Surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports and requires a great deal of strength from all of your muscle groups. Many surfers believe that exercising is not necessary because they feel that being in the water is already a great exercise. Most surfers who are in the water a lot are in good shape and yes surfing is already a good workout. However there are a number of great exercises one can do to help get the most out of your next session and prevent your body from future injuries.
There are 5 types of surfing exercises that can help you prepare for your next surf session; Cardiovascular, Upper-body, Lower-body (Balance), Core Stability, Flexibility/Mobility. Another newer trend in exercising is Yoga, which allows you to strengthen and stretch all of your surfing muscles while improving stamina, balance and mental focus.
Cardiovascular activities such as running and biking are great cross training things to do while the surf is flat. Surfing involves a lot of paddling so the upper-body strength is very important. Workouts that include; bench press, bicep curls, push-ups, pull-ups, flies and dips are all great ways to increase your upper-body strength.
Surfing also relies on your lower body strength and focusing on muscles in your thighs, legs and feet will help to increase your overall core strength. Almost all your time surfing you spend resisting the force of the water, so it is crucial for your back muscles and abs (core) to be in great shape. One of the most overlooked areas of fitness is flexibility and this can be pre-session/ post-session stretching. You can do stretching right on the beach before paddling out and pretty much every muscle you use while surfing can benefit from stretching.
Be prepared for your next surf session or trip by exercising regularly and stretching before and after you engage in any physical activities. You will have a lot more fun in the water and catch more waves by staying in shape!