By Nick Holt
Moving well is crucial to surfing well. As you know, surfing requires the body to get into challenging positions, and if you’re always tight, stiff, or in pain, surfing will be almost impossible. You need to be supple, loose, and flexible.
Here’s a simple routine you can do every day to keep you loose. I like to call is a morning mobility movement meditation.
As my coffee brews every morning, I lay down a mat in my apt, set the timer for 5 minutes and I do this:
I take deep inhales, deep exhales, bringing myself into the moment. How’s my body feeling today? Man, my ankles are tight this morning. My lower back is a little stiff.
I listen. I breathe. I scan up and down my body to see what’s going on. I take it all in. I move. I flow. I breathe some more. After 5 minutes, I come to a seated position, take 3 deep breaths and then I think about 3 things I’m grateful for.
I sit up and slowly walk towards the wonderful scent that’s flowing out of the French Press for my delicious cup of coffee. I pour my cup of goodness and I’m ready to charge the day.
This one habit has had the most positive impact on my surfing over the last 2 years.
It’s no more than 5 minutes and it literally changes the rest of my day. The days that I start like this are just amazing. For anyone who struggles with low back pain or general stiffness, these 5 minutes could very likely change your life.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Here’s the reality – if you’re over 30 and you’ve used your body in any physical way over the course of your life, and you haven’t proactively done anything to stretch, recover with soft tissue work, address any nagging pain, then there’s a very likely chance that many of your joints don’t move that well.
When joints don’t move well, the body doesn’t function as well.
This becomes problematic when you want to push hard and do an intense workout, play some pick-up basketball, go for a surf, take a long bike ride, or even play a harmless game of tag with your kids. What happens when joints don’t move well and you have extremely tight muscles, the body compensates.
Muscles become overworked, tension builds, imbalances are created and nagging pain is the norm. At the very least, even if you get lucky enough to avoid injury, and can handle some muscle pain, your performance will suffer greatly. Without well functioning joints, you won’t be able to do the activities you love as much.
I don’t know about you, but life is about living..I mean surfing, right?!
If you want to move your body well, be pain-free, bulletproof your body from injury, and perform your best, you should check out this 5-minute routine below.
Morning Mobility Movement Meditation
Here’s how it works. You find a quiet spot in your house or apt. Somewhere where you have enough space to lie down with your hands spread wide outside your body. You set a timer for 4-5 minutes and go through a series of movements below.
You end the session with 3 things you’re grateful for.
I hate using the word “should” in any coaching context. Who the hell am I telling you what you “should” and “shouldn’t” do? You of course need to make up your mind and decide what makes sense for you. You are in control. But here are 2 solid reasons why I strongly encourage you to do some kind of morning movement.
1) Strong, Supple, Durable Body
All I can say is that if you want a strong, pain-free body, then this 5-minute routine will work wonders for you. I know for me and many of my clients, this has been a complete game-changer.
Personally, neglecting flexibility for many years put me in a position in my early 30’s where I was tighter than a tin man. I could barely touch my toes. My hips were super stiff. My shoulders didn’t move that well. My feet and ankles had poor range of motion.
This 5-minute morning routine has allowed me to make so much progress with my flexibility and mobility. I feel lighter on my feet, my joints hurt less, and my low back pain is gone. I’m able to do the things I love with my body that I wasn’t able to do before. My Active Passions are full of life right now because of my 5 minutes in the morning.
I’m still using the heck out of my body and plan to for the foreseeable future.
What you want to do with you body? Whatever that activity may be, doing this 5-minute morning movement meditation will set up to do that activity better.
2) Small Morning Win = Success For Rest Of The Day
It’s not only that your body will feel good with a morning mobility movement meditation, but more importantly it’s the psychological win that you get by doing something deliberate first thing in the morning. It’s the little momentum that you get from the simple act of accomplishment.
This small win first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. It tells your subconscious brain, I’m in control here. It’s the same reason I’m an avid bed maker these days.
Life is not happening TO you. You’re not living in some reactive mode where you are constantly pulled in 10 different directions. You’re telling your brain that you’re making stuff happen for you, you’re taking a proactive step in the direction of better health. This is a huge difference. Think about it for a second. You are in control.
Of course, stuff will happen, people will be rude to you, things wont go your way, but always always always – by doing your morning routine you’ll at least have some positive part of your day already in the books.
Morning Mobility Movement Meditation – REVIEW
Perform each move for about 1 minute. Complete all 5 for total of 5 minutes.
Hands and knees – arch and round
Hands and knees – hip rocking
Standing toe touch to walk out and push-up
Finish with thinking about 3 things you are grateful for.
The idea is to create a morning mobility movement meditation that works perfectly for you, your body, and your needs. The above basic routine will hit all the major joints in the hips and shoulders, 2 of the biggest problem areas of tightness for most people.
What To Do Next?
If you want to become more flexible, stronger, and catch more waves on your next surf trip, I created a special program called the Surfer Body Program that will help accomplish that goal. Catch more waves, last longer in the water with this 30-day fitness and nutrition program .
You can learn more here: Surfer Body Program
And If you have any specific issues that you want some advice on, drop me a note at Nick@saltwaterfit.com. I love hearing from my fellow surf fans and I’m happy to give you some personal feedback.