5 exercises for beginners to be physically prepared for surfing
Though basic physical fitness level is not necessarily required to start doing sports, in case of surf, when the point is to fight against nature’s forces, it is highly needful, especially for beginners. In order to get physically well prepared, now we explain the most important muscles used in surf and what exercises to practice for strengthening them before heading into the waves.
Lower-body strength is indispensable for surfing, since the muscles of legs are responsible for keeping the balance and staying steady while standing on the board. The stronger the legs, the stronger the surfer will be on the board. The best exercise to make legs stronger are squats, which have more different versions suitable for all fitness levels. Start with practicing the most basic version and juice it up gradually with advanced ones like jump-squats, pistol-squats or Bulgarian split squats.
Though surfing is mostly a leg-focused sport, the strength of upper-body cannot be negligible. One of the most important surf moves is actually a push-up – standing up on the board is happening by pushing yourself up from lying on your stomach. Despite that beginner surf classes start with only paddling, the ability to do some push-ups is useful. Later, upper-body muscles will play a key role in keeping you balanced in standing position as well. Start only with 10 reps a day and try to master it to 50 push-ups.
Plank is the best exercise to strengthen core muscles which are the most important among all. If we had to choose only one movement to practice for beginners, plank would be that. Core muscles are the foundation of the body that help keep the balance and overall performance on the surf board. The simplest form is perfect to start practicing – try to hold it for 20-30 seconds and gradually increase the time until reaching even 2-3 minutes.
Superman is perfect to strengthen the back from the neck to the thighs by activating the whole chain of muscles involved simultaneously. Back strength is essential to hold the body both while in paddling and standing position on the board. The best version of superman to practice is the one done with bent elbows and hands kept close to the body – in this way, back gets trained the most.
We can say that burpee is the more dynamic, advanced and extended version of push-ups, spiced up with some cardio which is also useful before your first surf class. Though burpees can be done without push-ups, jumping into squat from push-up position is similar to the movement of standing up on the board. After some days of practice, you can challenge yourself by adding push-ups and jumps to your burpees.
These exercises may seem too hard for the first time, but a few days is actually enough to get on track. You only need to pay attention to listen to your body, know your limits and move on in your own pace.