No matter what your surfing level is; be it a beginner, intermediate or more advanced you just want to catch and ride as many waves as possible, in the time you’ve got. You catch a wave, you ride it, the wave finishes and you paddle back out and the same cycle repeats itself the entire surf. But each time this cycle happens you become more tired and fatigued, and when this happens your skill level and technique diminishes. You may begin to stumble when you go to stand up, the muscles in your back are getting tired from paddling and the power is gone or your cardiac output is at its maximum and getting your breath back is harder.
This workout will improve your fitness and stamina so that you are able to recover in between catching a wave, riding a wave and paddling sequence, so that you can increase your wave count without losing too much form and with improved function of the body.
A warm up is designed to do just that, warm up your muscles and get the blood flowing to the areas you will be using. And in surfing you use just about every muscle so you will be warming up the entire body. Things like body weight squats and raising the hands above your head at the top of a squat, skipping lightly, rowing is a great one if you have one, a brisk walk or jog, anything that gets you warm and heart rate up slightly.
Depending on where you live you may need to warm up longer or shorter. But on average it should be around 10 minutes.
Equipment you will need
- Skipping rope and if you don’t have one you will do high knee running on the spot
- 2kg, 4kg or 6kg medicine ball or something around those weights that can be lifted
- Any weights or dumbbells that you have around
- Fit ball
(Note if you don’t have some of this it doesn’t matter just do the exercises without the weight)
In regards to weights a good gauge is you should be able to get close to the repetition count without straining or losing form and technique. For example if you use a 6kg medicine ball and you need to complete 20 repetitions but are struggling at 10, then it’s too heavy and you need a lighter weight. And the same goes for if it’s too light, when you get to 20 you could do 20 more so the weight needs to be heavier. If you get between 0 – 5 reps less than what is prescribed that’s fantastic, keep that weight and progress up to the required number of repetitions and then add more weight.
Your Gidget Work-Out Routine
- Single leg squat x 10 – 12 per leg
- Bent over rows x 12-15
- Skipping or high knee run for 30secs fast and 15sec rest x 2
- Side lunge x 8 – 10 per leg
- Push Ups x 12 -15
- Skipping or high knee run for 20secs fast and 10sec rest x 3
- Medicine ball squat x 20 – 25
- Superman with row x 12- 15
- Pop, swing and jump squat x 8 – 10
- Jack knife with fitball or towel on floor x 10 -12
- Rest for 2 minutes
Depending on your fitness levels and how you are feeling on the day, the above routine should be completed in a circuit style anywhere from 2 to 5 rounds.
Gidget routine explained
- Single leg squat
This strengthens the hamstrings, butt muscles, quadriceps, ankles, and knees and really makes your core stronger and engaged as you balance to execute the exercise. A great exercise to improve your balance, awareness and focus.
Standing on one leg and keeping the other leg off the ground, begin to bend the knee of the standing leg, like squatting, and go as low as you can manage without losing form.
Ensure not to tilt forward from the hip too much on this one as we want to target the legs for strength and balance, so chest is up for better posture. Also to protect the knee or if you have knee pain in the joint, try not to allow the knee to go past your big toe on the standing leg. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up in a controlled smooth slow movement. Repeat 8 – 10 times on each leg.
Note: work on range of movement before adding weight.
- Bent over row
Strengthens your paddling muscles in your upper and middle back and the biceps. Also helps to improve your posture.
With dumbbells or weight in each hand keep a soft bend in the knees and with a straight back, tilt forward from the hip and run the dumbbells or weights down to your knees. At this point your face is looking at the ground and this is your start and end point. As you exhale bring the dumbbells or weight towards your belly by squeezing the shoulder blades together.
Make sure your core is activated and ‘on’ to prevent the back sagging or arching. The spine should be level and straight. Inhale and lower the arms slowly back to the knees. Repeat up to 15 times.
Note: when bending the elbows to bring the dumbbells or weight up, don’t ‘flare’ them out, but rather point them towards the ceiling behind you.
- Skipping or high knee run on the spot
Skipping normally as fast as you can for 30 seconds then a 15 second break and repeat again.
Or alternatively keeping your back straight bring your knees up as high and as fast as you can in a high knee run on the spot for 30 seconds then a 15 second break and repeat again.
- Side lunge
Strengthens the quadriceps, all butt muscles, (there are 3 of them) and inner thigh muscles, all of which are used when riding your surfboard and performing manoeuvres.
Stand with your feet parallel and about hip width apart. Inhale and step one foot out to the side. You may feel a stretch in the groin. Keeping the upper body vertical, bend the side knee so that the knee is tracking over the toes.
The longer or bigger the distance between the feet the more the butt muscle is emphasised, but the shorter or closer the feet are the more the quadriceps are emphasised. Press against the outer edge of the straight leg to keep you anchored and strong as you exhale and come up. Repeat 8 – 10 times per side.
5. Narrow hand push ups
Strengthens the triceps, (the long muscle at the back of your arm), chest, core and shoulder muscles which will have you ‘popping up’ to your feet and duck diving stronger.
With hands directly under your shoulders and no wider, come to your knees or toes with elbows facing to the back of you. As you inhale bend the elbows so that your chest comes down between your hands. Keep the elbows close to the body and not ‘chicken winged’ out so to emphasise the use of the tricep muscle. As you exhale push the knuckles flat on the ground and straighten the elbows to return to the starting position. Repeat 10 – 15 times.
6. Skipping or high knee run on the spot
Skipping normally as fast as you can for 20 seconds then a 10 second break and repeat twice more.
Or alternatively keeping your back straight bring your knees up as high and as fast as you can in a high knee run on the spot for 20 seconds then a 10 second break and repeat twice more.
7. Medicine Ball Squat
Works the muscles of the butt, back of legs, front of legs, calf muscles core shoulder and chest. Great all over body exercise to increase endurance.
Standing with your legs underneath your hips or slightly wider. Note if you have knee issues turn the toes outwards such as in a plie as this takes the pressure off the knee joint as it works the inner thighs a little more.
Holding the heaviest medicine ball with both hands begin to bend the knees as if you were sitting on a chair. Simultaneously the ball goes down with you, in between your knees as low as you can but keeping the chest up and a straight back. Ensure to keep your heels on the ground and knees tracking over your toes, not past your toes, i.e., ankle and knee should be in line with each other so as to prevent injury.
On your exhale activate the core and push evenly through your feet to come up. Again the arms follow up with you and you push the ball up overhead. When coming up be careful not to lock the knees or elbows but keep them soft. This is one repetition. Repeat 20 – 25 times
- Superman with row
Works the spinal and upper back muscles for stronger paddling and improved posture.
Lying face down on the floor, arms outstretched in front with palms facing down and legs about hip width apart, inhale and activate your butt muscles. Exhale and while still contracting your butt muscles, lift your chest and arms off the floor whilst bringing the arms back to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Ensure your shoulders are down and not up around your ears.
When squeezing your shoulder blades together elbows should be pointing to the back of you. Inhale and lower back down and arms in front of you. This is one repetition. Repeat 12 – 15 times
Note: If you have light weights up to 1kg, you can add them by holding them in your hands.
- Plank to pop in to jump squat
This will use the muscles of your entire body and will get your heart rate up. Mimicking the pop up, surfing and paddling cardiac aspect of surfing.
Come into a plank on your toes. From here you pop and push your swing your legs up as far as you can towards your hands.
Stay in a low squat position and from here you propel upwards pushing through your feet to launch yourself into a high jump.
Bend your knees on landing to soften the landing. Crouch back down and jump your feet back into a plank. This is one repetition. Repeat 8 – 10 times.
- Jack knife with a fit ball or towel
Uses the muscles of the core, chest, back of arms and legs to improve control in pop ups and duck diving.
Come into a plank on your hands and feet either on a fit ball or towel on floorboards, tiles or vinyl. Keeping your plank position strong inhale and bring your knees towards your chest by rolling the ball or sliding the towel with your feet and toes.
Exhale and return to the start with control and not allowing the spine or hips to sag. If your back is sagging you need to activate the core a little more when rolling back to the start. If this is too hard place your knees on the fit ball or towel and move the knees towards your chest. Repeat 10 – 12 times.
11. Rest for 2 minutes and complete as many rounds as you are able up to.
Once you have finished your workout, it’s important to stretch all the major muscles that you have used. Important to include stretches for the legs, butt, arms, back, chest and calves and holding each stretch from 15 to 20secs per stretch and side.
Happy Surfing ~