Posted by John Larkins | 04.21.2020 | Uncategorized
Staying in surfing shape while stuck at home
If you are like most of the world right now, you probably have a lot of time at home to look forward to in the coming weeks. Our team is following the current public health recommendations and working from our own homes so that we can keep ourselves and others healthy, but we are continuing to provide the same level of support and to all of our amazing campers and clients!
This means that, sadly, we are not going to be able to surf for a little while. So, what should we do in the meantime to stay busy? Well, if you think that big Netflix shows, playing video games, and tearing through all of the food in your pantry is the answer, maybe it’s a good thing you found this blog. Soon everything is going to start moving back to normal, beaches will re-open, and we want to be ready to paddle out, so let’s talk staying in surfing shape while we are stuck at home.
I took the liberty of finding some easy, do-it-yourself home workouts that keep your surfing muscles active and your balance sharp. Even doing just part of this list will go a long way in keeping your body primed and ready for the next chance you get to go catch some waves.
- Jump-rope – Easy enough, right? Jumping rope is a great way to get your legs moving and get your heartrate up. Plus, if you don’t have a jump-rope, you can make this exercise work with any bit of rope, cargo strap, clothesline, or even a surfboard leash! Just make sure that whatever you are using clears both your head and feet. You can use this to get warmed up for some more intense exercise.
- Push-ups – It seems obvious, but when you go to paddle out for the first time in a month, you’ll be glad you did them. Do push-ups in sets of ten, fifteen, or whatever your feeling, and make sure to rest and stretch in between sets. If you’re feeling pretty strong and want a little more bang for your buck, try propping your feet up on the couch and do your set. You can also try claps between push-ups, or putting your hands together to make a diamond, or a combination! Just make sure that you are not over-challenging yourself, and that you have plenty of space to get your exercise in.
- Crunches/Sit-ups – Probably another given, but it is important to keep your core active during this time at home. Your abdominal muscles will be the first to deteriorate during an extended period of couch sitting. Just like push-ups, do these in sets with timed rests and stretching in between, and if you need a little extra umph to your reps, then find a weight to hold to your chest while you do your crunches. If you don’t have an actual weight you can grab a textbook, a bag of rice, anything that gives an extra few pounds and isn’t breakable.
- Squats/Wall-sits – Try not to forget about your legs! Since you aren’t up and walking around, you’ll need to work extra hard to keep your legs strong. Find a flat bit of wall that is free from any hanging artwork or mirrors, and use it to keep your back straight while you do sets of squats (you don’t need weights for these, but it takes a lot of squats to build muscle without them). You can also get in a squat position and hold it for a wall-sit. If you choose to do wall-sits, make sure you do them in timed increments and try to rest and stretch in between your “sets.” When you do either of these leg exercises, make sure your feet are shoulder width apart, that your knees make a ninety-degree angle, and that you are pushing into your heels and not into your toes. You can also put a pillow under you if you’re towards the end of the workout and your legs are beginning to tire. A great way to spice these up and make them more challenging is to grab a chair, a large book, or anything with some weight (it doesn’t take much) and hold it in your hands with your arms straight out in front of you.
- Balance Training – Please make sure you have ample space for your balance training, as you are bound to fall a few times while trying to improve your balance. Indo boards are great, but expensive and sometimes lethal if you kick it out (RIP my TV), so here are some easy alternatives. One-legged squats are a great combo leg workout and balance practice. It’s as easy as it sounds, just stand on one foot, try to squat so that knee reaches a ninety-degree angle, rise back up, and repeat. You can also make a homemade balance beam, all you need is a wood 2×4 on a flat, grassy area. Once you have that, just walk that 2×4 back and forth, and don’t be afraid to get fancy! Using cross steps, walking on your toes, anything that provides a challenge will improve your balance, and will translate well to more advanced long board techniques.
What have you come up with to stay active while you’re at home? If you have any home-workout routines that you’d like to share, let us know! I’ve seen several professional surfers share their home-workout routines; they recognize the importance of staying in shape to be ready for the next session. Check them out if you need some more inspiration, and make sure you do something active today! Hopefully, we will see all of you be back in the water soon.
*While helpful for keeping in shape, home workouts involve some risk of injury. Please be careful, do your research, and participate in the above activities at your own risk*