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Surf Strong: Effective Ways to Improve Your Fitness for Surfing

A professional surfer is surfing in Batu Bolong beach, Canggu

Surfing is a demanding sport that requires a combination of strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer looking to enhance your performance in the water, focusing on your fitness is crucial. In this blog post, we will explore various exercises and training techniques to help you improve your fitness specifically for surfing. So, grab your workout gear and get ready to take your surfing to the next level!

#1 - Cardiovascular Conditioning:

Surfing requires endurance to paddle out, catch waves, and navigate the lineup effectively. Incorporating cardio exercises into your routine, such as running, swimming, cycling, or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), will help improve your cardiovascular fitness. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio activity, three to four times a week, to build endurance and stamina.

#2 - Core strength

A strong core is essential for maintaining balance and stability on your surfboard. Incorporate exercises like planks, Russian twists, and bicycle crunches into your fitness routine. Additionally, try practicing yoga or Pilates, as they emphasize core strength and stability, helping improve your overall body control while riding waves.

#3 - Upper body strength

Paddling is a major component of surfing, and developing upper body strength is crucial for efficient paddling technique. Include exercises that target your shoulders, back, and arms, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and rows. Resistance band exercises, like seated rows or lateral raises, can also help strengthen the muscles used during paddling.

#4 - Leg strength and balance

Surfing requires strong legs for stability and balance on the board. Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises to strengthen your lower body. Additionally, exercises that challenge your balance, such as single-leg exercises and stability ball exercises, will help improve your stability on the board.

#5 - Flexibility and mobility

Flexibility and mobility are vital for fluid movements and preventing injuries while surfing. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine, targeting areas like the hips, shoulders, back, and legs. Yoga is an excellent practice to improve flexibility, balance, and body awareness. Regular stretching will help you paddle more efficiently and perform maneuvers with ease.

#6 - Breath Control and Meditation

Surfing can be physically and mentally demanding, and having control over your breath can help you stay calm and focused in challenging situations. Incorporate breathing exercises and meditation techniques into your fitness routine. Practice deep breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation to improve your mental clarity and relaxation, which can positively impact your surfing performance.

#7 - Cross-training

Engaging in other sports or activities can complement your surfing fitness routine. Activities such as swimming, skateboarding, snowboarding, or even functional training exercises can help develop different muscle groups and enhance your overall athleticism.

a surfer is carrying two surf boards in Batu Bolong beach


Improving your fitness for surfing requires a holistic approach that targets strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. By incorporating these exercises and training techniques into your routine, you'll enhance your surfing performance and maximize your time in the water. Remember to always listen to your body, stay consistent, and have fun while working towards your fitness goals. Embrace the journey of becoming a stronger and fitter surfer, and watch your skills on the waves soar to new heights.

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"Surfboards are everywhere. When I got my first new board, I was probably still in kindergarten"


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