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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Surfing Fitness: Get fit to surf

The holiday season is here, the ocean is warming up and the surfing masses are emerging from their annual winter surf hibernation, itching to get back in the water. The only problem is lack of surfing time equals lack of surf fitness, equals less waves. However with the help of Clayton Beatty BSc, a certified personal trainer from Perth in WA, we're going to run a series of surf fitness tips, which should get you back into peak condition for that next session.

Heres a word from Clayton and the first in the series of exercises:

Wouldn’t you like to be able to surf harder and longer, get more barrels, bust bigger airs and surf with more style? And wouldn’t you like to be able to accomplish this without even getting wet?

Surfing has reached a new level of professionalism in recent years, with pros opting to train harder and smarter in an effort to increase their performance out in the waves.

Mick Fanning’s rise to the top was driven by his dedicated approach to his fitness regime after a debilitating hamstring injury. Taj Burrow has personal trainer (Bra Boy - John Gannon) flown around on tour to keep him in peak physical condition at all times. Obviously fitness training for surfing is becoming more and more important to the top professionals.

So what can the rest of us mere mortals do to improve our surfing ability whilst stuck on dry land? The secret lies in functional training.

What is functional training?

Most fitness programs created by fitness trainers are designed for bodybuilders not athletes. Generally these programs are generic in nature and do not tailor to the specific needs of the sport.

Functional training is working out using exercises that have movements similar to that used in the sport, in this case, surfing. It is basically training for a specific purpose.

From a performance perspective, functional training overloads your body whilst you are doing similar movements to that you would use whilst out in the surf. Your body then adapts to this overload and the result is that these movements are easier to perform whilst surfing.

There are many movements your body undertakes whilst surfing including paddling, pushing, squatting and twisting just to name a few. Therefore it is important any functional training program incorporates core strength, balance, upper body strength and lower body strength.

Russian Twist

  • This exercise will work your core muscles in a twisting motion.

  • Lie on a stability ball with your feet on the floor and knees at right angles.

  • Hold the basketball above your head and roll to the side until the tip of your shoulder is on the ball. Repeat on the other side.

  • Do 8 repetitions each side.

  • To increase the intensity, do the exercise faster (with good form) or use a weight plate or medicine ball instead of a basketball.

For more info visit Claytons website at


watercliff said...

I've been surfing 4 over 30 years.
What's helped me in a big way is balancing on a "balance ball", 3 minutes each leg (daily). U can do this while watching TV. This will also help you with everyday function, that's if you care 2 function? :)
>>> Watercliff

Total Surfing Fitness Bonus said...

Great workout you have. It really hit the target areas especially the core muscles.

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