The Moves To Give You A Beach Body And Make You A Better Surfer
Perform these exercises and you'll become a better surfer.

October 4, 2018

man practicing in the ocean to become a better surfer black and white

Why would you want to become a better surfer? Well, research out of Belgium has shown that you can burn nearly one and half times more kilojoules running on sand than you can running on solid ground. Of even greater significance, is the fact that you can burn two to two and half times more kilojoules walking on sand versus walking on solid ground.

According to a 2004 study from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the average kilojoule expenditure for a man running 1,600 metres on a hard surface is 519 kilojoules.

Related: How These Guys Saved Their Lives Through Surfing

If the same distance were covered on sand, the man would have burned 828 kilojoules. The increase in stabiliser muscle recruitment, combined with a decrease in elastic element activity, can lead to a dramatic increase in mechanical work demand.

Separate research from 2013 found the energy expenditure to be roughly 30 percent greater in soccer players performing speed and conditioning workouts on the sand versus hard surfaces.

Neil Zietsman has been surfing for 20 years, and in 2012 placed 4th at SA Champs in the over 30 division, as well as receiving the WP Sportsman Of The Year award.

Related: How SA’s Best Bodyboarders Tackle The Deadliest Waves

Working as a personal trainer, Neil has a special interest in training surfers.

Perform these exercises and you’ll improve your turns and the muscle memory required to get up on a wave, but you’ll strengthen your core, too.

The Pop Up

The reason it’s such a good exercise is because this is how you stand up on a surfboard. So you’re using muscle memory.

The gist: Push up on your back foot first, then place your front foot forward. You can practice this on the beach lying on your surfboard. Note, this is the sequence for a natural stance surfer. If you’re a goofy-foot, reverse everything.

Related: Pro Bodyboarder Andre Botha Tells His Tale Of Mastering Waves And Being A Champion

Do a standard push up. At the top of the push up bring your right leg under your hips. Stand up and bring your left leg forward. Do two sets of 10 each side.

Twist Lunge With Resistance

Throwing buckets of spray without your arms flailing about like an air traffic controller takes years of practice. Besides spending time in the water, you’ll benefit from this move.

Related: Here’s How Champion Boxer David Rajuili Preps For A Fight

Start off with your left foot forward and right foot back. Arms straight in front of you holding the resistance band. Remember to have a wide stance so that you can drop your centre of gravity and keep both your knees bent at 90 degrees.

As you drop, keep your front knee over your ankle so you don’t put strain onto the knee joint. Twist the top half of your body as far round to the left as you can, while keeping your arms straight.
Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.