Are you suffering from surfing withdrawals during the winter season? If so, get back on board with off-season training in the comfort of your living room. Winter is the perfect season to train for summer pursuits and to improve on performance weaknesses. These 10 exercises stimulate and challenge the body with functional movements to improve surfing power, balance, strength and endurance.
First, remove the fins off of the board. Next, find a space in your home where the board will fit. Place a protective layering on the ground such as blankets, towels or a mat. Place the surfboard on top and get ready to move! Complete 2 sets of 12 repetitions. If the movement is one sided, perform 12 reps on each side.
Swimmer’s Back Extension to Plank
Focus: Improve speed from a swimming stroke to the transitional plank.
Lie facedown on the board. Lift the arms and legs and start to paddler with the arms and flutter kick the legs. Count down, starting at four, saying, “4, 3, 2, 1.” On the “1” count, pop the body into a plank position. Hold for three to five seconds, lower onto the stomach (doing a reverse pushup) and repeat with the swim stroke.
Plank to Side Squat
Focus: Improve the speed from the pushup plank to the surfer’s standing position.
Lie facedown on the board with hands under the shoulders and toes curled underneath. This time lift the body into a four second plank (similar to a push up). Say, “4, 3, 2, 1.” On the one count, pop upward into a side squat, similar to the traditional rider’s stance. Lower onto the stomach and repeat from the beginning.
Squat with Side Touches
Focus: Strengthen legs and improve balance with weight shifting.
Stand on the surfboard with legs the same distance as your traditional riding position. Lower into a squat and reach your right toward the board (hand on the outside of the calf). Return to center and lower into a squat and reach your left hand toward the board (hand on the outside of the calf) and return to center. Repeat, touching each side.
Plank with Toe Touches
Focus: Improves core strength and stability during transitional weight shifts.
Come into a plank position on top of the board. Bring toes together. Reach your right leg away from the body and touch your foot onto the floor. Maintain neutral position in the torso and upper body while only moving from the hip to the heel. Bring the right leg to center and reach the left leg away, touching the floor. Hold each toe tap for three seconds to deeply activate the core. Repeat tapping alternate sides.
Focus: Improve leg strength and balance.
Place a towel or cushion on top of the board to protect the knee. Place the right knee and shin on the cushion with the back toes curled underneath. Keep a wide base with the legs (think of railroad tracks, not a tight wire). Place the left foot on the board (knee at 90-degree angle). Engage core and lift upward to where the body is upright. Slowly, lower back down with gravity and repeat. Complete the first set on the right leg before completing the left.
Focus: Increases endurance, speed and upper body balance.
Stand on top of the board with feet hip distance apart. Lower the body and jump the feet back into a plank position. Hop the feet off the board, landing onto the floor. Next, jump the feet back onto the board into the plank position. Jump the feet forward toward the hands and return back to the standing position. Repeat the motion. If the exercise is too hard, walk the feet backwards, off and on the board instead of jumping.
Backward Lunges with Leg Lift
Focus: Improves lower body strength and transitional balance.
Stand on the board with feet under the hips. Step the right leg backward and lower into a lunge. Lift toward center and when upright bring the right knee forward toward 90-degrees. Complete the right leg’s set before switching to the left leg.
Focus: Improves core stability.
Place the body into a plank position with a wide base. Rotate toward the right into a side plank and lift the right arm over the shoulder. Lower to center into a full plank and rotate left and lift the left arm over the shoulder. Return to a full plank and continue to alternate from right to left.
Focus: Increases core strength and scapular stability.
Place a towel or cushion on top of the board to protect the knees. Come on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Extend the right leg and left arm to hip and shoulder height. Hold for five seconds and return to center. Extend the left leg and right. Hold for five seconds, return to center and repeat.
Focus: Improves lumbar stability and posterior chain strength
Lie on the board, face up, and place feet on the board. Keep hands by the side. Lift the hips up into the air, hold for 5 seconds, and slowly return to center, and repeat. To make the exercise more challenging, reach one foot into the air and continue to lift and lower the hips for the whole set before switching legs.