What's The Best Warm-Up Routine for Surfing?

Believe it or not you can sustain an injury from surfing. Just ask Mick Fanning... 

In 2004, while surfing in Indonesia, Mick fell from the top of a wave, landing with his legs in the splits before being crushed by the wave from above. The result? Mick’s hamstring was completely torn from the bone.

Don't risk injury this summer. Do a proper warm-up before you get in the water. We recommend a routine that addresses your body's overall mobility.

For a free detailed e-Book on how mobility affects your surfing click here.

Mobility and Flexibility... What's The Difference?

Flexibility simply refers to how far your muscles can stretch. Mobility, on the other hand, is your joint’s ability to actively move through its intended range of motion.

High mobility does not just mean high flexibility. It requires strength, balance and correct posture too.

How Does Mobility Improve My Surfing?

Paddling:

Shoulder mobility is of vital importance when paddling. An efficient paddle stroke requires smooth rotation of the shoulders in their sockets in order to pull your hands through the water (similar to the gears on a bike).

Standing Up:

Those with tight hips and hamstrings tend to compensate while standing up by leaning their head off the side of the board to make room for their legs to tuck in beneath their body. A flexible lower body (i.e. hips, hamstrings and glutes) addresses this issue.

Riding:

To maintain balance when riding the stabiliser muscles in your core, thighs and glutes are constantly activated. Strength and mobility in these areas will provide you with a balanced platform from which to surf.

The Best Warm-Up Routine For Surfing:

Select 6 exercises from the list of 10 below. This will form a 15-20 minute routine.

Complete the routine first thing in the morning and before breakfast. Eating causes your blood to divert to your digestive tract so exercising before eating will ensure you train while there is strong blood flow in the limbs.

 

1) Cat To Camel

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling and Standing Up

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start on your hands and knees;
  • Relax your head and allow it to drop down. Round your back up towards the ceiling until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 15 seconds;
  • Gently press your stomach towards the floor, lift your head and push your buttock towards the ceiling. Hold for 15 seconds; and
  • Repeat 10 times.

 

 

2) Lower Back Rotations

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling and Standing Up

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back with your feet tucked in and knees up;
  • Roll your knees to your left hand side;
  • Once your knees have reached the floor (or the limit of your mobility) gently lift your knees back over the centre of your body and towards your right hand side; and
  • Repeat 10 times.

 

 

3) Knees To Chest

Area of Surfing Improved: Standing Up

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back;
  • Gently lift your knees to your chest. To complete the stretch hug your knees and gently pull them even closer to your chest; and
  • Repeat 10 times.

 

 

4) Scorpions

Area of Surfing Improved: Riding

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by lying flat on your stomach with your arms spread out in a “T” formation;
  • Here, in your “T” formation face toward the floor, roll your body to the left so that your right heel comes across your body to meet your left hand;
  • Return and repeat to other side; and
  • Go for 10 reps and you’ll feel your obliques, hip flexors, and quads open up nicely.

 

 

5) Squats

Area of Surfing Improved: Standing Up and Riding

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart;
  • Gently lower your body by squatting. Remember to bend at the knees and keep your eyes up and back straight;
  • Once at the bottom of your squat, gently straighten your legs to return to the starting position; and
  • Perform this movement 15 times.

 

 

6) Hip Flexor Stretch

Area of Surfing Improved: Standing Up

Exercise Type: Static Stretch

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start down on your left knee with your right foot flat on the floor in front of you;
  • Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor;
  • Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more;
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes; and
  • Repeat on opposite side.

 

 

7) Bridge

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling and Standing Up

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor;
  • Tighten your glutes and lift your hips off the floor;
  • At the highest position, there should be a straight line from your knees all the way to your shoulders;
  • Hold the contraction for five seconds before returning to the starting position; and
  • Repeat 10 times.

 

 

8) Tall Kneeling Up Arm Raise To The Side

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling and Standing Up

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by kneeling on both knees;
  • Keep a good posture with your body upright and tall. Reach up and to the side with your left hand and really try to pull your hand up and out as far as you can. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds; and
  • Repeat on the right side.

 

 

9) L-Arm Stretch

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling

Exercise Type: Dynamic

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start by lying on your left side with your left arm stretched out straight;
  • Roll your upper body in and out towards your left arm. Use the muscles that are at the back of your shoulder to pull yourself in and out. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds; and
  • Repeat on the right side.

 

 

10) Trapezius Muscle Stretch

Area of Surfing Improved: Paddling

Exercise Type: Static Stretch

How to Perform This Exercise:

  • Start in a seated position;
  • For stability, sit on your left hand. Lean your head to the right. Hold for 30 seconds; and
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

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