At Real Surf Trips, we think surfing is one of the most fun sports that one can engage in, it’s a whole body-mind activity. To get the most out of every surfing experience, you need to prepare effectively, and this has to do with not only the preparation of your body but your mind as well.
Some of the most important aspects of surfing include swimming skills, constant muscle release and contraction, and a sense of balance, among other things. If you are planning on coming to one of our Costa Rica surf camps, here are some training tips to get you ready for the trip.
- Warm-up sessions
It is important to allocate time for warm up sessions as you prepare for your surf camp and the training, in this case, will entail movements and mobility drills that are similar to movements in real surfing experiences. Such training will be beneficial to your body in many ways as outlined below…
- Respiratory system stimulation.
- Faster contraction of muscles for fast reactive movements.
- Muscle stiffness is reduced.
- It improves stabilizing muscles and activates the nervous system as well.
- Improvement of the flexibility of the body and joints as well as an increase in mobility.
- Improvement of oxygen delivery to muscles and enhanced blood circulation in addition to an increase in the heart rate.
Contrary to the thought that you may have to do some rigorous training, which can easily cause you to drawback, here is a compilation of the movements you can apply in your warm-up session… pretty easy and simple too.
- Standing knee hugs – while standing with your spine tall and erect, pull one knee to your chest with your hands around it. Pull your knee as high as possible without bending your back.
- Warrior Lunge – while standing, lunge forward and extend arms upwards to push up off the front foot and after that assume the starting position once again. You can repeat this and alternate between bending on the side or in both directions.
- Breathing Squat – as you come down to a squatting position, exhale, and inhale as your body comes up. In both cases, extend the arms towards the sky.
- Butt drops – with your hands stretched upwards, bend forward to touch your toes and then drop your butt to your heels, lifting the chest to face forward. The elbows should be inside the knees as they push the knees outwards. Inhale/exhale in this position and then lift your butt upwards.
- Bent shoulder circles – with your back straight and a slightly bent knee, bend the torso forward. Once you get to an angle where you feel a light stretch in your hamstring, bring the arms out to the sides into a T-position. You can then perform small arm circles in each direction for about 30 repetitions.
- T-Rotation pushups – from a pushup position, rotate one arm upwards while rotating the body onto one side at the same time. That means that you will be balanced on the one hand with the other hand extending upwards. Repeat the same for the other side.
- Surf training workouts
Since the workouts are not done in the water and your body isn’t doing exactly what it would do while you are surfing, the purpose of prior preparation is to strengthen the movements and physical surfing demands. That will help improve your speed, endurance and help keep you free from injuries. A training you can try includes:
- Balance drills – the workout, in this case, revolves around lunges, ice skater squats, single leg box squats, exercises on top of a balance board or into the board, single leg cable push or pulls, Bulgarian split squats and single leg balance with upper body medicine ball tosses.
- Full body movements – surfing is a dynamic sport that requires your body to move within a three-dimensional space. Hence, the training you need should provide efficiency and strength in motion. That includes cable shops, plyometric hops, pull-ups/chin-ups, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, sprints, overhead presses and single arm overhead presses, back squats and front squats, single leg dead lifts, medicine ball chops, lunges and multi-directional lunges and pushup variations.
- Balance and single leg surf training – the art of balancing is paramount when surfing, and that is why you should take advantage of quality training so as to enhance your reaction times and stabilize your joints as well. On the other hand, single leg movement helps prevent lower body injuries in addition to improving on your balancing.
- Core training for surfing
The strengthening of your core is important because it aids in power and speed while surfing as well as ensuring that you remain pain-free. Your core is made up of muscles that are distributed throughout the trunk, which are responsible for transmission of power and movement throughout the whole body. Training of the core should be in integration, and some of the tools you can use in this case include the paloff press, supine lateral ball rolls, stability ball rollouts, cable chops, stability ball jack-knife, horse stance or bird dogs, and medicine ball chops.
- Shoulder and upper back
When surfing, you will need to paddle at some point, and that can be an exhausting experience in and of itself. As such, you need to work on your shoulders, upper back, and core in order to gain the strength required for easy paddling. Such training will ensure that your upper body is strong, durable and free from pain and it will be wise to consider working on the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff that is prone to injuries often. Some of the exercises that will help you with this include body blade exercises; cable face pulls, shoulder scarecrows, dumbbell bent rows, rotator cuff external rotations, straight arm cable pull downs, shoulder A,T,Y’s and suspension training tricep pushes.
In any surfing session, you will need a combination of both explosive energy and low energy output and train your body to respond effectively in both cases is necessary. In situations of heavy breaks and point break currents, you need full body endurance, while in cases of casual padding you will need less energy output. The idea behind such training is to ensure that your body gets to the point where it can withstand longer periods of energy release. Some of the endurance exercises you can engage in on a regular basis include boxing, jump rope, workout circuits, swimming, row machine intervals and jogging intervals.
As an additional point, maintaining a healthy diet is critical for surfers. Note that the kind of diet you feed on just before a surfing session (and after if you’re doing multiple sessions per day or several in a week) significantly impacts on your performance out in the waters. To give you insight on how to prepare for surfing in terms of diet, here are some suggestions on what should feature on your menu.
- Local, fresh and organic foods – though the price may be slightly higher compared to that of other foods, consider investing in these healthy foods and pesticide free vegetables. By opting for these, you will not only be supporting local farmers, but you will also be investing in your body’s health.
- Whole foods – your diet should be free from excess sugar and processed foods by opting for quality proteins and fats, fruits and vegetables.
- Breakfast ideas – surfing on a full stomach is quite uncomfortable, and though important before going out surfing, you need to choose what you feed on for breakfast. Health fats, proteins, and fruits or veggies can be a great option. The only thing to avoid in this case is bread and cereals, which have less nutritional value. On other surfing days, add some nuts and fruit to your breakfast.
- Clean water and hydration – today, there are many varieties of sports drinks available that people are fond of taking as well as soda. These drinks are artificially flavored and have little value addition on your health. Taking clean water (and the water is safe to drink in Costa Rica!) is the best option and to stay hydrated, you can squeeze in some orange, lemon or lime to the water as well.
- Learn to cook – preparing your food is the best way to ensure that you are eating healthy and it pays to buy a few recipe books and a slow cooker.
- Lessen your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol will slow you down and lessen all the good work you’re doing getting in shape and eating healthy. Minimize the intake or completely cut it out if you really want to be ready for the Costa Rica surf season!
When you add a healthy diet to the exercises explained above in preparation for your Costa Rica surf trip, your body will be all set. Any worries about how your body will respond whether you will be out surfing for a few minutes or hours will be eliminated.
Surf Costa Rica with Real Surf Trips and see why it’s called the ‘Rich Coast’. Real Surf Trips offers first class accommodation, experienced teachers, and superior service in one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica!