9 Exercises To Get You Surf-Fit | Men's Health Magazine Australia

9 Exercises To Get You Surf-Fit

Aussie surf season is alive and cranking, with beaches packed and waves crammed full of eager groms and locals battling it out for some space. With the heat predicted to continue, and promising swell forcast, there’s going to be plenty of opportunity over the coming months to get down for a liquid shred, or at least the chance to learn how. Whether you’re a seasoned member of the dawn patrol, or looking to stand up on your first wave this Summer, it’s not too late to get surf-fit!
Being surf-fit means you can really get the most out of your weekends down at the beach, have the fitness and strength to commit to bigger manoeuvres, and recover quickly from long days on the water. Plus, it will probably balance out the summer beers.

Mix these exercises into your workout routine to build your surf specific fitness, or put them together in the one session. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps of each movement as a guide, but adjust according to your fitness level to give yourself a challenging workout.

1.     Jump Squats

Jump squats are going to assist in training your legs up to quickly adapt and recover from rapid changes on the face of a wave. For the more advanced surfers, they’ll give you the tools to take control of your take offs and landings when attempting tricky aerials, or even pulling off those power turns.

2.     Box Jumps 

This is a great one for explosive power in the legs. The surf isn’t always massive, and big storms create troughs close to the shore where wave strength dies off, meaning there are moments when a cheeky ‘bunny hop’ might be needed for extra power. Find a box (or bench) and practice jumping up from the floor.

3.     Calf Raises

Calf strength is especially important for turning on the board. Changing from “heel edge”, to “toe edge” on your board will help you turn while surfing the face of a wave. Practicing this specific movement will give your calfs the endurance needed to handle longer rides. 

4.     Pistol squats

Otherwise knows as a single leg squat, pistol squats are not only great for building strength, but they improve balance and stability. This is a hard movement, so start assisted by holding onto a bar or band to begin with.

5.     Russian Twists

Targeting the torso, this rotational movement helps build strength in the abdominals, transverse abdominals (obliques), and lower back, which are all used constantly when riding an even, unpredictable surface like water. The power achieved in your core will help you balance, and keep you steady as your surfing progresses.

6.   Agility Dots

This is a great movement to practice in many sports, but great for any board sport due to its ability to build endurance and coordination throughout the leg. It’s also a banger for creating stability in the knee joint. This may feel silly to start with (as it’s basically the fitness equivalent of Twister), but start off with two legs and build to using one leg at a time.

7.     Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a great movement for engaging important muscle groups, most notable the posterior chain (muscles running down your back and legs). If you do only one exercise on this list, this is the one to do. Work with a coach on perfecting the technique on this lift, as when it’s done properly, it will target all the muscle groups needed on the waves, and beyond.

8.     Push Ups

This is a movement that may seem out of place in a surfing workout, but you’ll be thanking us when you have the strength and ability to bounce right up onto the board after paddling for a wave. 

9.  Burpee Box Jumps

The burpee box jump brings it all together, and can be used as a specific training movement that targets most of the large muscle groups you’ll activate down at the beach. Starting with your fall and get up (the burpee) and including the explosive power movement through your legs (the boxjump). This exercise will induce fatigue when done quickly, but will increase your endurance and resilience when you’re spending hours out in the waves.

Related: MH 7 Favourite Surf Beaches In Australia

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