The 5 Best Surf Workouts to Improve Your Surfing Skills

Surfing isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about embodying health, fitness, and balance in every aspect of your life. However, to truly excel in the waves, it takes more than just skill on the board. It requires strength, power, stability, and endurance – qualities that can be developed and enhanced through targeted surf workouts.

At Gota DAgua, we understand the unique demands of surfing and the importance of staying fit to ride the waves with confidence. That’s why we’ve curated the ultimate workout guide tailored specifically for surfers. Whether you’re a pro or just entering the world of surfing, these surf workouts will help you improve your surfing routine. Surfing requires a special kind of strength training, focusing on building strong shoulders and arms for paddling out to the waves, as well as core strength and balance for riding them back to shore.

Your surf workouts should aim to improve your balance and activate muscles you’ll use on the board. With exercises designed to target your upper and lower body simultaneously, you’ll develop the strength and coordination needed to tackle even the most challenging waves.Our goal isn’t just to help you lose weight or sculpt washboard abs (though those may be a welcome side effect), but to ensure you’re fit, strong, and safe out on the water. Join us into the world of surf workouts.

Together, let’s unlock your surfing potential and embark on a journey of strength, power, and adventure. Ready?

Surf Workouts #1: Squats

Squats on the beach as a Surf Workout

When it comes to surfing, strength and stability are key to conquering the waves with finesse and grace. And one surf workout that stands out as a cornerstone of any surfer’s routine? Squats. Imagine that you’re paddling out to catch that perfect wave. As you power through the water, your legs bear the brunt of the effort, propelling you forward with each stroke.

Nevertheless,  it’s not just about leg strength – squats engage your entire lower body, from your glutes to your calves, helping you build the power and endurance needed to navigate the surf with ease. So why are squats so important for surfers? For starters, they help you develop strength, which is essential for generating speed and momentum when catching waves. Having strong legs will give you the edge you need to take on even the most challenging conditions.

However, squats aren’t just about strength, they also improve your balance and stability, two crucial factors for staying upright on the board. By strengthening the muscles around your knees and ankles, squats help you maintain control and stability in the water, reducing your risk of wipeouts and injury.

Plus, squats are a functional exercise, meaning they mimic the movements you’ll use while surfing. From the explosive power needed to push off the ocean floor to the stability required to stay balanced on your board, squats target the same muscles and movement patterns you’ll use in the water, making them the perfect complement to your surf workouts. A general recommendation for incorporating squats into a surf workout routine could be around 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

Surf Workouts #2: Push ups

Doing surf workouts on the beach, namely push ups near the sea

Oh, the good old push ups! We know they sound overrated, but push ups can promote functional movement patterns that directly translate to surfing. Do you know that impulse you need to pop up on your board and then maintain balance in wavy waters? Well, push ups can help you develop the physical skills and resilience needed to excel in that moment. Push ups target multiple muscle groups in the upper body, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

This comprehensive engagement not only builds strength but also improves stability and coordination – essential qualities for navigating the ever-changing conditions of the ocean.

A general recommendation for incorporating push ups into your surf workouts scheme could be around 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions per set. If you are feeling brave, burpee push ups are a perfect complement to the normal push up. It imitates the movement you do when you catch a wave and have to pop up quickly.

Surf Workouts #3: Plank

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And what about a good old plank? Planking and push-ups are both effective exercises for building upper body strength and core stability, but they offer different benefits and target different muscle groups. Planking targets the muscles of the core, including the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and hip flexors. This comprehensive engagement not only builds strength but also improves stability and balance.

As a surf workout, planking is an excellent exercise for building core strength, stability, and endurance, all of which are essential for success in the water. Try to start with a 10 to 20 seconds workout and grow to 30 or 60 seconds when you start to feel comfortable with the exercise. Remember that the goal is to focus on maintaining proper form and engaging your core muscles throughout the hold without putting your back at risk.

Surf Workouts #4: Lunges

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Why are lunges such a big deal for surfers? Well, for starters, they target all the important leg muscles: quads, hamstrings and glutes. And trust us, you’re gonna need those muscles firing on all cylinders when you’re paddling out, powering through waves, and carving up the lineup like a boss. But lunges aren’t just about building muscle – they’re about fine-tuning your balance, coordination, and ninja-like reflexes.

How to start? Step forward into a lunge position, then add some flair by jumping up and switching sides, landing with the opposite foot forward. Keep the rhythm going until you feel the burn and can’t keep that perfect form anymore. Remember to be careful with your posture, otherwise you’ll be doing more bad than good to your body!

Surf Workouts #5: Running 

Why running on the beach gives your body a more effective workout

Finally, last but not least, running! If there’s one thing you might have understood from our article is that endurance is really important to improve your surf. And there is nothing better than running to build endurance and improve your cardiovascular health, while strengthening your legs at the same time: all essential for dominating the waves.

Think about it: the longer you can stay out there in the lineup, the more waves you can catch. And that’s where running comes in. By regularly pounding the pavement, you’ll increase your lung capacity, maintain a healthy weight, and build up those leg muscles to power through even the longest sessions. But here’s the kicker: you don’t need to commit to hours of running each week to reap the benefits. Even just 30 minutes, three times a week, can make a world of difference. And if time is tight, don’t sweat it—you can still get your cardio fix by incorporating short bursts of speed into your runs. Just 10 minutes of high-intensity intervals, with brief rest periods in between, will skyrocket your endurance and have you shredding waves like a pro.

Finally and above all, don’t forget to stretch by the end of your surf workouts! We want to build a lot of qualities with these workouts, but we don’t want to leave you sore or create muscle imbalances.So take 10 to 15 minutes to stretch all the muscles you used in your training, this way you’ll reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility and you will not spend the next days in pain!


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