Article

Surf Fitness

Three exercises to help you stay in surfing shape this new year

| posted on January 01, 2013

Coco Ho works out with Kahea Hart in Hawaii. Photo: Heff

Many of today’s top pros are staying in prime shape by matching their gym time with their surfing time. However, most of us can barely fit in one session a day, let alone a consistent workout routine. For three simple and effective exercises surfers can do to stay in shape, as well as reduce their chances for injury, we reached out to Jonathan Brown of Orange County’s Extreme Athletics.

Words by Jonathan Brown.

Paddling Strength

Exercise: Swimming on a physioball with light dumbbells. Do mock swim movements to increase your paddling endurance. You’re going to be working your deltoids, rhomboids, lats, as well as other parts of your lower back and glutes, which are all areas your going to need strength in if want to be a strong paddler. If you’re working out at home and don’t have a physioball, just lift your shoulders off the ground and use a couple of pillows to help keep your shoulders up.

Injuries Exercise Helps Prevent: You will be working your rotator cuff, so it’s important to have strength, because surfers are so internally rotated. It will help keep your shoulder strong and prevent injury.

Lower Body Strength

Exercise: Box Jump. This is a great exercise to increase power in your lower body to really help you explode out of the lumbar-pelvic-hip complex. You will be using your quads, gluts, and basically your entire lower half of your body, as well as building fast twitch muscle fibers. If you’re working out at home and don’t have a box to jump on, use a couch or something else that will sustain your weight.

Injuries Exercise Helps Prevent: Box jumps won’t necessarily prevent a certain type of injury; however, it conditions your body to handle the explosiveness and repetitiveness in surfing, which keeps you fit and help reduce injury.

Balance and Stability

Exercise: Single Leg Squats on Bosu Ball. There are these forces called valgus varus that go through your knee, so doing this stability exercise will help fight against that force, along with strengthening the knee ligaments up, as well as your ankle joints. With surfing going towards more aerial maneuvers, having strength in these areas is key.

Injuries Exercise Helps Prevent: This exercise will prevent most types of injuries to your lower body. Again, this really works your knees, which will help stabilize your whole leg and ligaments around your ankle.

  • gannysesh

    For the Balance and Stability one: Should the Bosu Ball be round-side up or round-side down?

    I regularly do two leg squats on a Bosu Ball, but always with the round side down (so I’m standing on the flat part). And sometimes I do them while holding a medicine ball, and I lift the med ball over my head as I’m coming up. I also do squats like this on a balance board.

    Thanks for the fitness tips.

  • surfnotionless

    it would have been nice to have some additional photos!

  • Matthiz

    more detailed explanation would be very helpful and appreciated!!! More photos as well.

  • Chongo

    @surfnotionless Totally agree. More photos of Coco’s nice butt!

  • Kyle Banashek
  • phil

    Very interesting. Nice pic!!

  • http://www.ExtremeAthleticsOC.com Paul

    Hi guys-

    Shoot us an email at info@extremeathletics.org for more information on these exercises and pictures. Also checkout ExtremeAthleticsOC.com for pics and videos on surf training. Thanks!

  • cayo

    Great article, though more detailed pictures would be appreciated…
    thanks!

  • Slinky

    Cool guys, but photos of the exercise is sooooooo important. Wouldn’t want an injury to start the year..

  • gannysesh

    Way to not answer my really simple question.

  • http://www.ExtremeAthleticsOC.com Paul

    @gannysesh – you should start doing single leg squats on the ground and work your way up to the bosu. Once you develop enough single leg strength, start with the black side up. The blue side of the Bosu is way more unstable and you’ll find that it’s harder to balance on that side. But you will build more ankle stability standing on the blue side. Hope this helps. Cheers!

  • gannysesh

    It does! Thanks. Yeah, single leg squats seem pretty advanced. I’ll see how I fare with them on the ground.

  • rybinski

    Single leg squats seem pretty advanced. Are there any more photos to illustrate this movement? Please.

  • rowanoak

    I think people are having trouble with the leg squats. Maybe more photos would help?

  • Phil

    Cheers!

  • http://www.ExtremeAthleticsOC.com Paul

    Hi guys-

    Checkout our website at ExtremeAthleticsOC.com and you will find tons of pictures and videos of our surfers working out. We also design personal surf programs for each individual at just $100 per program. Shoot me an email at paul@extremeathletics.org if you would like more information. Thanks!

  • Jason

    I got an Idea, how about swim in a pool for paddle strength. I’m sorry, but simulating swimming on a ball does not simulate swimming or paddling.

    • Cris

      I’ve found that correct “home” exercise can be better than no exercise at all, if you can’t get in the water.

      I’ve done paddling exercises using a dumbell over a fitness ball and it works quite well the muscular group used in those strong paddles I use when I see that heavy lip falling in my direction… Not quite the same, obviously, but better than no exercise.

  • physiotherapy student

    with the paddle simulation exercise the phase of the stroke where your arm pulls through the water involves a powerful concentric contraction of the internal rotators of the shoulder such as teres major, subscapularis, etc. However the use of hand weights as resistance in place of water involve eccentric contraction of the external rotators such as infrasprinatus and teres minor in the firs half of the stroke. To rectify this it would be best to use a pulley.

  • physiotherapy student

    For the paddle strength exercise. during the first half of the stroke load (in using the dumbbells) is not correct. at the shoulder you have the external rotators such as teres minor and subscapularis working eccentrically. However when you paddle the internal rotators (latissimus dorsi, subscapularis, teres major) are the ones that are primarilay acting (in addition to shoulder flexors) to generate the motion. to rectify this a pulley would be appropriate.

  • Ty

    For the paddle strength exercise. during the first half of the stroke load (in using the dumbbells) is incorrect. at the shoulder you have the external rotators such as teres minor and subscapularis working eccentrically. However when you paddle the internal rotators (latissimus dorsi, subscapularis, teres major) are the ones that are primarilay acting (in addition to shoulder flexors) to generate the motion.

  • Dennis

    All those pics really helped explain what the hell you we’re talking about. *sarcasm

  • J

    There is only one Man who Will make you completely fulfilled, and that Man is Jesus. I promise that if you seek him and let him into your heart you will experience rest and Everlasting Joy. I pray that you will take this message to heart and experience TRUE Happiness in Jesus. God Bless. ps. Pray to Jesus about all of your problems so that he will help you like he has helped me always.

    • farmdog

      lulz

    • Cris

      I always find HIM in the lineup!
      He’s the oldest longboarder I’ve ever heard of… walking on water.

  • http://www.fit2surf.com lee

    Great content
    Try using power stroke Cords to improve surfing Paddle power