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Exercise to Surf 3

The dynamic characteristics of surfing require the entire body to be conditioned if you want to maximise your time in the water. Effective performance is derived from specialised training to enhance strength, power, endurance and stability in virtually all the muscles of your body. We’ve touch on strength and endurance, but we can also train the body to promote

force and power – the application of your strength.

This post details a total-body cross-training circuit that will work the entire body and maximise power and stability, while still benefitting your strength and endurance too. To maximise the full potential of some of these exercises, they can be performed with additional weights; noted where applicable. Otherwise, as this is a fast-paced, power driven circuit, you need to challenge your body by delivering 100% intensity when the clock is on ensuring to reap the benefits.

Jump Squats

Traditional squatting movement but then powering your body off the ground during the concentric phase (rising up from the squatting movement). When you land back on the ground, make sure your knees are soft, your weight is in your heels and you proceed straight into the next squat to reduce impact in your joints and take the load in your muscles.

Close/Wide Push Ups (with explosive change over)

Start in a regular push up position with your weight in your knees or feet. This exercise changes the positioning of your hands to either close or wide stance, alternating every rep. Ensure to have a quick change between positioning each rep, as this will help to recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibres that play a role in the development of power.

Surfers pop- ups

This exercise is similar to the good old-fashioned burpee, however when you power up off the ground to your feet, you want to land with one foot in front of the other (similar to your surfing stance – goofy or regular) and result in a half squat (bent knees, weight in the glutes, strong core) to best assimilate your body’s position in the surf. Then, bring your body back down to the ground and press up through your hands, chest and tri’s into your next surfer’s pop up.


Call it as you see it! Sprints. One of the most effective ways to challenge the fast-twitch (explosive) muscle fibres, bring up the heart rate and challenge your cardiovascular system. You can sprint on the spot (ensuring to drive high knees and strong arms) or up a hill to provide more of a challenge.

T-Push Ups

Starting in the push up position. Complete a full push up then extend back to straight arms (soft elbows) and rotate one arm up towards the sky, following through with your torso and your head, so you are looking up to your hand. Ensure the core is engage through this movement, take time and control your breathing, then return back to the push up position, complete a push and repeat with the other arm.

Press lunge (with twist)

Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart then take a step forward into a lunge position and twist your torso towards the lunging leg. Twist back so your body is straight then press back into your original standing position.

Box Jumps Powering from a squat position up off the ground and landing on a raise platform (a box). When landing, be sure to have soft knees, weight in the heels and take the load in the muscles by bending the knees into a squat position, then step down from the platform and go again.

Squat walk-outs

Similar to an inch worm but emphasising use of the legs, start in a squat position then place your hands down and walk them out into a plank. To further challenge yourself, complete a full push up then walk your hands back in, and return to the original squat position. Try not to allow your legs to rise out of the squat position and ensure your core is engaged during the walk out.

Plank w Alternating Leg Raise

To progress your planking skills and challenge your core, start in a traditional planking position on your elbows and toes. Draw your belly button to the spine and then squeeze the glute muscles. While maintaining tension in the glutes, raise one leg slightly off the ground, keeping the leg straight, then return your toes to the ground in a 2-3 second rotation. Alternate this movement with the other leg continuously while the clock is on.

Oblique Squat Thrusts

Starting in a plank position on your hands and toes, in one quick jumping movement draw your feet in to your body up towards your hands. During this motion, twist your body so both knees are lining up with one elbow, engaging your obliques. In a swift jumping movement, return your feet out from under your and back into the original planking position and repeat again twist your knees towards the other elbow, engaging the obliques on the other side of your body.

Working through all of the above exercises in order:

Round 1:

24 seconds on, 12 seconds off

1.5 minutes rest

Round 2:

22 seconds on, 8 seconds off*

x 2

30 seconds rest between rounds

*Try to up the intensity now that you are more familiar with the exercises

Round 3:

First 5 exercises back to back, 18 seconds on each

20 seconds rest

Next 5 exercises back to back, 18 seconds on each

30 seconds rest

x 2

*In the last round, be sure give 100% efforts to finish off the work out well!

Emma Cook

Personal Trainer & Nutritionist

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