If you want to improve on your surfing, you’ll quickly realise that fitness is key to your improvement. Even if you’re a beginner, having a good fitness foundation will only excel your development.

When it comes to surfing, your whole body receives a work-out but your core is what is worked the hardest. Core strength refers to your abdominal and back muscles and their own ability to support your spine, thus keeping your body strong, stable and balanced - all key attributes when it comes to surfing.

Surfing incorporates a plethora of body movements, such as springing from a prone position, twisting your legs and swivelling your hips. Core strength is key for all of these, and also plays a massive part in you being able to balance on your surfboard too!

We’re guessing if you surf already or are considering it for the first time that you already have a good level of fitness and you should already, as part of a healthy lifestyle, be working out 3-4 times a week. By adding hip, back, gluts, shoulders and chest workouts to your existing regime, it will aid and prepare you for your future surfing holidays or even just the next surf at your local.

These 3 exercises are recommended by Monica Villalobos who runs Mita Yoga and she has even included a fantastic video so you know exactly how to do it!

Side Planks

Builds strength and endurance within the core muscles. This helps keep your lower back protected and stable during activities that require movement in the hips or back, perfect for the initial spring up to your feet when you first scratch into the wave.
To make it harder and make significant improvement, while holding the basic position, lift and lower your top leg. Gradually work toward holding the upper leg for 5 to 10 counts. Another option, you can come into full ‘Vasishtasana’ yoga position by lifting your hips and leg all the way up. This will improve your flexibility in the groin and hamstrings, and for those who have experienced cramp in the water will know how useful this exercise can be!  

4 Point Kneeling Exercise

Position yourself on all fours, knees in line with the hips and your hands underneath the shoulders. Gently pull in with the belly button and contract the pelvic floor.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, raise one leg and the opposite arm. Hold for a few seconds before slowly returning back to the starting position. Aim to complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps for maximum core effect!  

Tiger Pose
Once again go into the 4 Point Kneeling position, but in this exercise, arch your back, raise one leg and grab your foot with your opposite arm. This exercise warms the muscles around the back whilst also flexing your spine, which is also good for improving your core strength. It’s also been shown to stimulate the lymphatic, reproductive and nervous system, and help in the management of sciatica.      

Other articles you may also find helpful:
Top 5 breakfasts for surfing
Surf training with Andrew Cotton

Photo by: The Chillhouse – Bali Surf and Bike retreats