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Ready to catch bigger waves and carve sharper turns? Our list of the top surfing exercises for 2024 is your all-access pass to boosting your performance on the waves, blending strength, agility, and balance into your routine. Dive in and discover how to surf stronger, longer, and with more finesse than ever before. Whether you’re paddling out for the first time or seeking to carve up the waves like a pro, these surfing exercises are your secret weapon for surfing success. Get ready to transform your surf sessions with every push-up, squat, and lunge. Let’s ride the fitness wave together!

1. Chin-ups

Chin-ups are your go-to surfing exercises for boosting upper body strength, perfect for surfers aiming to conquer the waves. They focus on your lats, biceps, and shoulders, mimicking the paddling in surfing needed out at sea. Simply start by hanging from a chin-up bar with hands just wider than your shoulders, then lift until your chin tops the bar. If you’re new to this, do as many as you can, working up to two sets of six. As you get stronger, you can up your reps or add some weight. Stick with it, and you’ll notice paddling becomes easier, helping you catch more waves and enjoy your time in the water even more.

2. Squats

Squats are one of the top surfing exercises for anyone who is into surfing. They help you build strong legs, keep your balance, and stay stable while you’re on your surfboard. When you do squats, it’s like you’re practicing how to stand and move on your board, which helps you control your moves better and stay agile in the water. But it’s not just your legs that get a workout; your whole body does, including your core and back, making squats a great all-around exercise for surfers.

Surfing Exercise Squats

To make your squat routine more fun and effective, try adding different kinds, like jump squats or squats where you stand on one leg. These changes not only get your legs ready for surfing but also make sure you can take on all kinds of waves. Squats are a key part of surfing exercises because they get your body in shape to meet the challenges of surfing head-on.

3. Running Exercises

Running is a big deal when it comes to surfing exercises. It’s a simple but powerful way to make sure you’ve got the stamina for surfing. Adding running to your surf training improves your heart health and makes your legs stronger and more ready for those times when you need to paddle a lot or stay out in the water longer. You can go for longer, slow runs or do short, fast sprints—both are great for building the kind of fitness you need for surfing.

Surfing Exercise Running Exercises

Running helps you breathe better, and stay at a good weight, and is one of the best exercises for surfing because it gets you ready for the physical part of catching waves. Stick with your running plan regularly, and you’ll definitely see your surfing stamina go up.

4. Pushups

Pushups find their place in surfing exercises, targeting the muscles needed for a quick and efficient board pop-up. Adding pushups to your routine boosts the strength in your chest, shoulders, and arms, which translates to smoother paddles and pop-ups.

To make your surf training more effective, try different pushup variations, such as inclined pushups for an added challenge or spider-man pushups to engage the core. Each variation introduces a new challenge to your body, helping to build a more durable surfing physique. Pushups develop the strength and endurance necessary for outstanding performance in surfing, making them a valuable part of your training session.

5. Mobility Drills

Mobility drills are great surfing exercises to make moving easier and smoother when you’re surfing. When your body moves naturally, you save energy, which is great for endurance in the water. Plus, staying mobile is important as we get older or if we’re not as active as we used to be. Just spending 10 minutes on mobility exercises before your workout can make a big difference.

Surfing Exercise Mobility Drills

Try gentle stretches and movements for your ankles, hips, spine, neck, and shoulders to stay flexible. Just remember to take it easy at first, since your body isn’t fully warmed up. Adding these drills to your routine will help keep you agile and ready for surfing, no matter your age.

6. Dumbbell Drills

For surfers, using dumbbells is a smart move because it matches the unpredictable, dynamic nature of surfing better than machines with fixed movements. Dumbbells are super flexible too, letting you work out almost any muscle group. To get stronger arms and upper body, you can do exercises like deadlifts, one-arm swings, and bench presses.

For core and back strength, try bending over with a dumbbell in each hand and doing rows. Start with five reps per arm and increase as you get stronger. You can even add dumbbells to pushups and squats for extra challenge. Including these drills in your surfing exercises will help build the strength you need for catching waves and staying on your board.

7. Planking

Planking is one of the best exercises for surfing, focusing on building a strong core. Planking is a top pick in surfing exercises because it’s all about building that core strength crucial for your surfing endurance and technique. It might look easy, just lying there, but holding a plank is actually tough. It works every muscle in your body, making it a powerhouse move for surfers.

Surfing Exercise Planking

To do a plank correctly, lie down like you’re about to do a pushup. But instead of moving up and down, you keep your body straight and hold yourself up with your forearms. Try to hold this position for as long as you can, and do it regularly. Stick with it, and you’ll soon start to see and feel the difference in your core strength, which is essential for tackling the waves.

8. Turkish Get-ups

Turkish get-ups have gained popularity in the world of surfing exercises, and it’s clear why. They offer incredible benefits that can elevate your overall athletic performance, making them a must-have in your surf training. This exercise enhances your mobility, improves joint health, supports dynamic movements, stabilizes your spine, controls your shoulders, and strengthens your core, among other advantages.

To start, choose a weight that challenges you but is manageable—up to 20 kg (44 lbs) for men and 12 kg (26 lbs) for women is a good guideline. With a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand, lie down, either flat on your back or slightly to one side. Lift the weight above you, then carefully rise to a standing position, using your free hand to help balance and support yourself.

9. Lunges

Lunges are among the best surfing exercises because they work the same leg and hip muscles you use when surfing. Here’s how to do some great lunging exercises that are perfect for surfers:

Surfing ExerciseLunges
  • Basic Lunges:

Just like movements on a surfboard, basic lunges strengthen your legs and hips. Stand straight, step forward with one leg, and lower your body until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Then, push back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

  • Dynamic Lunges:

Make your lunges more active. From a standing position, step into a lunge and then jump, switching your legs in the air to land with the opposite leg in front. Keep going, switching legs each time.

  • Overhead Walking Lunges:

Add a challenge by holding a dumbbell or a weight plate above your head. This works your abs too. Step into a lunge, keep your arms straight up, and then step forward into a lunge with the other leg.

  • Alternating Medicine Ball Twist Lunges:

Hold a medicine ball at your chest for this one. Lunge forward and twist your upper body to the side of the front leg. This helps with your balance and core strength, just like when you’re surfing.

  • Alternating Dumbbell Split Lunges:

This time, use dumbbells at your sides. Lunge forward with one leg, then jump and switch legs in the air, landing in a lunge with the other leg. This builds power for paddling and popping up on your board.

  • Alternating Sandbag Lunges:

Hold a sandbag with both hands. Do a reverse lunge by stepping back and rotating your upper body towards the front leg. Then switch legs. It’s great for your core and balance, helping you stay steady on your board.

10. Exercise Ball

The exercise ball, also known as a stability ball, gym ball, or balance ball, is a fantastic tool for surfers. It’s one of the best surfing exercises because it challenges your strength, balance, and cardio endurance all at once. When you train on this unstable surface, you’re preparing your body for the unpredictable nature of the waves.

Surfing Exercise Exercise Ball
  • Exercise Ball Dumbbell Rotations:

Lie on your back on the ball with a dumbbell in both hands. Rotate your upper body to one side, then the other, keeping your balance. Engaging the core in such a way mimics the twisting motion you use when surfing.

  • Exercise Ball Dumbbell Row:

Support yourself with one hand on the ball and hold a dumbbell in the other. Lean forward, keeping your back flat, and pull the dumbbell up to your side. Switch arms after your set.

  • Kneeling Exercise Ball Press:

While kneeling on an exercise ball, lifting dumbbells from shoulders overhead challenges both balance and upper body strength, maintaining control in varied surf conditions.

  • Exercise Ball Jackknife:

Start in a pushup position with your shins on the ball. Pull your knees towards your chest, rolling the ball forward. Try keeping your legs straight as you roll the ball for an extra challenge.

11. Indo Board

The Indo Board is a balance trainer that mimics the unstable surface of the water, perfect for improving your balance and core strength. Utilize it for squats, pushups, and various balance surfing exercises to refine your surfing stance and control.

Surfing Exercise Indo Board

Best Indo Board Exercises for Surfing:

  • Indo Board Pushups: Begin by kneeling and placing your hands on the edges of the Indo Board. Extend your feet back, lift your knees, and balance yourself. Perform pushups, challenging your stability, strengthening your upper body, and effective for paddling and pop-ups.
  • Indo Board Squats: Squats on an Indo Board replicate the need to lower your center of gravity and generate power from your legs on the board. Stand with feet at the board’s edges, squat down, and rise, focusing on balance and leg strength.
  • Medicine Ball Wood Chops: With one foot on the Indo Board, hold a medicine ball with both hands. Swinging the ball from one side of your waist overhead to the other enhances rotational strength and balance, mirroring the dynamic movements of surfing.
  • Kettlebell Clean and Press: Position yourself on the Indo Board with feet apart. Holding a kettlebell, lift it to your chest, then overhead, adding a twist. This exercise boosts overall strength, coordination, and balance, simulating the multifaceted physical demands of surfing.

How to Become Better at Surfing?

Are you tired of the constant paddling? Want to get to the line-up faster and catch more waves? A well-rounded fitness routine is your answer. By focusing on the surfing exercises mentioned, you can build the strength, endurance, and balance needed to enhance your surfing performance.

How to Become Better at Surfing?

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