Written by Laura Ham

Prepping Your Body to Surf Like Kelly Slater

Summer: water gets warmer, drinks get colder, music gets louder, nights get longer, life gets better.

For our surfing enthusiasts out there, Isaac and I have put our heads together and created a blog detailing a few exercises to get your body ready to rip up the surf this summer. Read on and take a look at how we’ve broken up the exercises into the biomechanical components of surfing:

STRENGTH

Push-ups

The ability to provide a powerful, quick push through the upper body as you move from prone to standing is vital to making the most of the wave. Take a look at our video regarding correct push up technique. Aim for 8-10 push ups with good technique. Start slowly and then pick up the pace when you become more comfortable with the movement.

 

Standing glut/oblique integration

This exercise is aimed activating your glut med (pelvic stabiliser) and abdominal oblique muscles – both of which help you to gain driving power through your back leg as you turn and control the board.

 

Criss Cross

  Your abs are pretty important for all components of surfing. Here’s an exercise to get them burning, and fast.

The concept of ‘neutral spine’ is pretty important here. Make sure that you keep a small gap (about the size of a blueberry) under your lower back the entire time as you do this exercise.

Start with both of your legs at 90 degrees. Crunch up and over towards the opposite leg, simultaneously extending the leg that you are crunching towards.

Think about keeping a stable pelvis throughout – no rocking from side to side.

Aim for 3x sets of 10-12 reps.

 

MOBILITY & SPINAL FLEXIBILITY

Striders

These are awesome for mobilising your hips, legs and thoracic spine, and are there to help you to enter a deep squat position whist controlling the board in the surf.

Make sure that you are not hunched through your upper bock or neck.

Aim to hold the position for 3-secs then change legs. Perform 10x striders (5 each leg).

 

Wide squat + med ball twist

These are great for allowing you to maintain a safe spinal position whilst in a deep squat, while also integrating some core control.

Sink into a squat and hold as you take the ball from side to side.

Make sure that you are stabilising through your core as rotate, and try to keep your hips facing straight ahead.

Here, Isaac is using a 4kg medicine ball – feel free to use whatever weight you can manage with good technique! Aim for 6-8x rotations per squat. Repeat for 4-5 x squats overall.

 

BALANCE

Balance is a combination of perception, protective muscular activation and core control and is required for the constantly changing surface of your surfboard as it responds to the wave.


Roller squats

Find yourself a foam roller, and step onto it into a wide stance. You can mimic your surfing stance if you like.

Make sure that you are surrounded by a wide open space, in case you lose balance and need to step forward (or backwards) suddenly!

Slowly sink into a deep squat, and then return to standing again. Try to make sure that you’re engaging your abs throughout – this will make it easier!

Aim for 8-10 squats, and repeat twice.

 

Arabesque

Arabesques work your single leg balance, and consequently your stance glute med. They’re great for strengthening your pelvic stabilisers, stretching your hamstrings and incorporating strength, flexibility and core control into a single exercise.

Try to keep a straight stance leg and a straight back as you bend forward as far as you can -until your hamstrings limit any further movement.

Aim for 8-10 on each leg. Your lateral glut muscles should be well and truly fatiguing by this stage!

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch or book a 1:1 consultation with one of our strength physios.