Want to be a better surfer?

My boss is a surf addict. Literally. It’s obvious from the moment you walk through the doors of the physio practice; surfing shots litter each and every wall, surfing magazines are front and centre in the waiting room and most of the patients come armed with an up to date surf report about which beach has the most ‘pumping’ waves just in case we have a few hours off over lunch! I personally couldn’t call myself a surfer; Among surfers I’d be known as a ‘gremmie’ or a really bad surfer. Sure I can stand up and catch a wave on a ‘foamie’ but then again I’m pretty sure Ross’s 7 year old daughter can do that too so I’m not getting too excited. It’s on my bucket list.

Surfing, like any sport requires a certain level of fitness, strength and ‘stability’ in order to meet the demands placed on your body. Have you ever actually tried to duck dive under a huge swell of white wash? It’s not exactly a walk in the park especially when you have to do it half a dozen times each time you paddle out. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is a lot of people assume going surfing for a few hours is an activity of leisure, when really it’s a pretty challenging workout, particularly if the surf is pumping and you’re carving heaps of gnarly barrels. (I’m so onto this surf lingo)

Do you want to be a better surfer? Then it’s time you conditioned your body to be one.
Surfing requires a special type of strength training that’s a combination of balance, stability and power resulting in not only better surfing technique but a physique that the ladies will love! Unlike body building surfers don’t need to focus on isolating individual muscles but rather on getting the whole body to function as one unit. No gym membership required, just get yourself a swiss ball, a set of dumbbells, a patch of sand you are good to go!

This little program incorporates 6 key exercises to address the body as one whole communicating unit (sorry boys no Arnie curl sets will be included in this program)


  • Planks / side planks: These are both great exercise to strengthen your core stabilisers (deep abdominal muscles that function to provide stability to the lower back and pelvis) Perform 3 of each (3 normal plank, 3 left sided and 3 right sided) each for 30 seconds with a 10 second recovery in between. It is important to brace your abdominal muscles as you do this exercise.
  • Russian Twists: another killer abdominal exercise this time targeting your obliques. Set your self up so upper back and neck are resting on a swiss ball, feet our infront and hip width apart. You can do this with no weight or hold a small dumbbell/medicine ball and slowly rotate from side to side. Perform 3 sets of 12 rotations to each side. To make this harder either increase the weight or rotate further.  Ideally you should have the control to  turn 90 degrees to either side so that your feet remain flat but your shoulder comes to rest on the ball.
  • T push ups: Perform a push up with your hands gripping a set of dumbbells, as you return to the start position pick up one dumbbell and perform a one arm row pulling the dumbbell towards your chest (to target your back muscles), as it reaches your chest slowly rotate your body, lifting the dumbbell up towards the sky to activate the core abdominals. Return to the start position and repeat for the other side. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions to either side.
  • Squats: To start out place a chair directly behind you, have your feet shoulder width apart, your weight in your heels and perform a squat as if you were sitting into the chair. If you lack control and strength through this range place a swiss ball against the wall lean into it and do your squats here. Perform 3 sets of 15, to increase the difficulty hold a weight or move further into range with the movement
  • Lunge and press: Hold dumbbells by your side, step one leg forward and drop into luge position simultaneously press dumbbells above your head. Return to start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 each leg.
  • Swiss ball kneeling: This is one to really target the core: Simply kneel on a swiss ball trying to maintain your balance for 20-30 seconds. Perform 5 sets of this. As you get better you can increase the time held, get a partner to throw you a ball 15-20 times as a distraction or be totally rad and try your hand at standing on the ball.

Do this little circuit 3-4 times a week and you will be carving up the surf in no time.



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