After you become interested in joining a surf camp or becoming a surfer yourself, you might think that all you will need to do is grab a board and run to the water. But, once you try paddling out yourself, you’ll realise something very quickly – surfing is a full-body workout! You use nearly all of your muscle groups when you surf, and not training your body can lead to lots of sore muscles and heaps of fatigue.
Of course, one of the best ways to prepare your body for surfing is to train your muscles. Your muscles may not be at their peak now, but you’ll improve your body if you keep training.
Working your body and preparing yourself to surf can improve your surf camp or surf school experience. When your muscles are ready, you’ll be able to practice for longer and learn more.
What Muscles Are Used When Surfing?
At first, some people may not realise just how physically demanding surfing is. This sport doesn’t have as much running as football, and some people may incorrectly think, ‘I’ll be standing on a board on a wave, so it’ll be easy, right?’
Proper surfing requires a lot of your body to move, making it an unbelievably fantastic way of staying in shape. But, that also means that getting used to the workout can be tough for surf camp beginners who don’t realise just how much movement it requires.
Naturally, different parts of surfing require the use of different muscles. When you lay on your board and start to paddle out to the waves, you’ll primarily be using the muscles on your upper back, the muscles between your shoulders, the muscles of your lower back and the muscles on your upper arms.
Once you reach the waves, you’ll need to pop up and balance on your board while standing. Doing so will require the muscles on your thighs, hips, butt, calves and core muscles.
As you can tell, you’ll be using a lot of muscles as you surf, so you’ll definitely feel the burn when you practice.
Exercises To Prime Your Muscles And Boost Your Endurance
If you want to maximise your chances of succeeding when you head off to surf camp, attend your surfing lessons or have fun with friends, you should strongly consider working out these muscle groups on your own. Readying these muscles can reduce fatigue and boost your surfing power.
Luckily, there are heaps of different exercises that’ll help your body stay fit, and most can easily be done at home or your local gym. Some of the best exercises are:
Chin-Ups. Upper body strength is vital when it’s time to stand up and ride a wave, so it is a great idea to train these muscles. Chin-ups are a relatively simple exercise that can help you build your upper body strength. To do this exercise, you can start out with a chin-up bar. Take hold of the chin-up bar with your hands above your shoulders and hang. Then, lift your body until your chin is right above the bar.
It’s recommended to do sets of six reps each with resting time between them. When you build up your muscles, you’ll be able to do more reps. Always remember to let yourself rest and stay hydrated as you exercise.
Squats. This exercise is great for building your endurance and your posture, two things that’ll help you at surf camp and in life. To do a squat, you should keep your feet hip-width apart as you lower your body to the ground. It can help, with any exercise you want to try, to look up what the correct form looks like so you know you are doing it correctly.
Pushups. Pushups are another fantastic exercise that’ll train quite a few of your muscles. This exercise is simple to understand but isn’t always as easy to execute, especially if you aren’t used to them. Remember to try to keep the right form and let yourself rest in between sets. You will undoubtedly be able to do more if you keep training.
Running. You can regularly go on runs to boost your endurance and prime your stamina. Routinely running is also a great way to centre your mind and stay fit, and it can easily be done anywhere, whether you’re at home or already at surf camp.
Where To Go To Hone Your Surfing Skills In New Zealand
If you want to go from curious beginner to experienced surfer, check out our fantastic lessons and services at Salt Spray Surf School. We have a variety of programmes that’ll help you learn, including beginner’s lessons.
Or, if you are already experienced and know how to surf, we are also happy to offer board and wetsuit rentals. We are centred at Ohope Beach, an absolutely fantastic place to enjoy the ocean and ride the waves.
If you’d like to sign up for a class, or if you want to learn more, please give us a ring at 021 149 1972.
At Salt Spray Surf School, we help people bring out the pro surfer within.