The warm-up before a surf session is as important as the first cup of coffee in the morning. You will function without it, but not as well as you could do. If you prepare your body in the best way before heading out in the big blue, you will be able to surf way better. Besides getting your body ready to perform, you’ll also prevent injury during surfing by warming up. Win-Win, right? It doesn’t have to take long, but if you put in 5-10 minutes of these exercises before paddling out, it will still go a long way.
Before we kick this off, remember: you’re not aiming for a workout, just a way to wake up your body and gently prepare it for surfing. You want to increase blood flow to the muscles, loosen the joints, and gradually increase the heart rate. Your warm-up should be stretch-focused. Breathe deep and slow, this will help deliver heaping parcels of oxygen to the muscles as you warm them up. Also, remember to listen to your body while doing these exercises, we all have bodies with different needs and abilities.
Let’s start with your upper body!
- Put your hands on your shoulders and bring your elbows together in front of your face. Hold for a few seconds and then gently move your elbows back behind your head. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat, making this a smooth movement.
2. Spread your legs wide and tilt your upper body towards the ground while bringing your right hand to your left foot. Bring your right hand up towards the sky; make sure that your back is straight and breathe deep. Alternate by bringing your body over to the other foot and switch hands.
3. Stand with your legs apart and rotate your upper body from side to side. Make sure that your core is activated and that your hip is still during the movement.
4. Sit down and keep your left leg folded beneath you, and the right one bent in front of you. Make sure to put the same amount of weight on both legs. Gently bring your left arm up, moving over your head to the side of your right foot. Breathe. Bring your arm back the same way it came. Repeat at least 5 times before switching over to your other side.
5. Sit with your legs crossed (or however you’re comfortable), bring your upper body over your legs and put your arms to the side. Keep your head and neck relaxed. Breathe deep for a few seconds and then gently bring your upper body over to the other side. Repeat.
6. Sit or stand up. Gently tilt your head to the side to get a nice stretch for your neck. Put your hand on your head for some light pressure — switch side.
Alright, time to move on and give some love to your lower body!
7. Spread your legs wide and bring your upper body straight down beneath your legs. Aim with the palm of your hands towards the ground, or hold on to your feet/ankles for some extra support. Breathe and let the tension off your hamstrings slowly loosen up. If you want to add a little spice to the exercise and give your shoulders some extra love, you’ll just bring your arms together behind your head, intertwine your fingers and let the weight of the arms go down above your head.
8. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips; your toes should be pointed slightly outward. Look straight ahead and then squat down, keeping your eyes looking forward. Keep your chest up and proud and your spine in a neutral position. Keep your core activated during the entire time. As you squat down, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet. Repeat the movement a couple of times.
9. Get down on the ground, fold one of your legs beneath you and slide the other one back behind you. Your front foot should be somewhere in front of the hipbone on the other side. Experiment with the position until you find a spot where your outer hip gets a nice stretch without any discomfort in your knee. For extra stretch: bring your arms even further in front of you and fold your upper body down towards the ground. Take 8 deep breaths, then change side.
10. Start with lying on your back, then bring your left leg towards your chest and put your right foot on your left knee. Place your arms around your left knee for some extra stretch. If this feels too intense for you, bring down your left foot to the ground and put your arms out to your side. Take 8 deep breaths, then change side.
11. Sit on your knees, bring your arms behind your back and reach for your calves or heels. Let your back arch and remember to relax your neck. Breathe and let the tension of your front thighs slowly loosen up.
12. POP-UP! No matter how experienced you are it’s always good to practice your pop-up. Wrap up your warm-up with a few pop-ups. You might feel kooky when getting sandy and jumping up and down like s maniac while your friends are getting shacked in the surf. But trust us, once you’re out there with a proper warm-up followed by 15 pop-ups, you’ll feel more confident than ever and ready to spray your friends better than ever!