Surf Fitness

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

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.