Want to catch some waves? Then get surf-fit with these sport-specific exercise tips that will keep you out there riding the breakers for longer.
Surfing is one of the few sports that require all aspects of fitness:
Your traditional gym workouts will take care of your strength and aerobic requirements, and your yoga class will be more than adequate for flexibility. However, for surf-specific coordination, agility, balance and proprioception, you will need a surf-specific workout.
What is Sport-Specific Training?
In the past decade, sport scientists have begun to reevaluate the way we get fit for a specific sport. Past sport training programs usually involved isolation exercises, which strengthened the muscles used for the sport. However, according to movement science research, traditional strength training does little to enhance sport-specific skill. As such, trainers are now using the dynamic pattern theory of motor learning, which states that the brain is more efficient at memorizing movement patterns than it is at muscular isolation. For example, consider the traditional leg extension machine. Its movements are in no way similar to those used in surfing. Now, imagine a squat, performed in a surfer’s stance on a Bosu or wobble board. The exercise now resembles the movements of surfing, and is therefore a better way to enhance surf-specific skills.
Let’s start with balance training. Surfing requires three different types of balance:
Dynamic Balance is balance in motion. This is in sharp contrast to the postures you perform in yoga class.
Anticipatory Balance is related to agility. It means that you can anticipate the next pattern of the waves, and prepare accordingly.
Transitional Balance is required for movement fluidity.
When choosing exercises for a surf-fitness program, it’s important to select workouts that enhance all three types of balance. Fortunately, with the excellent variety of balance-training tools on the market, it’s possible to cover all three aspects in one exercise. For example, the Stability Ball Toss and Catch is a superb exercise for developing core strength, agility and balance.
You will need a partner for this exercise:
· Partners sit facing each other on the ball, about one foot away. One person sits upright. The other holds the ball from the “crunch” position.
· The person holding the ball tosses it to her partner. This brings her to the upright position.
· As the partner catches the ball, she goes into the crunch position.
Only do as many repetitions as you can perform using good form. Stop if either partner feels the exercise in their neck or lower back.
Bosu for Surfers
The Bosu is another fantastic piece of surf-fitness training equipment. There are two sides to a Bosu; the dome side and the platform side. The dome side exercises are similar to those performed on a stability ball, while the platform side is similar to a balance or wobble board. As such, the Bosu is an excellent investment for anyone who does not have the funds and/or the room for a stability ball and a balance board.
The Bosu is an excellent tool for developing proprioception, which is your body’s awareness of its position, posture and alignment in space. Since water environments are not similar to the typical concrete on which we walk, proprioception is extremely important for surfers. Proprioceptive skills also enhance dynamic, anticipatory and transitional balance skills.
Try this Bosu Proprioception Exercise: Start by simply standing on the Bosu. Now close your eyes. You will probably feel an exaggeration of the body’s mechanisms for adjusting to balance challenges. Open your eyes and raise one arm. Follow it with your eyes. Keep following your hand as you bring it down, to the left and right, and back behind you. Repeat this using your opposite arm.
When you become comfortable with the Bosu, turn it over and use it as a wobble board. Stand on the board and shift your weight forwards and backwards, and then side to side. Try a few squats. Can you keep the board centered?
Plyometric exercises on the Bosu are great for developing surf-specific strength, balance coordination and agility. Check out the Bosu Jump, Toss and Squat
You can add agility training to this exercise by tossing a medicine ball in the air as you jump up, and catching it when you land in the squat.
Surf’s up! Are you ready? Get on board with a surf fitness plan!
Road to Hana
It was an epic road trip. We got a camper van. We drove on the road to Hana with no issues, camped in the rain, camped in the wind, by the beach, under streetlights and in the middle of nowhere. We loved exploring the road to Hana at a much slower pace. This was an incredible experience. Thanks, Aloha!
Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental
“Yeah, perfect day, we saw two big humpback whales, thousands of fishes, turtles, the cliffs and much more! We were able to see 150 meters down in the sea. All in all, it was an awesome experience, without any ripple out there. It could not be any better!”
We went to the south east side. Then we went to Molokini. We saw a 5-feet white shark. Water clarity was amazing. Then we just cruised around. We also caught a couple of fishes. It was a great experience all around! Thanks!”
“Well! We took the kids to Molokini, we did Snorkeling, and we were lucky to see some whales. The boat was wonderful to drive, this is our third time with your service, and we will try to be back.”
Sea Escape Maui Boat Rental – Captain Steve!
Hey, this is caption Steve here. Just got back from the trip to Molokini. We saw whales, jumping, spinning, playing, and it is a great time!
Caroline and Sabastian
“Well what can I say about the trip of a lifetime? We got engaged. We spent a magical time at a National Park. Aloha Outdoors was totally cool and showed me everything. We spent less for a home and car than anyone could manage with a hotel and rental car.”
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“Being able to rent the camper van for a full 10 days made our Maui experience so much more!! In fact I have sent dozens of people your way already, so expect a few more people from Juneau Alaska! Thank you sooo very much it was the best way to travel! Oh, and keep the extra food and drinks!”
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“We rented a camper for my fiancé’s birthday and had a such a great and memorable experience! What a beautiful and unique way to see the island. Our friends rented a second van a we toured the island as a group. It was an opportunity of a lifetime on a minimal budget. Thanks Aloha Outdoors.”
“What a great time on the water, the boat was fantastic and ran flawlessly. They gave us great instructions and recommendations on where to go. We went to Molokini crater and did some snorkeling, fun time and beautiful fish galore. Then on the way to turtle town the Humpback whales put on a show of a lifetime. I just love the whales and dolphins. How incredible to see them breach so close. Nothing better than having your own boat and the freedom to go where you want and when you want. 5 Hours was just the perfect amount of time.”
“Just got done with the boat rental from a few hours ago. In a word, AWESOME! We started at 6am so we beat the crowds for snorkeling at Molokini, then just cruised around looking for whales. We saw at least 10, with a few of them fairly close. I will recommend this to anyone coming to Maui. The staff was great at setting us up and made it a breeze. The boat was very nice and we only had to spend $31 on gas, although we didn’t go as far as most people might. If you’re thinking about doing it, do it!”
We live here and we’re looking for a way to get on the water without buying our own boat. They gave us an awesome orientation, launched the boat, and off we went. So many whales! Went over to Molokini, then over to Wailea to cruise the coast. Found a mooring, went swimming & ate lunch. Coming back, they were right there to take our lines, and take over from there. So nice to just show up, take off, and then leave the clean up to them! Looking forward to doing it again! Highly recommend this avenue to all!”