Ballina is a heaven for surf enthusiasts and surfing is a great sport that provides a whole body workout. But it can be tough to sneak in time to surf every day to build skills and get that great workout. If you can’t hit the beach every day but don’t want your surfing skills to atrophy, there are some great exercises that can be done at home or at a pool. These exercises will help make your body surfer-strong and ready to catch the next big wave.
We’ll focus on four main areas: Arms, core, legs and endurance.
You’ll quickly find out that you’ll use your arms much more than your legs when surfing. Some may argue that your arms are even more critical to a solid surf experience than your legs. This is because you will rely on them so much to paddle into position for every wave that comes your way. Here are three simple arm exercises to build strength and explosive paddle power. The best part is, you won’t need anything more than a set of dumbbells.
- Alternating Overhead Press.: With a dumbbell in each hand, press upwards until elbows are locked, alternating which arm is extended. For added challenge do this while lunging. Do 15 on each side.
- Dumbbell Push-up and Row.: Get in push-up position, each hand resting on a dumbbell. Lower yourself to a push up, push back up and bend one arm into a row, lower and repeat on other side for one rep. Do 15 reps.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Rotation.: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbell in each hand. Raise arms out to the sides until they are shoulder-level. Move them in slow circles. Repeat 15 times, then switch directions. Drop arms to the sides, swing right arm back and over as if paddling. Repeat 15 times then switch to left side.
A strong core is vital to strong surfing, but in addition to strength, your core needs to be flexible and have good rotational strength. Surfing requires constant movement and adjusting to maintain your balance. The following exercises will help create a strong core and keep it moving freely. Add a medicine ball, kettle bells, or stability balls when you’re ready for the next step up in challenge.
- : Hold your plank for 30 seconds. Work up to 60 seconds. Do 5 planks.
- Back Extensions.: You can do this on your hands and knees or on a stability ball. Raise one arm and leg at the same time and hold for 10 seconds. Lower. Repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps.
- Stability Ball Push-ups.: Roll yourself out on a stability ball until just the tops of your feet and your shins are on the ball. Lower yourself down to do a regular push-up. Do this 10 times.
Your legs need to support your body as you ride swells. The following exercises will build leg strength and stamina.
- Single Leg Upper Body Rotations.: Stand on one leg. Bend the knee, hips pushed back. With arms outstretched in front of you, rotate your body from side to side slowly while maintaining balance. Add a medicine ball to your grip or stand on a BOSU for an extra challenge. Repeat 5-10 times on each leg.
- : This will work your core and your legs. Do as many as you can within 20 seconds, making sure to maintain proper form. Repeat 3 times.
- Lunges: Do 30. Do ten lunges, then take ten regular steps, then ten lunges again until you get to 30.
There’s no stopping for a break when you’re out in the water. Either you’re up on your board, navigating a wave or you’re down in the water, trying to avoid getting pushed under. Endurance is key to keeping yourself afloat and moving even when you don’t want to.
- Jump rope Intervals.: Jump rope at a moderate pace for 3-5 minutes. Kick it up a notch and jump as fast as you can for 30-60 seconds. Then back it down again to moderate jumping. Repeat the intervals 5-10 times or as much as you can stand.
- : Start a cardio program. Run 2-3 days a week.
- Swim:. The best way to build up your paddling endurance is to swim and paddle, even in flat water.
These tips are practical and can be done by beginner and experienced surfers alike. They are a great way to build up the muscles and endurance you’ll need out on the waves, but they work equally as well as an exercise routine for those who can’t make it out on the waves as often as they’d like.
Don’t forget to come to Ballisimo Gelato for a delicious gelato after a good session with the waves!