Fitness / 15.07.2015

Surfing: how the pro’s get ocean-fit

By Claire Lavelle
Love nothing more than owning those waves? These surf tips from Louise Searle, author of The Surf Girl Handbook, will boost fitness and performance
As anyone who has ever tried surfing will know, achieving that elegant poise while atop a wobbly board is a lot harder than it looks. ‘A big part of surfing is fitness,’ says Louise Searle, author of The Surf Girl Handbook. ‘It really helps you to feel in tune with the ocean if you’re strong. If you put in the effort, then you’ll reap the rewards and maximise your performance.’ We’ll take that!

1 Swim, swim, swim. ‘The most “like-surfing” exercise around, swimming is one of the best ways to improve your paddle power and cardiovascular fitness,’ says Louise. ‘Get down to your local pool and put in the lengths – use a HIIT routine whereby you swim one length at top speed, followed by two recovery lengths. Don’t just stick to your preferred stroke: hitting up your weak spots will increase strength, fitness and make you more confident in the water.’

2 Incorporate surf-specific exercises that mimic surf movements in your fitness plan. Identify the muscle groups involved and train them! Pulls, pushes, squats, lunges, weights…

3 Improve your balance: your perfect point of balance is your perfect point of power. ‘There are great training aids to help with this, including the Indo Board or the BOSU Balance Trainer, which you will find in lots of gyms,’ says Louise.

4 Strengthen your core. In surfing terms, a strong core enables you to improve your power, performance and stability which will help you catch waves and surf them with coordinated style. Pilates is a great way of developing your core strength.

5 For focus, flexibility and concentration you can’t beat yoga. ‘It’s no use just having the strength to pull yourself onto the wave if you haven’t got the ability to make the drop,’ she says. Regular yoga classes will help to restore energy levels, keep the mind calm and improve coordination.’

The essential guide for surf chicks everywhere, The Surf Girl Handbook is priced at £14.99 and available from Got any other top surfing tips? Why not share them with us on a Twitter (@healthymag) or our Facebook page.

Surfing: how the pro's get ocean-fit
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Surfing: how the pro's get ocean-fit
Get fit for surfing like the pros with tips from Louise Searle, author of The Surf Girl Handbook.
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Healthy Magazine
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