Regular specific exercises that will mimic and improve your surfing movements are definitely worth doing, adding strength and stability to your surfing. During a cutback the upper body, will go through varying degrees of multi-directional movements. Repeating the movements and adding resistance (i.e. light weights) will allow more powerful turns.
Start by lying on a Swiss ball with your shoulder blades and shoulders fully supported. Make sure your hips are level with your shoulders, feet flat on the floor.
• Place hands together, arms fully extended upwards, then slowly rotate your body to one side, rolling onto your shoulder and keeping your arms fully extended, then rotate 180 degrees to the other side.
• Repeat this 8-10 times, rest and repeat.
Tip: Keep your hips in line with the shoulders, do not let them sag; this exercise requires you to contract your abdominals and core muscles. As your strength and technique improve you can use a light dumbbell.
Swiss Ball Prone Tucks
These really boost to your cutbacks.
• Place the hands on the floor, and feet on the ball, then set your abdominals to keep your back flat.
• Roll the ball in to bring your knees in under your hips.
• Slowly roll the ball back to the horizontal plank position; avoid sticking your bum in the air or swaying from side to side.
• Repeat this 8-10 times and rest.
Tip: To advance the exercise further and gain more upper body strength try adding a press-up after each tuck.
Adds extra stability to your bottom turn. By adding the Indo flow cushion to this basic exercise it becomes more challenging. If you’re a longboarder looking for extra strength in your drop-knee, then this is a great exercise to start boosting your turning power!
• Start by placing one foot forward as far as possible, and the other behind you with the heel off the ground.
• Keep your back straight, set your abdominals and keep your shoulders back.
• Slowly bend both knees, lowering yourself downwards until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees, then push back up.
• Repeat this five times on each side.
Tip: Once you have gained a good technique, add the Indo cushion for additional challenge. You can gain even greater strength by holding light weights alongside your hips through the movement.
There are many more exercises and tips to keep you surf fit in Lee’s book The Complete Guide to Surf Fitness, published by Carve publishers Orca Publications.