Surfing fitness tips during lockdown
Practice these core exercises to get your body ready for the water.
The Easter holidays have passed us by, with lockdown meaning many of our surfing customers have been unable to get into the water much this year.
Hopefully when the situation improves, we might see some of you coming down to visit us at The Surf Club Cornwall to get into the sea. With that in mind, I’m keen to share some of my favourite surfing fitness exercises. You may already have a lockdown approved home exercise regime nailed down… so my recommended exercises offer some moves that you can fit in to your current efforts, to help specifically improve your surfing fitness.
The below exercises concentrate on developing your core strength and coordination to help you develop a quick, effortless surfing pop up.
Each exercise represents an increasing level of difficulty and will depend on your ability.
This is a great place to start to understand about shifting your body weight. But whilst it’s a basic exercise, it can be a great warm-up for even the most advanced surfers.
- Start by lying on your front, then shift your weight on to your right hip. Keep your left leg straight as you slide your right knee underneath you, as far forward as you can.
- Repeat on the other side and aim for at least ten repetitions each side.
This level will teach you about transferring weight from your lower body to your upper body, and how to swing your legs underneath you one after the other.
- Start this level with one leg bent and underneath your chest, as you will have found yourself in level 1. Shift your weight onto your hands, which should be positioned under your shoulders.
- Switch your forward leg, right for left repeatedly, aiming for at least ten repetitions each side.
In this exercise you will work on targeting muscles in your abdomen and deep core to help develop the ability to move your legs underneath you with control.
- Start on your hands and knees and then bring your knees about two inches of the ground.
- Bring your right knee forward as far as you can aiming to tap your right elbow and then repeat with your left knee. Then bringing your right knee forward again, aim to bring it towards your left arm – it will cross underneath your torso.
- Again, repeat with the left leg. Aim for ten repetitions of both straight-forward and cross-torso, on both sides!
- It’s important with these exercises to actively try to visualise your core bringing your knee forward, rather than just ‘pushing’ your knee forward.
Advanced surfing fitness techniques require an unstable dynamic to improve the relevance and raise the challenge.
- Start with your feet resting on a swiss ball and your palms on the ground, underneath your shoulders in a press-up position.
- Slowly bring your knees forward until they are tucked under your chest as far as they can go, then slowly extend your legs back.
- As you improve your control you should aim to bring your knees forward quickly and sharply, then returning slowly.
- In all cases, exhale as you bring your knees forward, inhale as you return. Aim for ten repetitions and 2-3 sets.
Higher level surfing requires lots of rotational strength and power. This exercise will not only help improve your surfing pop-up, but will also help improve your surfing manoeuvres.
- Start in the same position as the Level 4 exercise.
- Start by bringing your right knee forwards and tapping your right elbow, then bring your left knee forward and tap your left elbow.
- Now bring your right knee forward and aim to tap your left elbow and repeat for the left knee, aiming for the right elbow and follow with a press-up. That’s one rep!
- Throughout this exercise you will be positioned in a slight decline and largely you will only have one foot balancing on the ball to keep you in position. To help keep this exercise under control, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your two front teeth, breathe through your nose and focus on a point in front of you. Also, visualise your deep core muscles tightening and bringing your knees forward slowly and under control.
I’d love to hear how you get on with these surfing fitness exercises, so feel free to share your efforts with me on Facebook or Instagram with #thesurfclubcornwall. And stay tuned for more surfing related tips to help pass our time in lockdown!