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As with any sport or physical hobby, it pays dividends to your performance when you are in the best shape possible, or at least attempting to get in shape and keeping yourself in reasonable condition. The same points are naturally true of professional surfers, but even at an amateur level, you want to do exercises which can improve your boarding ability in tandem with making you look good while you surf.

The media have cultivated a beach body image, although this is something which many surfers do indeed try to conform to. Therefore, here are a few key things you can do to make sure you are both physically, and visually in top shape the next time you hit the waves.

Front Squats

Core strength is a key element of becoming a successful surfer and maintaining good body condition in general. As a surfer, this will boost some key elements such as your overall balance. This is also a typical position which you will hold most of your surfing life. Therefore, it pays to get used to it. Front squats and any other type of squat can also be added to through the addition of extra weight and generally function as a fantastic all-round body exercise. This is true even beyond the surfing world, regardless of your pursuit.

Push Ups

The classic push up is classic and still used on a daily basis by surfers for many reasons. Foremost among these reasons is that they work. Building your arm, shoulder and chest strength day by day, are all key components of what makes a top surfer beyond the technical skills. Push ups may be seen as quite old-school, however they still perform a very important role, and also ensure that you will look awesome for the cameras when you are boarding too.

Chin Ups

Another old school classic which can muscle up your cores and arms for the board. This is best for some aesthetic results as we know the surf body means working out those vital areas to look great on the beach as much as it does in the water. Chin ups are also great for building more of that vital core strength which ultimately increases your stability on the board and ability to remain upright. This is of key importance to surfers of all levels.


Balance, for any surfer, though particularly for beginners is one of the most difficult aspects of surfing to master. Beginners can be aided with the assistance of a great board for beginners. View article here from Finbin which features some of the top choices when it comes to boards for beginners. The effectiveness of lunges for strengthening leg muscles is not lost on experience when it comes to surfers. Strengthening these areas is equally as important and beneficial no matter how many years you have been in the water. Anything which helps keep you on the board can never be a negative thing.

Exercise Ball Work

The exercise ball, just like the surfboard itself, can be a cruel mistress. Frustrating at times, and tough to control. This exercise ball work can also do wonders for ones perseverance as well as flexibility, both attributes which are key to developing a successful relationship with the board. Where exercise ball work pays dividends again is by helping strengthen your abdomen and greatly improving your flexibility. This is also an excellent way to work tension n out of sore muscles after a particularly taxing day spent riding the waves. The multifunctional aspect of the exercise ball benefits make it an attractive go to for many top surfers.

Dumbbell Press

Another which some may classify as a vanity workout for the photographs is the dumbbell press. It is difficult argue with this classification, though it does help to improve all round strength in both the chest and arms. This is something which cannot be overlooked, particularly when battling against tougher conditions for the more experienced surfers. The dual benefit that this will also ensure you look great on the way down the beach is something which ensures experienced surfers always remember to include some sets of dumbbell press in their workouts.

Hill Sprints

Fit woman running up the mountain trail. Female athlete practicing cross country running on a rocky trail.

The final exercise may seem a bit left of field, but cardio is equally as important in the water as it is on land. This will help build your overall stamina and also stand to benefit your swimming endurance should you ever find yourself in the water. Surfing can undoubtedly be taxing physical, so it pays to have strong cardiovascular health when you take to the board. Particularly hill sprints should also serve to greatly strengthen your leg muscles, making it a lot easier for you to trust your center of gravity and ultimately stay on your board.

Nutrition is Key

Diet should never be neglected, and can have a big impact on how your day on the waves goes. Prior to heading out, you should be focusing on trying to include light foods but ones which are also high in carbs and energy. This is something which you will certainly need. This means the likes of bananas, nuts, and cereal, along with a double dose of your morning Americano, should be ideal for a day on the board.

For your post-surf menu, you will want to focus on replenishing those lost electrolytes, and getting power back into your muscles. This means a lot of clean meats like chicken, and large helpings of brown rice and pasta together with some added protein shakes or orange juice to boost your vitamin C levels.   

Quality preparation is key in all pursuits throughout life. This even extends to surfing. Regardless of whether you are a full time professional or just passionate about the surf life as a hobby, performing the correct exercises and fueling your body in the most efficient, effective manner, will ensure that you can stay on the board longer and feel better both before and after.

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