5 Exercises to boost your Surf Fitness
Our surf trips here at Mahalo Surf Experience are designed to be accessible—we scour the world’s best surf spots to find waves that you always dream about…and then wrap a package of bliss (massage, healthy food, luxury accommodations) around those breaks to give you a one-of-a-kind surf experience. That said, surfers with a moderate level of physical fitness tend to feel more confident in the water and enjoy more of these perfect conditions. To that end, we’ve assembled these 5 surf-specific exercises to incorporate into your work out prior to your surf holiday or surf trip.
Not only will these moves make you a stronger surfer but you’ll catch more waves, and ultimately have more fun in the surf they’ll also help you feel better on a daily basis.
These exercises are also a great basic training for those who are just looking to become a fitter version of themselves.
Let’s introduce to you our wellness warrior Melanie Bonella. As a sports scientist, personal trainer and lover of all the things related to well-being she will guide you trough those exercises. She is a key element during all our trips guiding us with stretching, yoga, flexibility training and massages to unwind and relax our surfed out muscles.
Finding balance and have a good relationship with your board is essential. In order to do so you should strengthen your whole back simulating movements on land where you activate the whole chain of muscles from the neck to your thighs, just like when on the board.
Lying on your stomach, start with the elbows bent, toes pointing away from you and chin in, looking down on the floor. Then, simultaneously lift the chest and both legs up from the floor as high as you can. Bring the shoulder blades together, shoulders away fro the ears and squeeze the gluts for 3 seconds, then release back down. Want some extra challenge? Try it on an unstable ground.
3 x 20 repetitions
Side Plank Twist
Surfing involves a lot of twists and turns while riding along a wave. So you also should pay some extra attention to your oblique muscles. They are essential when you want to rotate your hips or move your shoulders.
Hold a plank position on your side with the elbow right under the shoulder and the weight supported on the feet slightly apart or one on top of the other. Open the arm up, then twist inward to pass it across the body as far as possible. The hips must remain elevated. Repeat on the other side. Inhale while you open up and exhale while you twist.
3 x 10 repetitions, per side
This drill is meant to train the quick motion of coming up on your board and therefore, is designed to keep your fast twitch fibers sharp and your hip flexors strong. It also requires a good amount of powerful core activation.
Begin in a standing position. Move into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended. Immediately return your feet into squat position. Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead
2 x 10 repetitions
Basic lunges copy the surf-specific leg and hip movements. Working on the stability and strength at the hips is an essential in your preparation as it also targets your core muscles and makes you strong on your feet.
Dynamic lunges – step forward and into a lunge position. Jump up and switch sides, landing with the opposite foot forward. Repeat until you can no longer maintain proper posture.
Take a comfortable step so that your knees make a 90° angle when bent. As you lower the backward knee close to the floor, keep the body straight and tall, shoulders back. Most of the body weight should be directed towards the back of the front foot to protect the knee. For extra ab work twist to the bended leg side. On your way up, bring the feet together again whilst keeping low.
2 x 12 repetitions, per side
The triceps dip exercise is a great bodyweight exercise that builds arm and shoulder strength. This simple exercise can be done almost anywhere and has many variations to match your fitness level. Use it as part of an upper body strength workout.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. The closer you bring your legs the easier it gets. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
If you are ready and want to adapt it more to surfing change the exercise and do triceps push-ups instead.
Keep the width of your board in mind and position your hands just under your shoulders in preparation for a pop-up. The triceps pushup is the perfect exercise which allows the pectoral, shoulder and triceps muscles to work for a surf-specific reason.
Hold a high plank position on your hands and feet. Your whole body must be aligned from head to heel. Keep your elbows always close to your body while you bring your chest down. Press in your hands, engage your core and come back to your initial position. Exhale while you come back to high plank pose. This helps you to engage and draw strength from your exhalation.
2 x 15 repetitions
We have had a lot of people asking how to prepare for our surf trips, so we hope this sequence gives you a kick start for you being ready for the waves.
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