Your Essential Surf Training Guide with ZEN8
Surfing is a popular water sport that requires a combination of balance, strength, and coordination. To become a skilled surfer, it is essential to engage in surf-specific training exercises that target the muscles and movements used while riding waves. Let's explore some of the most effective essential surf training exercises that can help improve your surfing skills.
The first exercise is the pop-up, which involves pushing up from a prone position on the board to a standing position. This movement requires explosive power from the legs, core strength, and upper body stability. Practising the pop-up can help surfers improve their speed and timing when catching waves.
Before hitting the waves, it's essential to prepare your body for the physical demands of surfing. A proper warm-up routine can help prevent injuries, increase flexibility, and improve performance. Here are some warm-up exercises recommended by surf trainers.
Dynamic stretching involves moving your body through a range of motion to improve flexibility and prepare your muscles for action. Here are some dynamic stretching exercises that can help you warm up for surfing:
- Arm Circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out to the sides. Circle your arms forward for 10 reps, then backward for 10 reps.
- Leg Swings: Stand facing a wall or support and swing one leg forward and backward, then side to side. Repeat for 10 reps on each leg.
- Torso Twists: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and twist your torso to the left and right. Repeat for 10 reps.
Joint mobilisation exercises can help improve joint health, increase range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury. Here are some joint mobilization exercises that can help you warm up for surfing:
- Neck Rolls: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly roll your head in a circular motion. Repeat for 10 reps in each direction.
- Shoulder Rolls: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and roll your shoulders forward and backward. Repeat for 10 reps in each direction.
- Ankle Circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and circle your ankles clockwise and counterclockwise. Repeat for 10 reps in each direction.
By incorporating these warm-up exercises into your surfing routine, you can help prevent injuries and improve your performance on the waves. Remember to always listen to your body and adjust the exercises as needed to avoid overexertion or discomfort.
Balance and Stability Exercises
Maintaining balance and stability is crucial for surfers, as it helps them stay upright on the board and manoeuvre through the waves. Here are two exercises that can help improve balance and stability.
Single Leg Balance
Surfers need to be able to balance on one leg, as this is often required when riding a wave. The single leg balance exercise helps improve balance and stability on one leg. Here's how to do it:
- Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent.
- Keep your hips level and your core engaged.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
- To make the exercise more challenging, close your eyes or stand on a foam pad.
Swiss Ball Exercises
Swiss balls are great for improving balance and stability, as they require the use of multiple muscle groups. Here are two exercises that can be done with a Swiss ball:
- Swiss Ball Squats - Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place a Swiss ball between your lower back and a wall. Slowly lower yourself into a squat position, keeping the ball against the wall. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly rise back up to a standing position.
- Swiss Ball Planks - Place your forearms on a Swiss ball and extend your legs behind you, so that your body is in a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.
Incorporating these exercises into a regular training routine can help improve balance and stability, which can lead to better surfing performance.
Strength Training Exercises
Strength training is an essential part of surf training. It helps to build the muscles that are necessary for paddling, duck diving, and popping up on the board. Here are some effective strength training exercises that can help improve surfing performance.
Push-ups are a classic exercise that can help to build upper body strength. They work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. To perform a push-up, start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest touches the ground, then push back up to the starting position. Repeat for several sets of 10-15 reps.
Squats are a compound exercise that works the lower body, including the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push back up to the starting position. Repeat for several sets of 10-15 reps.
Lunges are another effective lower body exercise that can help to improve surfing performance. They work the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. To perform a lunge, start with your feet hip-width apart and take a step forward with one foot. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, then push back up to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Do several sets of 10-15 reps on each leg.
Incorporating these strength training exercises into your surf training routine can help to build the muscles necessary for surfing. Remember to start with light weights and gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves.
Endurance Training Exercises
Endurance training is essential for surfers as it helps them to maintain their stamina and power throughout the entire surfing session. This section outlines some of the best endurance training exercises for surfers.
Paddling is one of the most important skills for a surfer, and endurance paddling drills can help improve overall stamina and endurance. Here are some effective paddling drills:
- Long-distance paddling: This involves paddling for long distances without stopping. Start with a distance that is comfortable and gradually increase it over time.
- Interval paddling: This involves alternating between periods of high-intensity paddling and rest. For example, paddle at a high intensity for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for several sets.
- Paddle sprints: This involves paddling at maximum effort for a short distance, then resting and repeating. For example, paddle as fast as possible for 50 metres, then rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
Interval training is a great way to improve endurance and overall fitness. Here are some effective interval training exercises for surfers:
- Running: Running is a great way to improve endurance and overall fitness. Interval running involves alternating between periods of high-intensity running and rest. For example, sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds. Repeat for several sets.
- Cycling: Cycling is another great way to improve endurance. Interval cycling involves alternating between periods of high-intensity cycling and rest. For example, cycle at a high intensity for 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for several sets.
- Swimming: Swimming is an excellent full-body workout that can help improve endurance. With ZEN8, this has never been easier! Our unique swim trainer can be used at home, in the gym or on the move allowing you to get a high quality swim session into your routine from anywhere, reducing the need to go to open water or a pool.
Incorporating these endurance training exercises into a regular surf training routine can help improve overall fitness and stamina, leading to better surfing performance.
After an intense surfing session, it's important to cool down properly to prevent injuries and reduce muscle soreness. Here are some recommended cool-down exercises:
Static stretching involves holding a stretch position for a set amount of time without movement. It is beneficial for improving flexibility, reducing muscle tension, and preventing muscle imbalances.
Some recommended static stretches for surfers include:
- Hamstring stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- Chest stretch
- Shoulder stretch
- Triceps stretch
For each stretch, hold the position for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do 2-3 sets of each stretch.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that helps to break up muscle knots and improve blood flow. It can be especially helpful for surfers who experience tightness in their hips, lower back, and shoulders.
Some recommended foam rolling exercises for surfers include:
- Glute roll
- IT band roll
- Upper back roll
- Lat roll
- Chest roll
For each exercise, roll back and forth over the targeted area for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other side and do 2-3 sets.
Remember to breathe deeply and relax into each stretch or foam rolling exercise. Cool-down exercises should be performed after every surfing session to improve recovery and prevent injuries.
If you are a keen surfer, or just getting started, ZEN8 can help you do it right from the comfort of your own home, take a look at our dryland surf training guide and start training in the modern age of 2023!
Shop ZEN8 today and find out what dryland training is all about!