5 pre surf stretches
While the body is enjoying its last day on holiday, my head has started to dream about surf again. Here are 5 stretching exercises I often use before surf. You can easily do them in the sand while checking out the lineup, and they deal with a set of muscles groups that need a little extra awakening before a surf session. So think of this more as a little wake up call to the muscles, rather than a proper stretching session.
I’m always careful not to stretch before my body is really warm. When I stretch prior to workout, I use more dynamic movements and less static stretching. I stretch until it feels like the limit, but I do not remain in the muscles most extended position. I release and repeat the exercise several times instead. A good tip is to put these exercises together to form a little flow. More on that later. Feel free to try these stretching exercises after around 5 minutes of warm up (jogging for instance).
UPPER BACK SIDE
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Do a squat by bending your knees and shift weight backwards (think that there is a chair behind where you want to sit down). Grab your toes with your hands as shown in the picture above. Look straight ahead.
This exercise I often call “the frog” when I give yoga classes. Doesnt it look like a frog ?! Regardless; Go from standing with a little more than hip-width apart between the legs. Sit down in a deep squat, until you are sitting as far down as you can go. Try to let your toes pointing straight forward all the time. Add shoulders on the inside of the knees. Put your weight backwards on the heels. Let your head hang down and relax the neck. The arms can be added in front of you as illustrated in the phote for an extra stretch effect from the very bottom of the spine to the top of the neck.
This is as simple as a “reversed” plank. Sit on the ground with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Lean back a little and place your hands on the ground straight down from your shoulders. Fingers point towards your feet as illustrated in the photo below. Extend your elbows and push the hips up towards the sky. Let your head fall backwards. Tighten the muscles in the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. This is a very good stretch to get hold of the chest muscles.
This exercise is done on both sides. Begin on hands and knees as shown below. The knees are directly under your hips and your arms are just below the shoulders.
I often feel a limitation from the hip flexor when I surf. Such a “small” muscle, but that can have so much to say in regards to your surfing I have gone out of the water several times because of pain in the hip flexor. Even worse when the water is cold, like it is now in the winter in Portugal. Thats why I add a small pre surf stretch on the hip flexor before I jump in the water. Especially if the water is cold. Begin in the plank:
Tighten the muscles in your legs and make sure your back is straight and the hips held slightly up. You do this exercise to both sides. Bend your right knee and take a big step forward with your right leg.Place your foot on the outside of the right shoulder. Look straight ahead.