Surfing is a wonderful sport and will keep your whole body fit and in shape. It’s great fun and the scenery is awesome. You may be fortunate enough to meet some dolphins while you’re waiting for your next set or have the scary encounter of being up close and personal with a shark.
Surfing is an experience whichever way you look at it and will give you a great tan, but a tan may be all you get if you don’t have a good level of specific surfing fitness before you paddle out because without strength, power, muscular endurance, balance and core stability, paddling is all you’ll be doing. It doesn’t matter if you run marathons, lift huge weights in the gym or can play squash till the cows come home, the ocean will eat you alive if you don’t have surfing fitness.
The good news is that you can train for this both in and outside of the water by simply using your body weight and either a kettle bell or dumbbell.
Surfing involves a lot of swimming as it’s guaranteed that at some time your leg rope will break and you’ll be stuck in amongst the pounding surf having to swim to safety. So out of a 5 day training schedule 2 days of swimming in the ocean is a good idea. The ocean is never the same so some days your swim will be nice and steady and others you’ll have to keep your wits about you. Try some sprint work as well to build up your explosive power for paddling onto a wave.
In order to recover quickly from your poundings with the waves try this strength and conditioning program....
Explosive leg strength - to go from lying down to jumping up on your feet on a moving board.
-Kettle Bell swings – 2 hands or singles for explosive hip power and dynamic hamstring so you can spring up onto your feet with no effort.
-Kettle Bell cleans and clean and presses. – This incorporates your hip and hamstring power with your arms and core.
If you’re not familiar with the countless benefits of kettles training, book some sessions with an Esteem Fitness personal trainer in London; buy yourself a couple of bells, ladies and 8kg and 12kg and men 12kg and 16kg or more. Then once you’ve learned the correct and safe technique your all set.
Core strength – for stability while you’re on the board not only standing and riding a wave but believe it or not you even need stability to lie down and paddle the thing, duck dive under a wave and to sit on it while waiting for a wave. I’ve seen countless new surfers with no core stability fall off their board while trying to sit on it and wait for a wave. Not cool. And back strength for all that paddling time with your back extended, very hard work.
Again the kettle bell swings, clean and presses will get your core nice and strong but further to these you can add the ‘Kettle Bell Turkish Get Up’ to not only strengthen and tone up your core but to also build your shoulder strength and stability, a must for any surfer.
Muscular endurance – for stamina in all of your muscles so that you don’t have to paddle in for a siesta and miss out on the awesome fun because your body is too tired to continue.
-Kettle bells swings, high reps between 15 and 20 per set.
-Burpies with a push up
-Box jumps – choose a box or bench about knee height, squat down a little then jump up onto the bench landing your feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward and sit your weight back into your heels on landing. Step down and repeat 20 times. This also works your core and explosive leg power.
Below is a program that you can incorporate into your surfing week to gain your all round surfing conditioning.
Squat jumps - 5 reps, 3 sets
Single arm kettle bell clean and press – 5 reps per arm, 3 sets
Kettle bell Turkish get up – 5 reps per side, 3 sets
Kettle bell single arm swings – 5 reps per arm, 3 sets (focus on explosive power)
Burpies with push up – 25 reps, 2 sets
Kettle bell single arm swings – 5 reps per arm, 3 sets (focus on muscular endurance)