surf trip workout: 10 exercise for more stoke in the water

Got a big surf trip planned? Or maybe you just want to improve your fitness so you can catch more waves at your local break. Strength and endurance in the right muscles will make a huge difference in your ability to catch waves and recover from long days in the ocean.  We have taken a lot of surf trips and know how much power and strength it takes to catch waves, plus the amount of attention you need to give to some of the smaller muscle groups so you don’t end up hurt.

In fact, we are headed to San Diego in a few weeks and we haven’t surfed in 5 months. That’s a long time away from the ocean for us! I know it’s like riding a bike and my technique will come back quickly, but I also know my shoulders are not ready for the challenge. Not only that, but surfing is a highly anaerobic sport and most of my exercise over the past 5 months have been endurance based sports like hiking and biking.

Here’s what Gabi and I will be doing for the next 3 weeks to get ready to spend a week surfing our brains out 🏄🏽‍♀️😊

Tips For Beginner Surfers

If this is your first surf trip there are a few key pointers to keep in mind.  First of all, surfing is not easy and the biggest thing I notice while watching beginners in surf schools around the world is that most beginners can’t paddle hard enough.  So your first assignment is to get better at paddling.  Alternate your lap in the pool between 5 minutes at a moderate pace with short sprints for one lap.  This will build your anaerobic system and will transfer over to the surfboard.  Second, get good at holding your breath and being comfortable underwater.  Practice breath holds in the pool, but don’t push so hard that you blackout!  Last, you want to make sure you have the right wetsuit for the water. Sure, a hand-me-down wetsuit will get the job done but a good wetsuit can make all the difference in your surf game. If you’re surfing somewhere colder, you’ll need something a bit thinker to make sure you don’t turn into an icicle.

Be sure to check out our blog Best Women’s Wetsuits here

1. Prehab & Functional Training

Do you have tight shoulders?  If so, it’s important to start your workout with these two exercises first.  My shoulders are tight and my postural muscles fatigue fast when I surf.  

Injury prevention can really be the most important thing you can do before a surf trip.  You will be putting stresses on your joints that you don’t do on a regular basis. Making sure you have good mobility and strength around the joint will go a long way.  

Start with the shoulders, but you want to consider spending time on the low back too since you will be spending a lot of time in an arched position while lying on your board especially if you are a short boarder.

I start my workout every day by holding these 3 stretches for 1-2 minutes each.

Supine Chest Opener

Lie on your back with a block under the scapula area. Open the arms up to cactus position.

Surf trip workout: 10 exercises for more stoke

Surf trip pre-hab: Supine Chest Opener

Side Lying Neck Stretch

Lie on your side with your head hanging off a blanket/block combo.  Let your head hang heavy and drop your shoulder away from your ear.

Surf trip workout: 10 exercises for more stoke

Surf trip pre-hab: Side Lying Neck Stretch

Supine Twist

Lie flat on your back and bring one knee across your body.  Try to keep the shoulders flat on the ground.

Surf trip workout: 10 exercises for more stoke