The Ultimate Surf Warm Up: How to Get Loose and Prevent Injury Before Your Next Surf Session

paddle technique

Surf warms ups get a bad rap. Sure, certain surf warmups look ridiculous. Nothing looks more out of place on the beach than some guy doing pelvic thrusts in the sand, but a good surf warm-up can increase your time in the water and help prevent injury. While the debate on whether surfing is a sport is ongoing, it certainly feels like a sport and requires an enormous amount of exercise. So, why not treat surfing like any other sport and get a good warm-up in before paddling out? You wouldn’t sub into a pickup basketball game without at least jogging around a bit and stretching, so don’t paddle out without adequately warming up. For The Ultimate Surf Warm Up: How to Get Loose and Prevent Injury Before Your Next Surf Session, continue reading below.



Upper Body Surf Warm Up

surf warm up
Image Credit: SBS Surfboards


Surfing is mostly paddling around and waiting for waves. Most of our physical exertion comes from our upper body during our surf sessions. While our legs may control the way we ride each wave, our upper body allows us to paddle and catch waves. Paddling recruits muscles in the shoulders, chest, and upper back. Additionally, while surfing we constantly engage our lower back while paddling and riding. Begin rolling your neck in all directions to warm up and lubricate the muscles and tendons in your neck. Next, rotate your arms in small circles to activate the muscles in your shoulders. Increase the size of the circles and change up your rotation direction and pace to adequately warm up each shoulder. Open up your chest by opening your arms as wide as you can and try to extend your elbows backward past your shoulders. Do each warmup for about a minute.



Lower Body Surf Warm Up


Surf Warm Up
Image Credit: Santa Barbara Surf School


To engage your lower back, lay in the sand on your back and hug your knees to your chest. With your knees as close to your chest as possible, gently rock back and forth. Next, straighten your legs while lying in the sand and bring your right leg across your body so that it is perpendicular to your left leg. Repeat on the other side. Next, do a series of hip openers beginning with a lunge. Lean into the lunge and engage your glute to stretch your hip flexor. Repeat twice on each side. Afterward, perform the butterfly stretch by sitting in the sand with your feet facing together and your elbows on your knees. Gently push your knees closer to the and with your elbows until you feel a gentle stretch in your groin muscles. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. To warm up your quads, perform a series of squat jumps in the sand. Squat down till your knees are bent past ninety degrees, then jump as high as you can. Repeat ten times. 


Get your heart rate up

surf fitness


Finally, before you paddle out, elevate your heart rate. You can jog in place, continue your squat jumps, or sprint into the water and paddle furiously towards the lineup.



During your North Shore Surf Lessons at Turtle Bay, our surf instructors will make sure you’re warmed up and ready for your lesson. You’ll begin on the sand, where you’ll review pop-up and paddling mechanics and warm up before heading into the water. If you’re visiting Oahu, book your stay at Turtle Bay Resort to stay close to the action on the North Shore.



Related Posts