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Are you looking for exercises to improve your strength for surf paddling? This guide presents 15 targeted exercises for surfing paddling designed to improve surf paddling strength systematically.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting, these exercises will help you build the endurance and power needed to paddle farther, faster, and catch more waves. Each exercise, from core engagement to upper body strength, is carefully chosen to enhance your paddling technique and maximize your enjoyment on the water. So, read on to learn more and elevate your surfing experience!

Best 6 Surfing Paddling Exercises at Home

Enhancing your skills and strength with surf paddling exercises can be achieved from the comfort of your home. Let’s explore six effective routines to propel your surfing prowess.

1. Push-ups and Rotation

Push-ups and Rotations are considered one of the best exercises for surfing paddling because they engage your entire body and improve your balance. This exercise strengthens your shoulders, chest, and core, which is crucial for robust and efficient paddling.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Push-ups and Rotation


  • Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Lower your body down towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping your core engaged and your back flat.
  • As you reach the bottom of the push-up, rotate your upper body to one side so that you end up in a side plank position with your arm extended towards the ceiling.
  • Hold for a breath, then lower your body to the push-up position and rotate to the other side, extending the opposite arm.
  • Repeat this rotation for a total of 14 repetitions.

2. Diamond push-ups

Diamond push-ups are a variation of the classic push-ups that target the triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles, all of which are essential for powerful paddling in surfing. These surf paddling exercises at home can be done without any equipment, making it a perfect addition to your surf-specific workout routine.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Diamond push-ups


  • Place your hands on the floor, slightly closer together than shoulder-width apart, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers touching.
  • Extend your legs back, keeping your body straight from head to toe. Engage your core and glutes to maintain stability.
  • Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your body, and slowly lower your chest toward the ground until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Press through your palms to extend your elbows and return to the starting plank position.

3. Arm Raises

Strengthen your upper body and improve your paddling endurance with this effective exercise that can be done conveniently at home. Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Incorporating arm raises into your home workout routine allows you to develop the upper body strength and endurance needed for improved paddling performance in the waves.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Arm Raises


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your arms at your sides, palms facing inward.
  • Engage your core and look straight ahead.
  • Raise your arms simultaneously to shoulder height, keeping them at your sides.
  • Lower your arms back down to the starting position with a controlled motion.
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions, maintaining consistent breathing and a straight spine with your hips facing forward.

4. Arch-Ups

Considered one of the best exercises for surfing and paddling, arch-ups (swimmer and Superman) target your core and back muscles, improving stability and power in the water. Incorporating this exercise into your routine can significantly enhance your paddling performance and protect your spine from strain.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Arch-Ups


  • Start on your stomach, arms extended forward, and palms flat on the ground.
  • Engage your core and lift your chest and upper body off the ground, forming an arch-like position.
  • Simultaneously, raise your arms and legs, extending them as far as possible while maintaining a straight line from head to toe.
  • Hold for a few seconds, feeling the engagement in your core, shoulders, back, and glutes.
  • Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

5. Bicep Curls

Surfing is a full-body workout, but paddling is one of the most essential aspects. It requires strength, endurance, and proper technique to propel yourself through the waves and catch them. While many exercises can help improve your paddling, bicep curls are one of the best surf exercises for paddling. They target the muscles in your upper arms, which are essential for robust and efficient paddling strokes.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Bicep Curls


  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and core-engaged.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing forward.
  • Bend your elbows, curling the weights up towards your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the movement’s top, then slowly lower the weights.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

6. Tricep Dips

Tricep dips are a bodyweight exercise that strengthens your triceps, the muscles on the back of your upper arms. Strong triceps are essential for powerful exercises for surfing paddling, as they are responsible for propelling you through the water. This exercise can be done at home without equipment, making it a convenient way to improve your paddling fitness.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Tricep Dips


  • Sit on the floor with your feet flat and your hands shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing back towards you.
  • Walk your legs out straight so your weight is on your hands and heels.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor, keeping your back straight and your core engaged.
  • Dip down until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle or as low as you can comfortably go.
  • Push through your heels to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Best Gym Exercises for surf paddling

While land can’t replicate the ocean’s currents, gym exercises for surf paddling can build the strength and stamina needed to dominate the waves. Let’s explore some key moves to boost your paddling prowess.

TRX Suspended Push-Ups

TRX Suspended Push-Ups are particularly effective as they engage multiple muscle groups essential for paddling, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. It is one of many best exercises for surf paddling. Still, they are a great option to incorporate into your workout routine to improve your paddling strength and endurance.


  • Adjust the TRX straps to a challenging height where your feet are shoulder-width apart, and your body is angled at about 45 degrees from the ground when you plank.
  • Grasp the handles with palms facing down and engage your core to create a stable plank position.
  • Lower your chest towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping your forearms close to your body.
  • Push through your palms to return to the starting plank position.
  • Repeat for 8-12 repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form and controlled movements.

TRX Roll Out

The TRX Roll Out, the best exercise for surfing paddling, is fantastic for surfers of all levels, particularly those looking to improve their paddling power and endurance. It strengthens the core, shoulders, and back, which are crucial for efficient paddling. While it may appear simple, the TRX Roll Out requires proper form and technique to maximize its benefits and avoid injury.

Exercises for Surfing PaddlingTRX Roll Out


  • Set up the TRX with the foot cradles adjusted to a challenging height.
  • Lean back with your arms straight and core engaged, forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Roll out slowly by pulling yourself towards the anchor point, keeping your core tight and glutes engaged.
  • Roll back in by extending your arms and pushing away from the anchor point.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

TRX Roll Out is a valuable exercise for exercises for surf paddling as it strengthens muscles crucial for paddling power and endurance. By incorporating this exercise into your routine, you can confidently hit the waves and paddle for longer distances.

TRX Squat Row

The TRX Squat Row is a compound exercise that effectively targets various muscle groups essential for powerful and efficient paddling, including your back, core, glutes, and legs. This exercise can be incorporated into your exercises for paddling surfing routine to improve your paddling performance and overall surfing experience.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling TRX Squat Row


  • Set up the TRX suspension trainer at a height that allows you to squat comfortably while maintaining slight tension on the straps throughout the exercise.
  • Grasp the handles with an overhand grip and lean back slightly, maintaining a straight back and core engagement.
  • Squat down, pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel.
  • As you squat, row the TRX handles simultaneously towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Drive through your heels to stand back up, extending your legs and returning the handles to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form and controlled movements.

Bosu Ball Bent Arm Row

Bosu Ball Bent Arm Row is a great exercise to strengthen your back and shoulder muscles, which are essential for exercises for surfing paddling. It’s a compound movement that works multiple muscle groups at once, including your core and legs, which helps improve your overall stability and balance on the board.


  • Start slightly crouched with your feet hip-width apart on a Bosu ball.
  • Hold a barbell or dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended straight down in front of you.
  • Keep your back straight and core engaged as you bend your elbows and pull the weights towards your chest.
  • Lower the weights back down to the starting position and repeat.

Bosu Ball Push Ups

Bosu ball push-ups are one of the great exercises to improve paddling surfing strength, stability, and balance, all of which are essential for catching waves and maneuvering your board.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Bosu Ball Push Ups


  • Start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet on a bosu ball.
  • Slowly lower your body down until your chest touches the bosu ball.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Try to make each rep last 4-6 seconds.

Bosu Ball Dumbbell Reverse fly

The Bosu Ball Dumbbell Reverse Fly is a great exercise that targets all these muscle groups and can help you improve your paddling power and technique. Bosu ball exercises can also help to improve your exercises to improve surfing paddling by increasing your rotational power and endurance.


  1. Stand on a Bosu ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Lower your torso towards the ground, keeping your back straight and core engaged.
  3. As you lower down, raise the dumbbells towards the ceiling, keeping your arms slightly bent.
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the movement’s top, then slowly lower the dumbbells.
  5. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions.

Exercise to Mimic Surfing Paddling

Now, let’s explore exercises for surfing paddling that mimic the specific movements and demands of riding the waves.

1. One Arm Dumbbell Paddle

One-arm dumbbell paddling is a great exercise to mimic the paddling motion used in surfing. It strengthens and tones your arms, shoulders, and core muscles, all essential for paddling effectively on a surfboard. This exercise can be part of a larger circuit of exercises to improve surf paddling, such as planks, push-ups, and rows.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling One Arm Dumbbell Paddle


  • Lie down on your stomach with your legs extended behind you and your arms at your sides.
  • Hold a dumbbell, palm facing down, near your chest.
  • Engage your core and simultaneously press your dumbbell arm forward while reaching your opposite arm back as if paddling.
  • Maintain a straight back and avoid arching your lower back.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions per side, then switch arms and repeat.

2. Paddle Pulls Rows

Paddle pull rows are an excellent exercise for surfing paddling that can be done anywhere, without any equipment. They target the major muscle groups used in paddling, including the back, shoulders, core, and arms.


  • Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead and your palms flat on the floor.
  • Engage your core and glutes, and lift your chest and thighs off the ground.
  • Pull your hands towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

3. Weighted Paddle

Paddling is an essential part of surfing, and training your paddling muscles to improve your surfing performance is important. Weighted paddling is a great way to mimic the paddling motion of surfing and build strength and endurance.

Exercises for Surfing Paddling Weighted Paddle


  • Start with a manageable weight. You can use dumbbells, water bottles, or even a backpack filled with books.
  • Lie on your stomach on a mat or exercise ball. Place your hands on the weight and extend your arms before you.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise to maintain stability.
  • Simulate the paddling motion by pushing the weight forward with your arms and then pulling it back towards you.
  • Repeat: Do 10-15 repetitions of the paddling motion.
  • Rest: Take a short rest and repeat the exercise for 2-3 sets.

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Are you struggling to paddle out and catch those elusive waves? Boost Fin might be the answer. This innovative training tool enhances your exercises for surfing paddling, building strength, endurance, and technique for smoother, more efficient paddling.

Improve Your Surf Paddling with Boost Fin

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