It’s easy to forget because you’re having so much fun, but surfing is serious exercise. Most surfing injuries don’t come from shallow reefs and gnarly wipeouts but from overuse. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to surf because of a bad shoulder or sore back. So, we decided to do something about it. Below you will find five warm-up moves you can perform on the beach, just before you paddle out, that will get your body ready to surf!
1. Arm Swings / Circles
It’s important to warm up with the specific intent of activating the muscles you use while surfing to avoid injury. The first step of surfing is paddling, so that’s the first step of our warm up as well. Arm swings/circles are a great way to get your shoulders warm and ready to paddle. To perform, hold your arms out to your sides, parallel to the ground. Rotate your arms in small circles, slowly increasing in size. Perform for about thirty seconds, regularly changing the direction and size of your circles.
2. Lunge and Twist
When you paddle, your hips and lower back often take a beating from the strain. It’s important that surfers maintain a good range of motion in their hips to ensure an efficient pop-up. The lunge twist is a great warm-up move to open up your hips and loosen your lower back before paddling out. To perform, step forward with your right foot, dropping your left knee down to the ground into the lunge position. Engage your glute until you feel a slight stretch in your hip flexor. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Then, gently rotate your spine to the side with your knee raised. Alternate sides for 3 rounds.
3. Lying Twist
Another great warm-up exercise to get your lower back loose and ready to go is the lying twist. This exercise requires minimal effort. You can even knock it out before you’ve had your coffee! To perform, lay on your back and bring your knees towards your chest. With your knees bent at a right angle above you and your arms extended to the sides for balance, rotate your legs gently to both sides.
4. The Hindu Push-up
The Hindu Push-up is the perfect pop-up warm up. When performed correctly, it will engage your shoulders and elongate your core. To perform, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder length, bend over and place your hands on the floor, keeping your arms and legs straight. Keep your head and spine aligned and form an upside-down V by raising your hips into the air. From this position, keep your legs straight as you lower your hips and bend your arms while moving your torso forward and down. Your chin should dip down, almost touching the floor. Then, arch your back while looking up towards the ceiling. Your hips should remain close to the ground. To finish the movement, return to the starting position by raising your hips upward.
5. The Crunch & Roll
The crunch & roll is a great way to get your core engaged and working while loosing up your lower back. To perform, lay on your back with your arms at your sides. Bring your knees together towards your chest until your lower back is lifted completely off the ground. Hold this position for several seconds before lowering yourself back down. Repeat several times until your objective is complete.
By now, your muscles should be warm, your blood should be pumping, and you should be sprinting towards the ocean surfboard in hand. Remember to warm up before every surf session to stay limber and injury-free. Cowabunga!