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Core Training for Preventing Surfing Injuries

Surfers need abdominal and core strength

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Updated May 06, 2012

Nothing gets you in shape for surfing quite as well as actual surfing, but adding these core and balance exercises to your training routine will make your next surfing trip a lot more enjoyable and decrease your risk of injury.

The muscles of your core are essential to developing power and stability - two key factors for proper surfing technique. A strong core helps you surf with more power, for longer periods with less fatigue. If your typical core workout consists of crunches or sit-ups, you will find that adding exercises for the chest, shoulders, back, hips and gluts will improve your surfing quickly.

Add the following circuit to your routine about 4-6 weeks prior to your surf trip. They should be done one after the other in a circuit fashion, with at most, thirty seconds rest between exercises

  1. Squats
    Start with some basic squats for warming up and getting the blood moving. Perform as many repetitions as you can in 20 seconds while maintaining good form and control.
  2. Plank
    You can build both endurance and core stability with the plank exercise. Hold for 20 seconds. (Add ten leg lifts on each side to increase intensity).
  3. Squat Thrusts
    Build strength with a move that simulates the 'pop-up' move in surfing. Perform as many repetitions as you can in 20 seconds while maintaining good form and control.
  4. Stability Ball Push Up
    Nothing beats the push-up for building core strength. If you don't have a stability ball, do the basic push-up. Perform as many repetitions as you can in 20 seconds while maintaining good form and control.
  5. Alternating Medicine Ball Push Up
    This variation of the push up challenges core strength while building balance and stability.
  6. One-Leg Squat
    Helps develop strength, balance and coordination required to help you maintain your center of gravity on the waves. Perform 10 reps on each leg.
  7. Side Plank
    A great, overlooked core strength exercise. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. For a more challenging move, lift one left leg up off the other.
  8. Back Extensions
    Start on your hands and knees (or lay on a Stability ball). Raise your left leg and right arm 10 times then raise your right leg and left arm 10 times.
  9. Stability Ball Twist
    With hands on the floor, place feet on either side of the ball. Hold body in a straight line with abs pulled in, hips straight and hands directly under shoulders. Slowly twist the ball to the right, then to the left. Start Position / End Position. Perform 10 reps on each side.
  10. Vertical Jumps
    To build lower body strength, while working on balance, try 'high jumps.' Start in a squat position and jump up in the air as high as you can. Land gently with weight evenly distributed on both feet and absorb the impact with a full squat. Repeat 10 times.
  11. Barrier Lateral Jumps
    A great way to build strength, endurance and balance. Jump from side to side over a small barrier, land and quickly jump back. Build up to 20 seconds.

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