Working on your core is essential to improve your general surf fitness. Photo: Live Miani @live.miani

Struggling with your takes offs or just not feeling quite as fit, strong and agile as you’d like? Try this short but sweet total body workout designed by Live Miani. It will improve your surf fitness in no time and will help prevent injuries. You won’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere.

If you’re in a hurry, only do one set of each exercise. If you have more time, repeat each set three times. Do this workout 2-4 times a week for maximum benefit, and always give your body a day’s rest in between training.

Always start with a warm-up, even a quick one. You can do a few minutes of hill or stair walking. A few jumping jacks in your room will also do. This helps get your heart rate up and warm up your body to prevent any injuries. You can also do a few sets of sun salutations, if you know yoga. Make sure to engage your deep core muscles during all the exercises. This will not only pull your lower belly in and visibly flatten it, but also prevent strain on your lower back. Win win.

1. Single Leg Squats

Works your ankle stability for surfing, as well as core and leg strength. Stand straight and engage your deep core muscles.

Lift one leg just slightly off the ground and start bending the other one. Make sure not to let your knees shoot out in front of your toes. Pull your butt back while you do it, so you can still see your toes in front of the knee when looking down. Also, make sure that your knee cap tracks in line with your second toe to avoid straining of the knee, hip and ankle. Start off by only lowering a tiny bit and work your way up to a bigger range. Always make sure your form is right first. Repeat ten times on each side.

2. Modified Arabesque

Works your butt, but also leg flexibility which is important for a fast pop-up and reduced risk of injuries.

Bend forward until your hands touch the ground close to your feet. Bend the knees if needed to avoid strain on the lower back. Now breathe in and lift one leg up behind you, as far as you can. Breathing out, wrap that knee behind your other leg, bending both knees. Breathe in, push the heel up and back again. Repeat ten times each side.

3. Lunges

Works dynamic strength and stability for more powerful surfing.

Lunge forward, stabilise, back to neutral position. Repeat 10 times each leg. Then ten times out to each side.

4. Burpees

This one is fun and great for improving your cardiovascular fitness.

Do a push-up, then jump to your feet and into the air. Repeat. Start with five reps and work your way up to ten at a time.

5. Spider Crawl

Start in plank. Pull your right knee towards your right triceps and send back to the floor. Change legs. Repeat ten times each side.

6. Prone Superman

This exercise not only strengthens your back, but can also help you retrain proper posture for when you’re lying on your surfboard. Indeed, we often crunch up the neck and lower back and after a while, that can start hurting. Try incorporating the following adjustments into your next surf session.

Lie face down, extend your legs. Hands under your shoulders. Engage your pelvic floor muscles then gently draw the navel in and up, so the belly almost lifts off the ground. Pull the rib cage in as if you have a corset around your spine. From there, gently lift the chest and legs. Make sure you keep the chin tucked in to avoid crunching in the neck and keep your butt relaxed to avoid too much tension in your lower back. It basically all comes from your deep core muscles. Hold for three to ten seconds, release. Repeat 10 times.

7. Modified Clam

This one is an important one for your lower back support, but also total body stability, which translates into more powerful surfing.

Lie on your side, bend the knees, check the feet are behind the line of your body. Lift the top knee up and down, keeping the hips and torso totally stable and controlled. Repeat 15 times each side.

8. Plank

Make sure to engage your core, lengthen your neck, and push your legs long as you do it. Hold your plank on each side for ten seconds to start with, then work your way up to one minute.

9. Hip Lift And Straight Leg Lower

Lie on your back, engage your deep core muscles. Lift the feet towards the sky, and start drawing your navel in even more, which eventually allows your butt to lift off the ground. No strength in your shoulders or arms, keep them relaxed. Then slowly release your butt back down, while keeping your lower back pressed into the ground, lower the legs away from you, towards the floor. Only go as far as you can keep your belly pulled down. Stop as soon as it comes up. Start with lowering only a tiny bit, then advance to half way. Once your core is really strong, you can lower until the legs almost touch the ground. Slowly come back up. Repeat ten times.

10. Stretch and cool down

Stretch straight after your workout or at night before going to sleep. It is super important for surfing to be strong but also flexible. If you are too tight, your risk of pulling a muscle, joint or disc becomes a lot higher. Plus, your body can create strength much better if everything is running smoothly! For the best surf stretches, visit our website.

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