Six Crucial Facts for Surfing Workouts and Surf Training

1. Each Surfer Has Specific Needs
Surfing tests nearly every component of fitness while challenging both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in the body. It is easy to get carried away and push physical limits with intense surfing training programs, yet in doing so you may be putting additional stress into your physiological systems that may worsen your surfing performance. Before starting a hard-core dynamic surfing training program a more scientific approach is required, one that starts with assessing your body and setting the foundation for further surfing training to follow. Your needs and body will determine what surfing workout is appropriate and necessary before more dynamic activities can be trained.

2. Surfing Flexibility
Surfing is a dynamic sport and being flexible helps with tucking into tight barrels, contorting your body with new school maneuvers and when you are about to be sucked over the falls to take a beating. However, it does not mean everyone should be doing the same flexibility training or stretching routine. Your body is unique and the only area's that require stretching are the muscles in your body that are tight and reduce range of motion. For some surfers that may mean nearly the whole body requires flexibility training. If this is the case, yoga and stretching is a priority for your body and surfing workouts. Other surfers may be overly flexible or what is known as hyper-mobile and doing stretching or yoga will lead to poor joint stability and a lack of strength and surfing power. If this is you, surfing strength training is your priority.

3. Paddling Power and Endurance
Surfers paddle. A lot. It is important to emphasize that upper body strength especially in the upper back between the scapular and lower back area are key to improved paddle power, endurance and shoulder stability. While specific strength training is very important and if done correctly will help with muscular balance, posture, shoulder stability and surfing performance it is important to also ensure your paddle technique is correct. The best way to improve paddling technique is either on the board or swimming with a trained surfing coach.

4. Full Body and Core Strength
So many surfers rely on isolating and strengthening the core with floor based movements hoping that this will carry over into surfing performance. Many others are jumping directly into dynamic movements that challenge the entire body without first having a good foundation from which to start. There are many excellent and functional traditional exercises that improve core strength and function very effectively and should be mastered before doing more dynamic full body surfing movements. Traditional exercises like the squat, dead lifts, and cleans are the basis of all athletes function and can be included into your program before more dynamic movements are trained.

5. Strong Legs for Stronger Surfing
Leg strength is so important for power development, endurance, landings and when tackling bigger waves. The traditional exercises mentioned above integrate your entire body and are very important because a weak lower body often means poor co-ordination between the muscles and a weaker core during integration movements as required when surfing. Once you have mastered movements on the ground then you can then progress to further challenge yourself with unstable surfaces. There are still many people informing other surfers that cycling, leg extensions or running is the best way to strengthen your legs for surfing, this is simply not true.

6. Balance and Stability
The ocean is a constantly moving ever-changing environment any by using unbalanced surfaces as part of your surfing training you will increase neurological impulses in the body that can improve your surfing fitness. It is important to note that stability training is only one part of your surfing workout and should not dominate each surf training session. While stability balls and indo balls help, they are not necessary and you can easily improve surfing stability with out the use of such equipment.

Hayden Rhodes has coached professional and amateur athletes improve their performance through scientific personal training, hormonal testing, nutritional coaching and performance principles.

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