Bye Summer Slop - Hello Autumn Swells!0 comments | by Lee Stanbury
With the evenings drawing in and autumn in the air, many surfers start thinking about getting back in the water with the more powerful winter swells on the way. These swells will provide plenty of opportunities for improving surfing technique. But are you ready for longer, harder surfing sessions?
Start building up your aerobic base of fitness now before the decent winter swells kick in; your aerobic base can be improved greatly with simple training principles, such as swimming or gym machines like the rowing machine.
In addition to building your aerobic base of fitness 'short sharp' exercises using your explosive power can prepare you for surfing movements.
One example of an explosive surfing movement is the pop up. If you haven't been in much this summer you've missed out but also your pop up will have become sluggish.
Jump and Stick Exercise
This can be done without any kit but if you have a Bosu Balance trainer or an Indo board with an Indo Flo cushion it can challenge you further.
Warm up before any training slowly with some light aerobic movements and mobility. Start the exercise by focusing on the spot where you're going to jump to i.e. a Bosu Balance trainer, and then jump and freeze… just for 2-3 seconds before repeating 8-10 times, use all your explosive power in every jump and make sure each one is controlled.
Try this exercise on a regular basis at least two sessions a week to get the most improvement in your leg moves during pop ups. A sample set could be 8-10 jumps, a two minute recovery then rest for 90 seconds before repeating. Try 4-5 sets and add more as your fitness improves.
The explosive jump and stick movement is a great way to speed up your pop-up
Improve Your Wave Count with Short Sharp Paddle Movements
Although swimming can be one of the best ways to improve your overall surfing fitness (see the winter swim training for surfers article), many surfers are just too short on time or don't have a great swimming technique. PowerStroke cords can be a great surf training aid, and improve your short sharp surfing movements while paddling. Start your workout with a good 8-10 minutes of mobility arm swings etc.
Powerstroke Cords Paddle Sprint Training
Beginning with a slow controlled paddle and then 10 seconds super fast can really improve your endurance and allow you to paddle faster for longer, enabling you to catch more waves.
Start the exercise by finding a good area to work out with your PowerStroke cord. Start your workout with a good 8-10 minutes of mobility arm swings. Place your hands in the PowerStroke cord handles, engage your core and tighten your tummy muscles—this will add stability to your back and movements. Then begin with a slow and controlled movement just as you would on your board, then after around 20 strokes or so speed up sharply for 10 seconds or more before slowing back down again into a light recovery paddle.
You can try this for 3-4 minutes, rest for a minute or two before repeating. 6-8 sets will be enough to start improving your paddle speed; try 2-3 times a week and increase the length of time you workout for each week by a few minutes to add progression to your sessions.
Thinking of getting a PowerStroke cord? Use our 15% off coupon, SW15, when you place your order.
About the Author
Article by Lee Stanbury, Surfing-Waves.com resident surf fitness guru, author of the Complete Guide to Surf Fitness. Lee has worked with top surf athletes Ben Skinner and Oli Adams, and developed fitness coaching with the U18 British surf team.
Check out Lee's surf fitness website at fit2surf.com.
Exercise photos by Mike Searle.
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