Words and Video by Tehillah McGuiness
I think we can all agree that at some point in our surfing journeys we have come to the realization the amount of upper body fitness needed for surfing is very high. We are constantly changing between aerobic and anaerobic systems as we transition from paddling around in the water to the ‘wave catching paddling mode’ and then pushing up to get to your feet as fast as possible.
Common upper body surfing injuries occur around the shoulder, namely the rotator cuff that can take a long time to heal.
When you think of training your upper body think of these two important reasons – Improving strength which will enable you to get the most out of your surfing sessions, enabling you to improve quicker along with injury prevention. Surfing is a highly physically demanding sport, so keeping our joints and muscles moving correctly, is going to benefit us hugely in the long run.
Hints and Tips
Stay strong through the shoulders during all movements and focus on isolating these muscles when doing exercises with weights, for example.
Focus on drawing the shoulders down and back away from your ears, so they are properly in their sockets.
When you are doing exercises where you are in a half pushup or full pushup position on the ground, think about drawing the shoulders away from your ears and down your back. Imagine your scapula ( shoulder blades) are sliding down towards the side of your body. You will feel the stability through your upper body immediately.
- Remember to keep your core engaged at all times – draw your belly button towards your spine and maintain a nice neutral spine.
- Keep squeezing your glutes throughout each movement as this will help to keep your body in the correct alignment.
- Don’t forget to breathe!