By Clayton Beatty BSc
Have you ever been watching a surf DVD and you see some pro bust off the lip, land on some awkward angle with his body bent backwards into the white-wash and yet some how he recovers and manages to stay on his board.
Don’t you wish you could do that? That sort of recovery requires an insanely high level of core strength and balance. Lucky for us, you can actually train to increase your balance and in turn improve your surfing.
The following exercises will help you improve your core strength and balance so you can make more waves, perform better tricks and wipe out less.
One-Leg Stability Ball Split Squat
There are two important components when it comes to surfing balance. The first of these is strong and stable leg muscles. Training your legs in isolation will iron out any weaknesses you may have in your leg and hip muscles and decrease the chance of injury.
The second component is core stability. This refers to keeping your body stable when other forces are trying to knock you down.
This exercise is a perfect combination
to train leg strength and core stability at the same time.
- Start with your front foot forward and your back foot elevated on top of a stability ball.
- Keeping your body upright, lower your torso towards the ground, then use the strength in your front leg to push you back up to the start position.
- Your front leg should be far enough forward that your knee should not extend past your toe when you squat.
- Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions each leg with a minutes rest between sets.
- Once you have mastered this exercise using only your bodyweight, hold some dumbbells in each hand.
Stability Ball Balance
This second exercise trains core stability specifically. The stability ball mimics the unpredictability of the ocean. In order to stay on the ball (your surfboard) you need to maintain your balance by using the core muscles of your abdominals, lower back and hips.
- First of all try balancing on both knees on top of a stability ball.
- Balance for 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.
- Once you have mastered this try balancing on one foot and one knee.
- Do 3 sets of 30 second balances.
Once you can comfortably balance on a stability ball, you are on your way to having excellent core stability and balance. However there are a lot more exercises that you can do whilst balancing on the ball which will dramatically help your surfing ability.
For these exercises and more visit www.totalsurfingfitness.com. Here you will find a complete functional training program designed specifically for surfers, which includes training for core strength, balance, cardiovascular fitness, upper & lower body strength and flexibility,.
Clayton Beatty is the fitness expert behind TotalSurfingFitness.com, a website dedicated to functional training for surfers.
Clayton holds a BSc Degree in Human Movement, is a Certified Fitness Trainer and grew up surfing the Margaret River region in Western Australia. If you would like to learn more visit his website at www.totalsurfingfitness.com.