Surf stronger, for longer

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If you want to stay fit and ready for your next surf session, add this set of 5 compound exercises into your morning routine. Put together by the founders of Surf Fit, professional Big wave surfer Andrew ‘Cotty’ Cotton and surf fitness trainer to the stars Andrew Blake, they are the best 5 compound moves you can do.

THORACIC MOBILITY - Good range of movement in the thoracic spine is conducive to healthy paddling technique and for rotary strength. These are key elements for both protecting your body and improving your performance when you surf.

Technique - Grab a pole, stick, broom or surfboard leash. Put it behind your head. Bend your knees and stick your bottom out as if you are performing a bent over row. Keeping a straight line between your head and tail bone take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, rotate. Keep your knees together. Hold at end range of your motion. Come back to centre and repeat the other side. Keep going for 1 minute.

SINGLE LEG HIP THRUST - This one is great for strengthening glutes and posterior chain unilaterally. When we surf we are often transferring force from lower to upper body from one leg. Both in take off and in manoeuvres. Having strength and control through one leg improves ankle and hip stability.

Technique - Grab a dumbbell and place on top of your left thigh. Lay back onto a bench. (Your back should be in contact with the bench where your bra strap is if you are a woman or where your bra strap would be if you are a man and would happen to be wearing a bra). Bring your right leg of the floor. Keeping your head in line with the rest of your body, drop your bottom toward the floor, pause before the floor and push your hips up.

BOSU GET UP AND JUMP - This exercise is perfect for surfers as it combines core strength with functional mobility. Surfing requires good range of movement around the joints combined with deep core strength, long and strong hamstrings, mobile hips and healthy spinal mobility.

Technique - Place the Bosu on the floor. Sit on the front of it and lay back onto it and reach your hands behind you. Perform a sit up and then try to get to your feet and jump immediately into the air. Stick the landing and try to be as light as you can.

RX OBLIQUES - Strength in the obliques and transverse abdominals protects the lower back for rotation and impact. Key elements for surfing.

Technique - Make sure you are in posterior pelvic tilt. Draw your belly button to your lower back so there is no arch in your back. With a strong long spine bring both knees to your opposite elbow then back to centre. Then repeat on the other side. Keep going for a minute or until you lose alignment in your spine. (If you do you will start loading the lumbar spine so be really conscious of a strong core and healthy movement throughout)

ROPE SQUATS - Excellent for muscular endurance for paddling and in legs for surfing. Challenging endurance in shoulders and legs and also your ability to work at high intensities for longer periods of time with a faster recovery rate which is often required when paddling explosively for a wave then recovering back into position before resting.

TECHNIQUE: Perform small fast movements with the rope as you squat up and down with good ankle stability and alignment between knee and ankle.

Surfing is a sport that requires strength, mobility, power, balance and cardiovascular endurance. Managing the mind, the breath, and the body. If you would like a comprehensive individualised program specific to your goals, injuries, imbalances see:

The program includes individual screening and testing and goal driven programming including gym sessions, home strength and conditioning, mobility and yoga videos specific to your needs, nutrition, swim sessions, breath work, meditation, and anything else that you need to improve your performance and protect your body for the demands of surfing. We also run SurfFit retreats in Nazare portugal with pro big wave surfer Andy Cotton. These give an insight into the training we do to prepare professional surfers and how it can be applied to your surfing and your life.

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