Surf physical training to get the best out of your surfing holidays in South West France with Natural Surf Lodge.
Exercise to surf fitness ...
by Nolan Palmer Smith and Julia Pool
Often described as one of the hardest sports to pick up, half of the challenge is strength using muscles you would never usually call on. The best way to increase your surf strength is - unsurprisingly ! - by actually surfing, but there are also some exercises you can do before hand to help.
General physical condition
Go swimming 1 or 2 times a week.
Include in your training, front crawl with your head out of the water for 6 x 25 metre lengths. Start with one length and recover with 2 lengths back-stroke. If possible, breathe and swim smoothly.
Once you feel in better shape and less out of breath, do 2 lengths of "water polo" front crawl at a time, introducing changes in speed (e.g. 4 quick strokes then back to a more gentle rhythme).
This will help you prepare for catching a wave and "taking off" on a wave, which requires a burst of front crawl on your board.
Specific training for surfing
Target: Chest and triceps
EX 1 : Staggered push-ups
Lying on the ground, place one hand beneath your shoulders and the other back by your ribs with your fingers pointing straight ahead. Look ahead but keep your neck in line with your back to prevent neck strain.
Feet together, keep your bum level with your head and push up.
Try to do two sets of 15 with one arm back and two sets again with the other arm back.
Tip : If it’s too difficult do the same exercise with your knees on the ground and your feet up in the air behind you.
Target: Lower back muscles
EX 2 : Superman
Lying flat on your stomach on the ground, lift your feet and arms off the ground, keeping in a straight line.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat five times, or hold 15 seconds x 10 times
Tip : Keep your neck straight so it's your back that does the work and to avoid neck strain.
Target: Bottom and quadriceps
EX 3 : Elevated split squats
Place one foot on a chair behind you. Place the other foot approximately three feet in front of you. Lower yourself by bending at the front knee as low as you feel comfortable until you feel the stretch in the front leg, then raise yourself.
Do three sets of 20 for each leg.
Tip : Make sure the knee of the front foot is behind your toes at all times to prevent knee strain.