Top Pre-Surf Stretches
When you are out in the water attempting to surf it can put a lot of force on your joints from the ankles to your shoulders. Your muscles move in a certain way to keep you on the board. To get your blood flowing to the right places before a surf you need to do stretches throughout your body. Dynamic stretches are controlled repetitive movements that give your muscles an active stretch. You be using the same muscles you will be working the most when you surf, such as a shoulders, torso, gluteal muscles around the hips and the ankles. Taking a few minutes to warm yourself up will give a better ability, endurance and power while surfing. With a few quick stretches, you can open up your range of motion and flexibility in your joints and muscles before you surf. This can help prevent strains and sprains and common injuries.
1. Arm circles
Surfing involves a lot of rotation through the shoulder and torso. Certain muscles around the front of your shoulder are always being pulled forward when surfing. The key with arm circles is that you are activating the muscles all around your shoulder girdle.
- Stand straight with your legs hip wide apart and spread your arms wide
- Begin by making small circles than larger ones with your hands
- Reverse the direction of your circles in between repetitions
- Start out with five smaller and larger rotations in each direction
- Make your way up to 10 as your shoulder muscles get used to the movement
Paddling through the waves takes a lot of shoulder muscle motion.
2. Standing trunk rotations
Cutting through the waves and forcing your board to make turns involves activating the muscles in your core. Trunk flexibility is vital so you don't put too much pressure on your lower limbs.
- Step your feet out a little bit wider than hip length
- Keep your knee slightly bent and spread your arms wide to either side
- In one motion rotate over to one side through your torso without moving your feet
- Keep your arms straight and parallel to the ground
- You can let the foot opposite tear rotation direction, but bit for more stretch
- Return back to the center with your arms out
- Rotate to the opposite direction
- Complete the whole motion rotating from one side to the other doing 10 to 12 repetitions
Learning to stretch the muscles around your trunk before surfing prepares you for the sharp movements in the water.
3. Side to side lunges
These movements are great stretches for the lower body and the muscles in the hip area. Surfing can create tight hip flexors because straddling the board keeps those muscles contracted for long periods of time. Having tight hips restricts how will you rotate when turning.
- Stand up straight and place your weight on her heels before beginning
- Engage your core to keep her spine stabilized as you step out to the right
- Keep your left leg straight with the foot firmly planted on the ground
- Bend at the hips as you extend your left knee and drive your weight to the right
- Flex your right knee as you slowly fall into the side lunge
- Continue to extend over to the right
- Stop extending once your shin is vertical to the floor and your knee is aligned with the foot
- Push off your right foot and return back to a standing position
- Repeat the movement on your left side
- Alternate sites for 10 repetitions
Focusing and stretching muscles around your hips will give you more mobility when you're surfing and help with really tight turns.
4. Lunge with rotation
This stretch brings together all the aspects of the three previous stretches with some balance training included. Adding trunk rotation movement to a typical forward lunge stretches the hip flexors, activate your core and strengths of the muscles of your ankles. Getting low in your surfing stance requires a lot of muscle balance and this is difficult on your knees and ankles. In this stretch you are training and activating receptors around your ankle that aid your body's sense of balance.
- Begin with your feet hip width distance apart
- Take a stride length forward
- Slowly fall into lunge as you bend your knees to 90° angle
- Rotate your torso towards the front leg as you stain your lunge position
- Bring yourself out of the twist and rotate to the other side
- Slowly step back and stand back up
- Repeat the lunges stretch 20 times with 10 rotations on each side
5. Ankle Rolls
These may be simple but they go a long way in helping prepare ankles for the force they handle while surfing. Keeping the ankle joint and muscles around it flexible helps the entire lower body. If you don't have mobility in your ankle, your knee compensates for it by moving incorrectly and takes on extra pressure when surfing. By increasing your ankles range of motion this helps your foot and knee be at lower risk for injury.
- Start off by standing up straight in a comfortable position
- Raise 1 foot out in front of you a few inches from the ground
- Gently roll the ankle clockwise for 10 rotations
- Roll the ankle counterclockwise for 10 rotations
- Repeat with the other leg
This way you are preparing your ankles to be mobile when you get low and stay balanced on the board.
You want your body to be able to quickly and efficiently use all major muscle groups and joints while surfing. If you engage the right muscles before you surf this will increase your body's ability to paddle harder, pop up faster, and direct your board on good wave with more power. Be sure to stretch different parts of the body before you surf as it will help all the muscle systems smoothly coordinate together. If one joint is in his mobile, you put pressure on another joint. Stretches do their part mentally also in preparing you to surf by helping you get in the zone. Having the mind and the body actively warmed up will allow you to surf with more power and pain-free.