Having a strong core is essential to surfing, and this article will focus on several core exercises to help you prevent surf injures. Two key factors to surfing include power and stability, both of which are achieved by having a strong core. Without a strong core, surfers can suffer injuries from nonstop paddling, popping up to ride a wave or during wrecks. Having a strong core helps strengthen the area used most by surfers, the lower back. The best way to strengthen your core is to exercise your back, hips, abdominal muscles and glutes. Below are several core exercises that should help you avoid surfing related injuries.
Exercise #1: Plank
Begin by laying facedown with knees bent. Support your upper body on your elbows, which should be bent to a 90-degree angle and aligned directly under your shoulders. Slide your shoulders down and back to elongate your body. Keeping abdominals pulled inwards, exhale and curl your toes under and push up onto the balls of your feet. You should be in a straight line with your weight supported on your toes, elbows and forearms. Try to keep from arching your back or allowing for your butt to lift into the air. Hold for 30 seconds. A good goal is to be able to hold the plank for 60 seconds.
Exercise #2: Ball Push-Ups
To start this exercise, kneel behind the ball and lay your stomach on top of it. Pull your body forward on the ball until your hands are touching the ground in front of you. Slowly walk yourself forward until the ball is supporting your knees and lower legs. You should be in a pushup position with your lower body elevated on the ball. Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself down until your nose almost touches the ground. Straighten your elbows and return to the beginning. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise #3: Side Plank
The side plank helps build core stabilizers or the muscles that support the shoulder girdle and the lower back. Start this exercise by lying on your left side with your left hand, palm down, under you shoulder. Place your right hand in front of your body for support. Keeping your abdominals pulled in, push into your left hand and lift up your hips into a side plank position. Hold for 30 seconds. A good goal is to be able to hold the plank for 60 seconds.
Exercise #4: Back Extensions
Begin this exercise by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Your arms will be straight out in front of you with palms down and legs straight behind you. Pull your abs in and lift your left arm and right leg a couple inches off the floor. Hold for five seconds and stretch out both your arm and leg to maximizing this exercise. Lower back to the start and repeat with the opposite sides. Do each side a total of five times.
Completing these core exercises should help you avoid some injuries experienced while surfing. In addition to avoiding injuries, strengthening your core will also allow for additional power when you pop up to catch that next wave.