Kitesurfing Dominican Republic

Fitness Tip: Pre-Surf Warm-Up

surfing caribbean

Everyone’s pre-surf warm up stretch is unique and it seems to depend on what they have learned from other sports or classes is tossed in to make it up. This post should help you target specific areas important for surfing and will add a lot of efficiency to your wave hunting.

First we should identify the specific areas that are primarily used and also the most likely to be injured when surfing:
  • Feet and Ankles
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Shoulders
  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Breathing
  • Balance
The best offense is a good defense so defend your body by preparing for the worst.
When we wipe out, we are at the mercy of the wave and the way we fell off the board. The leash can pull your leg abnormally, or a big waves might cause you to paddle a lot stronger than normal. If your body is flexible enough and warm enough to take on these strains, you can greatly reduce the chances of injury. Your muscles and joints are like rubber bands: they can have an enormous amount of elasticity if your work them first, but they can snap when they are pushed past their breaking point.
A good pre-surf warm-up and stretch will help prevent your body from suffering injury. 
Although stretching is usually everyone’s go-to warm up, stretching tight, sleepy, and cold muscles can be harmful so create heat in the body before you start stretching it past it’s natural boundaries. Think of your muscles like a cold stick of butter that’ll spread easily once it’s warm.
pre-surf warm-up strech

Early morning surfing requires a good pre-surf warm-up strech

Now, How To Do it
1. Start by swinging the arms and legs just to generate some movement and heat. Swing your arms side to side so they twist around you. Not only does this open up the lower back and shoulders, it starts warming up the core -which is crucial for surfing or any sport that requires any kind of balance (all of them.)
arm swings to warm up before surfing

1. arm swings to begin your warm up

2. Next, spread your arms wide and make small circles, then big circles with your hands and change directions. I suggest 7 small, 7 big, change directions and repeat. This massages and activates the muscles in the shoulder girdle and chest, priming them for activity like paddling and pop-ups. Then, swing your arm (one at a time) down and back, then up and back another 7 times each (can you tell it’s my favorite number?)
best surf warm-up - arm circles

2. Arm circles are part of the best surf warm-up

3. So the shoulders are loosey goosey, now move to the hips and legs, nail out a few air squats, 5, no 7 at least, bring your bum progressively lower to the sand with each one.
air squats on the beach before surfing

3. Air squats before surfing are a great way to limber up your hips

4. On the last squat get as low as you can to the ground, put your hands together at your chest and use your elbows to push your knees apart. You can progress with this pose by adding a few rotations or binds or bringing your weight from one foot to the other. This involves hips, knees, low back, and shoulders and mimics the movements your body will make when snapping and bottom turning out on the water.
yoga for surf warmup in cabarete

4. Add a little yoga to your surf warmup

yoga for surf warmup in cabarete

4. Stretch from side to side, twisting your spine

5. Last, enjoy about 4 sun salutations, a.k.a. the best warm up of all time. Sun salutations are great for involving your breath in your warm up and expanding your lungs, lengthening the spine, watching the waves, connecting to your Self and focusing on being one with nature, and of course, you get to perfect your pop-up. The mind-body connection made during sun salutations is the same focus or flow you will use while reading waves and manipulating how you ride those waves with your body.
sun salutations to warm up for surfing

5. Sun salutations to warm up for surfing


sun salutations to warm up for surfing

5. sun salutations to warm up for surfing

The pre surf warm up should be your own, the warm ups you do before the stretches you prefer are up to you, but do not underestimate the importance of a pre-surf warm-up stretch.