So you have booked a surf holiday and really want to get the most out of it. With just a couple of months to go you may be wondering what you can do on dry land that will help you in the water. Well there's plenty you can do!
You will be surfing for at least 2 hours every day on holiday, and at home you may not exercise every day, so your body will be surprised at this new level of work you are putting it through! If you can arrive with a bit of exercise under your belt you can hit the ground running and your surf will progress a whole lot more.
I've outlined some exercises below that you could try to do a few times per week in the run up to your trip. They shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes. Do what's comfortable for you aiming to increase repetitions each week as you improve. If you are new to exercise, you could also go to your local gym, and ask a qualified trainer there for advice. Like all exercise, always consult your doctor or physician before taking part, and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort during it!
1) Press Ups
Keeping your back straight lower yourself down keeping the chest a few inches off the floor and push back up again. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. Remember quality is more important than quantity so aim to do 3 sets of the same number of repetitions, with a couple of minutes rest in between each set. Beginners may need to start at 3 sets of 5, whereas more advanced people, may aim for 3 sets of 15.
If you are unable to do full press ups then start with half press up. This involves keeping your knees on the floor at all times. Like full press up, keep the hips roughly inline with the shoulders and knees. Don't drop the hips! After a few weeks you can move on to full press ups.
From a standing position, keeping the back straight and upright as possible, sit back and lower the hips to the ground. As the knees bend, keep them behind the toes. As soon as you feel the hips tighten go no further. Then simply push back up from the heels. Avoid letting the hips go below the knees. Aim for 3 sets of 10 and up to 20 as you improve. If you have bad knees or they sound a bit crunchy best to avoid this one!
Assume the below position. Keep the hips roughly level with the shoulders. Hold for as long as possible until your stomach can take no more and note the time! It is very important not to let the hips drop to avoid back strain. Aim for 3 sets of roughly the same amount of time
You may remember in school being asked to aimlessly lie down on the floor and jump up onto your feet but there was a method to your P.E. teachers madness! The burpee is an excellent exercise for increasing flexibility and core strength, and it is a very good surf specific exercise as it helps the most important part of surfing....standing up!
If you are able to perform 3 sets of 12 full press ups or half press ups you can progress to the Burpee. Lying face down on the floor, lift your chest up using your back and arms. Keeping your stomach strong, in one movement, jump forward with your feet to roughly just behind where your hands were. At the same time stand up! This is an advanced exercise so take time on each rep as opposed to worrying about how many you do. Master the technique first then aim for approximately 3 sets of 10. If you are able to do burpees do them at the beginning of the workout
Try 2 sessions per week to begin with, increasing the number of sessions over time. This will really help increase your energy levels when you go for your first surf and will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated (and a little bit exhausted) and all the more ready to put your feet up and enjoy the sunset with a well-deserved beverage on the beach!
Nicky Kelly is Founder of Surfholidays.com
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