Fitness is often talked about in World culture, in the media, in your everyday work life, as well as friends and family. Yet physical fitness still remains one of the biggest health threats of 2018. Gyms are popping up around the world and membership fees are at an all time high. The statistics and facts about fitness, gyms and ongoing health concerns continue to grow. Sport is still considered as one of the most popular physical activities for those looking to keep fit, lose weight, and stay healthy.
If you have ever been surfing then you will know that your fitness levels need to be high. Surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports. Surfing is a high-endurance activity which requires both your body and mind to work together to work out your entire body:
- Legs and Quads ( Standing, Balancing, and Squatting)
- Core and Lower Back ( Paddling, Squatting, Balance)
- Shoulders and Upper back ( Padding, Pushing up )
Whilst your normal workout might go for 30 minutes to an hour, you can easily be out in the surf for an hour or two and enjoy your time for twice the workout. Industry leaders have even started surf fitness programs more focused around weight loss and enjoying your time than catching gnarly waves. Alongside fitness, Yoga has become popular whilst out on your board which has plenty of benefits as well.
Let’s not just look at physical health though. Surfing is so much more and has actually been linked to plenty of other health benefits such as:
- Decrease Risk for Chronic Disease
- Decreases Risk for Diabetes and Chronic Heart Disease
- Beneficial for people with arthritis
- Improves Bone density
- Enhances mental health
It’s no wonder world leading health professionals have moved away from conventional gyms and workouts to water based training.
How can you get surf fit?
Like any workout, warming up is absolutely essential. Your entire body is demanded of whilst out on your board so training for this is essential. A couple quick stretches can be the difference between injury or early fatigue and enjoying yourself.
The warm up:
- 15x Breathing Squats
- 10x Pushups
- 15x (each leg) Lunges
- 30x Shoulder Circles
- 30sec (per leg) Standing Knee Hugs
- 30x Star Jumps
Now we’re all warmed up, our heart is pumping, our board is waxed it’s time to hit the water. Although our training will not be out on your board, and out on the waves we’re going to workout the muscles in which are used whilst out surfing. The purpose of doing this is to free our blood flow to the essential muscles and keeps your muscles flexible. This will help in better performance out on the waves, as well as a better workout whilst on your board.
We will only cover activities that anyone, or most can do at home.
Leg & Balance Practice
Balance is one of, if not the most essential skill you need in order to ride a wave, so it only makes sense to work on your balance. Your balance comes from your legs, and your core, for now though. We will cover legs
- Supported single leg squats – Start by leaning against a wall, or using a railing to lower your body and perform a squat using only one leg. Focus more on using your leg than your arms to get you back up.
- Lunges – These can be done by going down, and back up. We want to focus on the hold for this. Going down, counting to 30 and coming back up.
- One legged hop – Hopping on one leg is great for increasing your heart rate, and blood flow.
The core is one of the hardest parts of your body to workout, it’s also one of the most ignored. Your core helps your balance, stability and in general, just a good idea to focus on.
- Superman – Start on your hands and toes in a pushup like position. Pulling one leg at a time into your chest like high-knees on the ground.
- Plank – In a push up position but using your for arms on the ground instead of your hands. Counting to as much as possible and trying to improve this time after time.
- Crunches – Laying on your back with your legs in a 90 degree angle so your knees are up high. Focus on using your bum to raise you and not your lower back. Hands behind your head and raising your head to your knees.
Shoulder & Upper Back
Your upper body is used for paddling, and pushing up off your board. A strong upper back will aid in quicker standing and less fatigue whilst paddling.
- Pushups – Simple, yet effective. Starting out with as many as you can, and focus on improving day after day.
- Pull Ups – Using a pull up bar, handrail, clothesline as an over head bar to do simple pullups. Pull ups are great for building muscles in your shoulders.
- Punching Bag – Using a punching bag, or a mattress on the wall practice big punches and putting your body weight behind each punch.
Everyone knows surfing uses up a lot of energy. Getting better endurance is going to help you get out for longer, and have less fatigue.
- Skipping – Using a rope, or skipping rope to do as many skips as you can. Focus on improving your time day after day.
- Sprints – Instead of long distance, focus on short distance sprints. Like on a wave you use 80% of your energy on a wave, the rest is whilst you’re paddling.
Hopefully after 30 days of 5 days on, 2 days rest, you’re seeing huge improvements on your physical strength and endurance. Your surfing will not only be better, but you will actually see better fitness results out of your surfing due to an increased heart rate, blood flow and better flexibility. If you have anything you think we should add to the list, let us know. We love to hear your ideas.
It’s awesome that you talked about surfing and how it helps develop physical endurance and strength. Recently, my wife and I decided to start working out again, but we’re getting bored of the same routines. We want to find a sport that we both enjoy, and we think it’d be fun to try surfing out! Thanks for the advice on how surfing comes with many health benefits.