Surfing is a powerful sport; it is hands-on and uses almost every muscle in the body. Many surfers will just tell you to hit the water every day for a few hours, and that will keep you in shape. There are times where a little extra training can come in handy, especially if you cannot get into the ocean every day or if you have a big surf competition coming up. Here is a little guide to the best surf training for you.

Setting Some Goals

The secret to training and getting in shape to improve your surf fitness is to understand what areas of the body need to be worked on and why they need particular exercises.

The goal is to have explosive power in your legs and core as well as stability and strength. You should aim to improve single-leg strength as well. One of the essential factors is endurance for your entire body. Understanding these fundamentals is vital to enhance your trips and can keep you catching waves for longer.

The Importance of Structure

When putting together a plan, you should consider structuring it like this:

  • Power - The most demanding exercises should come; first, this is where your body will work the hardest to complete them and, in turn, keep your muscles activated for the next section of the workout plan. So box jumps, squat jumps, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts should come right at the beginning.
  • Strength - Single leg or isolation exercises that improve strength should be next on the action plan. The Power workouts will warm your muscles up and get them ready to build strength, and create the perfect environment for hypertrophy.
  • Endurance – Building up your endurance levels is key to successful surf training; you will need to endure long sessions in the water. Endurance exercises can be circuit-based or as simple as a HIIT class or two per week. 


Upper Body and Core

Training your upper body and core strength is vital to improving your surf fitness. Upper body strength generates paddling power. A strong core will increase your stability on the board. Start each workout with a stretching routine.

Plank Shuffle with underarm passes 

Two resistance bands and a dumbbell, and you are ready to perform this radical exercise.

  1. Get set up on a mat with a band around your ankles and one around your wrists.
  2. The dumbbell should be next to you on the right-hand side.
  3. Start in a plank position, with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart.
  4. Reach under your torso with the left hand, grab the dumbbell with the opposite hand, and bring it into the center of your chest.
  5. Shuffle by stepping out towards the right with both your ankles and arms. The dumbbell should be on your left-hand side now.
  6. Reach under and grip the weight with your right hand, bring it to center with your chest, and shuffle out to the left.
  7. Repeat for 15 reps to each side.

Assisted pull-ups

Assisted pull-ups are a little easier for you until you perfect your form.

  1. Use a long resistance band. Secure the resistance band to a pull-up stand.
  2. Grip the pull-up bar with both hands, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Place your feet on the band, and slowly begin to pull your body up. Engage the muscles in the arms and back as you slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 5 sets of 15 reps

Russian Twists

Strong abs are the cornerstone of stability, and Russian twists give you just that.

  1. Get seated on a mat.
  2. Position a booty band on each thigh, just above the knee.
  3. Raise your knees up, and lift your feet off the ground.
  4. Grip the resistance band in each hand, grip your palms together, twist to the left, dip your hands towards the ground.
  5. Return to the start and twist towards the right.
  6. Repeat for 5 – 6 sets of 15 – 20 reps on each side.

Banded Surrenders

Surrenders are a full-body exercise that can help stabilize your core and keep you on the surfboard for longer.

  1. Place a booty band around the top of your thighs.
  2. Place your hands behind your head and link your fingers.
  3. Slowly place your right knee on the ground.
  4. Bring the left knee down while keeping your core and back straight.
  5. Bring your right foot up. Place your heel firmly into the ground while bringing your left foot in front to stand up.
  6. Repeat for 4 sets of 12 reps each.


The Ultimate Core – Bosu Ball 

Standing on a Bosu ball is one of the best ways to improve your core strength and balance. A Bosu ball will allow you to find any weakness in your legs and help you improve.

Lower Body 

Lower body strength can help you barrel through waves and stay in the water for longer.

Bulgarian split squats

Another powerful single-leg exercise, the Bulgarian split squat, is the master of stability.

  1. Stand in front of a step, walk forward a little.
  2. With a band around your thighs, place a foot behind you balanced on the step.
  3. Lower the back leg into a deep lunge, hold for a count.
  4. Lift to standing and repeat for 15 reps on each leg.


This exercise is all about strong quads and single-leg strength.

  1. Place a booty band around the top of your thighs.
  2. Standing in front of a step or a box.
  3. Place your left foot on the step and push up with your leg.
  4. At the top of the exercise, hold and contract your muscles.
  5. Slowly lower to start and repeat for 15 reps on each leg.


Banded lateral squat walks

Lateral strength and agility are essential to successful surf training. Lateral stability will help you twist and contort on a surfboard.

  1. Place a band around your thighs or calves.
  2. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat.
  3. Bring your arms up and clasp your hands in front of your chest. (You can hold a dumbbell if you would like)
  4. Step out towards the right for 15 steps.
  5. Step towards the left side. Repeat for 2 sets in each direction.


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