Surf contest is one of the most physically demanding sports there is today. Mainly because it’s ride or die out there; shred or get shredded. The waves don’t stop for you, which means that you don’t stop. This type of physical fitness requires a great deal of endurance, strength, agility, and balance. One of the best ways to become a stronger surfer in all areas is surfing itself. However, not all surfers live right by the ocean, or have the opportunity to go out for a session whenever they want. Also, if you are truly out of shape and lacking in any of these crucial aspects of fitness, the ocean is probably not the safest place for you right now. Fortunately, there are numerous forms of cross training that can drastically improve your surfing performance and experience as a whole. The most effective forms of cross training for surfing specifically are those that work the same muscle groups, have similar movements, and give you the feel or the flow that surfing has, also known as functional training. The focus of functional training is on exercises that involve or mimic the movements you would make while surfing. Let me introduce you or refresh you on some forms of cross training that will get your strength, endurance, agility, balance, and much more up to par.
Swimming is an excellent form of functional training especially if it’s in the ocean – that way you really get the same feel and become more acquainted and knowledgeable about your playing field. Swimming is probably the most obvious way to increase your paddle power (just like surfing improves your surfing), plus it works multiple muscle groups simultaneously- just as surfing does, and the same ones you use while surfing. At the same time that you are swimming and gaining strength in all of the necessary areas, you are improving your cardiovascular fitness as well, which helps to build your endurance. Swimming, or paddling to be more exact, is what you are doing about 90 percent of the time you are surfing. Therefore, it’s worth it to practice and become better and necessary if you want to become a better surfer.
Running is a very common form of cross training for many sports. It can be extremely effective in advancing your surf performance as long as you are careful, after all, running is one of the most injury prone sports there is. That’s why it is best to run either on sand (wet sand, or dry for more of a challenge), grass, or trail for less of an impact on your joints. Places that are most commonly available for most people to run on are a mixture of grass and concrete, so it’s important that you have a good pair of running shoes for protection and support. The greatest thing about running is that you can manipulate the flow into a more functional training. What I mean is that when you are running, you don’t have to limit yourself to any there and back, boring routes. Running a set, decided on distance is good, but to really put running in gear for your fitness advancement and surfing improvement specifically, interval running is the most functional and effective. Interval running has you run through a set of time intervals where you run hard and easy on and off; for instance, 20 seconds fast, followed by 40 seconds of less intense or easy running, for a total of 20 minutes. This quick and constant switch of low intensity to high intensity is what makes interval running such a functional form of training for surfers, because when you’re surfing you constantly have to switch from a low intensity (waiting for a wave) to a high intensity (catching the wave). Interval running increases your agility by getting your body used to this strong and sudden shift making it faster and more fluid. It also builds your strength and stamina.
If you’ve never taken a yoga class, it’s time to get on that! Yoga is becoming more and more popular among surfers today and it is clear as to why. Yoga not only helps to increase your flexibility, strength, balance and endurance but it also develops mental stamina which are all very crucial for surfing. What’s more is that it develops a sense of calmness and patience- you’re going to need this definitely for surfing but also at all times for life in general! And if that isn’t beneficial enough, hang tight. Yoga gives you improved posture, breathing, and also minimizes your risk of injury. It also is extremely effective in clearing out toxins and helps a lot with blood circulation, bringing necessary oxygen and nutrients to places that normally don’t get enough. It is one of the most complete and balanced forms of exercise there is because you’re stretching, strengthening, balancing, and meditating all at the same time. There are many different types of yoga but all of them will leave your mind, body, and spirit feeling completely cleansed and refreshed. And the benefits it will bring to your surfing experience make it all the more worth your time and effort.
Finally, we have functional training! Like I stated earlier, the focus of functional training is on exercises that involve or mimic the movements you would make while out in the surf. By focusing so specifically on these surf-like movements and exercises, doing them repetitively and regularly, your body will develop muscle memory. This means that when you get out in the water and have to paddle through a massive set it, or if you are suddenly forcing your way into a wave, it will be a breeze since you have been doing these same movements every day. Your surfing ability and overall fitness will be heightened immensely. Mostly all forms of exercise need some kind of equipment, whether it is a certain type of shoes or clothing, a specific place like a field or a pool, or a hoop or a goal. For functional training, all you will need is a stability ball, a set of dumbbells, and a resistance band to give you an intense, multi-targeted workout that you can do at home, at the gym, or where ever suits your mood. Functional training uses running, swimming, strategic exercise and stretching sequences to improve your total fitness spectrum: agility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance. Functional training is the best-rounded form of exercise there is, especially for surfing, and has the potential to get you to live up to yours.
Stop by my blog to read a comprehensive review of Total Surfing Fitness: Functional Training for Surfers. It’s www.totalsurfingfitnessreview.com [http://www.totalsurfingfitnessreview.com]
Peace & Love to all!
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