Surfing Muscles: Building a Stronger Surfer

What’s up, wave riders? If you’re looking to step up your game and carve those waves like a pro, you’ve come to the right place. In this gnarly blog post, we’re going to dive into the world of surfing muscles – the key ingredients to becoming a stronger and more resilient surfer. Say goodbye to wiping out and hello to shredding swells with confidence! So, toss your board wax and sunscreen aside for a moment, and let’s dive into

Surfing Muscles: Building a Stronger Surfer

To build a stronger surfer, it is essential to focus on key muscle groups such as the core, shoulders, and legs. Strengthening these muscles through specific exercises like planks, pull-ups, and squats will improve your balance, paddling power, and overall endurance. Additionally, incorporating flexibility and balance training can further enhance your surfing performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Core Strength: The Epicenter of Surfing Power

Your core muscles are vital for maintaining balance on the board, performing agile maneuvers, and generating power while paddling. To effectively condition your core for surfing, try the following exercises:


Planks are pure gold for building a rock-solid core. Start with a basic forearm plank, keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, and then challenge yourself with variations like side planks, knee-to-elbow planks, and reverse planks. Aim for 10-15 minutes of planking per day to keep your midsection primed for powerful surfing.

Crunches at Sea

Crunches are effective for targeting your upper abdominal muscles, which are crucial for explosive paddling and popping up on your board. To amp up your crunch workout, try adding leg raises and bicycle crunches to engage your lower abs as well. For an extra challenge, perform these exercises on an unstable surface, such as a balance ball, to mimic the unpredictability of the ocean.

Swiss Ball Rollouts

Swiss ball rollouts are perfect for surfers, as they work both the upper and lower abdominal muscles in addition to the obliques. Start kneeling with a Swiss ball in front of you, place your hands on the ball, and roll it forward as you extend your arms and torso. Roll back to the starting position by contracting your core muscles. Keep your back straight, and aim for 3 sets of 15 reps.

Paddling Power: Shoulder Strength and Endurance

Shoulder strength is essential for surfers, as it enables you to paddle at high speeds and generate power in your turns. Try these exercises to target your shoulder muscles:


Push-ups are an excellent functional exercise for building surfing-specific upper body strength. Start with a standard push-up, and then explore variations like diamond push-ups, wide-arm push-ups, and decline push-ups. Always maintain proper form with your back straight and core engaged. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps for each variation.


Pull-ups are a must for surfers, as they work your shoulders, upper back, and arms simultaneously. Begin with a standard pull-up, and gradually add variations like chin-ups, wide-grip pull-ups, and mixed-grip pull-ups. If you’re unable to perform a full pull-up, don’t worry—try doing negative pull-ups or using a pull-up assist band to build up strength over time. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps for each variation.

Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance bands are an incredible surfing tool, as they not only help condition your shoulder and upper back muscles but also improve your flexibility and injury prevention. Start with basic band exercises like lateral raises, banded rows, and external rotations. Progress to more advanced moves like face pulls and high-pulls for an even greater challenge. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise.

Lower Body: The Key to Stable Stance and Dynamic Turns

Strong legs are the foundation for a stable stance and powerful turns on a wave. The following exercises will help build your lower body to withstand the ever-changing ocean conditions:


Squats are king when it comes to leg strength for surfers. Start with basic bodyweight squats to perfect your form, and then try variations like jumping squats, goblet squats, and split squats. If you have access to free weights or gym equipment, you can progress to loaded squats, lunges, and step-ups. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps for each variation.

Single-Leg Deadlifts

Single-leg deadlifts are a fantastic lower body exercise that targets your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise also helps balance and stability, both of which are critical components for surfing. Play with variations like straight-leg and bent-knee deadlifts, and experiment with different weights or resistance bands. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg.

Explosive Leg Exercises

Explosive exercises like jumps, hops, and bounds train your leg muscles for the rapid bursts of power needed during critical surfing maneuvers. Box jumps, lateral jumps, and skater jumps are all excellent choices for explosive leg training. Start with lower-intensity plyometric exercises and gradually increase the challenge as your strength and power improve. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps for each exercise.

Used Surfboards for Sale: Choosing the Right Board for Your Workout

If you’re looking for an affordable way to intensify your surfing-specific training, consider purchasing a used board from a reputable resale outlet. With a vast array of used surfboards for sale, you can easily find the perfect model to complement your fitness goals. Practice your exercises atop your new-to-you board, and watch your surfing muscles grow even stronger in no time!

Stretch It Out: Flexibility and Yoga for Surfers

Flexibility is vital for surfers, as it aids in injury prevention and allows for greater range of motion and fluidity during wave riding. Add these yoga poses and stretches to your repertoire to improve your surfing flexibility:

Downward-facing Dog

A fan-favorite among surfers, downward-facing dog targets the shoulders, hamstrings, and back muscles—key components for surfing performance. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, then flow into other poses like plank, cobra, or child’s pose for a dynamic surfing stretch session.

Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose targets the hips, lower back, and glutes, which are crucial for rotational movements and maintaining balance on the board. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds on each side, letting your hips sink deeper into the stretch as you breathe.

Seated Forward Bend

A seated forward bend is a simple yet effective stretch that targets the back of the legs to keep your hamstrings and calves supple and ready for surfing. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, and aim to deepen the stretch with each exhale.

Beyond the Shore: Surf-Specific Exercises for Landlocked Surfers

Living inland doesn’t mean you can’t prepare your body for epic wave shredding. Take advantage of these land-based exercises to boost your surfing muscles:

Balance Board Exercises

Balance boards help simulate the sensation of riding a wave by challenging your stability and proprioception. Exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups on a balance board are not only entertaining but incredibly beneficial for shaping surfing muscle.

Surf-specific HIIT Workouts

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with a surf focus can help condition your body for the fast-paced, dynamic demands of the sport. Utilize surf-specific movements like pop-up drills, agility ladder shuffles, and surfer burpees to keep your training functional and engaging. Include these exercises in a circuit-style workout with short rest periods for maximum results.

Indo Board Training

An indo board is a fantastic piece of equipment that can help you work on advanced maneuvers and replicate the sensation of carving turns from the comfort of your home. With just a simple piece of equipment, you can clock in some quality ride time, even when the waves are miles away.

Now that you have a wealth of information and exercises to build stronger surfing muscles, it’s time to hit the gym, yoga mat, or the great outdoors and start transforming your body into a wave-shredding machine. Remember to mix up your routine, incorporate plenty of stretching and balance exercises, and have fun with it!

Mastering the Art of Paddling

Although rapid kicks might get you around the beach, efficient paddling is crucial for catching waves effectively. Mastering the paddle will give you greater access to swells and improve your wave-riding experience. Consider these tips:

Switch Up Your Stroke Rate and Intensity

To conquer various conditions, practice changing the speed and force of your strokes. For example, when battling strong currents, you’ll need more consistent paddling, whereas navigating mellow waves requires fewer strokes.

Cultivate a Relaxed Paddling Technique

Refrain from over-exerting your muscles while paddling. Conserve energy by adopting a relaxed yet efficient stroke. Keep your elbows slightly bent and glide through the water using fluid, sweeping motions.

Focus on Optimal Positioning on Your Board

Make sure you’re correctly positioned on your board to maximize speed and minimize drag. Excessively forward placement will cause your board to plow through the water, while positioning too far back will make it difficult to generate forward momentum.

Mindfulness and the Surfer’s Psyche

Maintaining peak physical fitness—while vital—only comprises part of the puzzle. Channeling the power of mindfulness will provide you with the mental edge and body-mind connection necessary for exceptional performance. Here are two simple ways to tap into the mental side of surfing:

Surfing Meditation

Add an oceanic twist to your meditation sessions by visualizing your breath as a tide, flowing in and out with each inhale and exhale. This visualization technique keeps you connected to the ocean, even when you’re not in the water, and helps you stay calm and focused on your next surf session.

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment before each surf session to express gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy the ocean and the activity you love. Surfing provides immense benefits to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing—never take it for granted.


Alright, wave warriors, armed with this treasure trove of insights, it’s time to sculpt those surf muscles and forge an unstoppable mind-body connection! Transform your surfing experience by strengthening your core, shoulders, and legs, while embracing the life-changing philosophies of yoga and mindfulness. Remember, whether you’re shredding the gnar or popping up onto used surfboards for sale, confidence and consistency are the keys to enhancing your overall surf fitness. So, grab your board—and extra zinc—and let’s ride!

FAQ Section: Surfer’s Guide to Wave-Shredding Fitness

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a frothing grommet brimming with curiosity, here’s a rad compilation of frequent inquiries related to building stronger surfing muscles. Seek answers to your burning questions and elevate your wave-riding game!

1. How often should surfers work out?

It’s essential for surfers to maintain a consistent workout routine. Aim for 3-4 resistance training sessions per week, combined with 1-2 days of flexibility and balance exercises. Don’t forget to allocate some time for rest and recovery, too.

2. How do I prevent my surfing workouts from getting monotonous?

Vary your exercises, intensity levels, and challenges to keep your workouts fresh and motivating. Incorporate HIIT, yoga, balance board activities, and indo board exercises alongside traditional strength training to maintain your enthusiasm.

3. Should I focus on weight training or bodyweight exercises for surfing?

Both weight training and bodyweight exercises are beneficial for surfers. Start with bodyweight movements to establish a strong foundation and then introduce weight training to increase resistance and power. Mix up your routines to ensure a well-rounded workout regimen.

4. How important is cardio training for surfers?

Cardio training is crucial for enhancing a surfer’s aerobic capacity, enabling you to paddle harder and longer. Combine training sessions that incorporate running, swimming, and cycling to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

5. Can yoga improve my surfing skills?

Definitely! Yoga combines flexibility and strength exercises, benefiting surfers in various ways, from injury prevention to enhanced range of motion. Add yoga to your routine to see substantial improvements in balance and mental focus while surfing.

6. How can I improve my paddling for surfing?

Focus on building shoulder and upper back strength through exercises like pull-ups and push-ups. Enhance your technique by relaxing your strokes and varying the intensity and rate. Proper positioning on your board will also boost your paddling efficiency.

7. Are balance exercises necessary for surfers?

Yes, balance exercises train your stabilizing muscles and improve proprioception—awareness of your body in space—both of which are vital for overall surfing performance. Exercises like squats and lunges on balance boards or Swiss balls can prove immensely helpful.

8. What does mindfulness have to do with surfing?

Mindfulness practices like meditation teach us focus, awareness, and how to remain calm under pressure—essential mental skills for surfers. Embrace techniques like breathing visualization and gratitude exercises to create a powerful mind-body connection while surfing.

9. What are some essential, surf-specific HIIT workouts?

Surf-focused HIIT exercises include pop-up drills, agility ladder shuffles, surfer burpees, and plank variations. Incorporate these and other functional movements into a circuit-style workout with short rest periods for maximum results.

10. How can I stay in surf shape when living inland?

Opt for land-based exercises that