How to get your muscles ready to hit the surf
We all know that feeling of rocking up to the beach pumped for a surf and opting to get straight out there rather than doing a pre surf warm up. Instead of skipping a warm up all together, try some of my favourite exercises that will fire up your body ready to perform in no time at all.
The following set of exercises are types of dynamic stretches, which means that your body is continuously moving whilst stretching. This form of stretching has a number of advantages over other types of stretching (particularly static stretching), as it utilises motions similar to those that a surfer undertakes whilst surfing. This effectively simulates the performance experience which prepares you both physically and mentally for the surf session ahead. Dynamic stretching also improves the range of motion around your joints which not only increases your flexibility, but also reduces the chances of injury.
Three warm up exercises to do before hitting the surf:
1) Drop Knee Lunge
Targets full body combining upper body, lower body and your core. 8-10 reps each side
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
- Start rotating your torso (upper body), with your arms out to the side and elbows bent.
- Engage your core.
- As you rotate to one side, crouch into a drop knee lunge whilst reaching to both sides of your feet. Make sure to pivot the back foot to prevent twisting your knee and ankle.
- Alternate from side to side ensuring to twist the trunk and hips through the full motion.
- Keep your knees and ankles aligned and tracking in the same direction.
2) Shoulder Shrugs
Targets neck and shoulder mobility. 8-10 reps forward and backwards
- Stand with your feet at hips-width apart with soft knees and core activated.
- Take a deep breath in as you raise your shoulders up towards your ears.
- Exhale as you pull your shoulders down and back.
- Start off slowly then increase the range and speed of the movement as you progress.
3) Spiderman with T rotation
Targets hip mobility, thoracic spine mobility, core. 8-10 reps each side
- If you are really tight in your hips or would like the easier option for this exercise than you can perform the starting the push up position from your knees instead of from your feet.
- Start in a strong push up position (feet or knees), making sure you are strong through your shoulders and not slouching.
- Activate your core.
- In a controlled movement bring one leg forward until your foot reaches the outside of your hand.
- At this stage your trailing leg should have an activated glute and the front of the hip should be driving towards the ground.
- Now it is time for the rotation phase up towards the sky.
- Hold your chest tall.
- Press your hand that is on the inside of your foot into the ground by driving pressure down though your arm. This hand will remain here for the next movement.
- Lead the next movement by firstly turning your neck sideways and looking up towards the sky followed by lifting your shoulder/ribs and then your hand.
- Exhale as you rotate finishing with your eyes looking and hand pointing towards the sky in a T position.
- Inhale as you come down.
- Return to a strong push up position.
- Change sides (other leg forward), and repeat.
And now, we’re ready to hit the surf, have fun!
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