumbbell in each hand. Hold your hands next to your shoulders and tuck your elbows into your sides. From this position, start to move your arms as though you were swimming freestyle. After 20 to 30 strokes, take a brief rest and repeat.
To keep their balance, surfers keep their center of gravity low and spread their weight across the largest area on their board possible using a modified lunge stance. Regular lunges are an effective preparatory training exercise. But lunge jumps add the important elements of power, coordination and balance, which are all needed for successful surfing. Take a large step forward and bend your legs. Lower your rear near to the floor. Leap up into the air and swing your rear leg forward and vice versa. Land on bent legs, descend and repeat. Perform sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
- The Complete Guide to Surf Fitness; Lee Stanbury
- Easy Surfing Fitness -- Beginners' Workout Guide; Troy Adashun and Peter Curilla
- Fit to Surf: The Surfer's Guide to Strength and Conditioning; Rocky Snyder
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.