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The Best Exercises for Surfers (And Wannabe Surfers)

These moves will make you better and more comfortable out on the waves.
The Best Exercises for Surfers (And Wannabe Surfers)

Planning a trip to surf this summer? That's great if you already know how. If you don't, there are things you can do in the gym now to prep your body for the waves once you arrive. Here are four great surf assists to help get you onboard before you go. 

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“You need a lot of balance and side-to-side (transverse) twisting to surf,” says Lua Emilia of Surfset Toronto, so use a Bosu Balance Trainer, with its 360 degrees of movement, to do pistol squats, lunge holds, and medicine ball twists.

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It moves along just a single plane—“Not quite the same as being on water!”—but a balance board is still good practice, Emilia says. Get an Indo Board, or go DIY and make your own. Here's how!

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Riding some surf-friendly skateboards, like the Surfstik, uses rotational muscle moves, too, “so if you can rip it on that, you’ll be more ready for the water,” says Emilia.

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Few first-time surfers realize the arm strength and endurance needed to paddle out to a wave, push up off the board, and land upright, “so pushups, planks, and tuck jumps should be your best friends. Once you can do 30 seconds of each, practice going from flat on the floor up to a plank, then getting one foot up between your hands and coming quickly to a wide-legged stance. When you’ve got that, practice jumping from a plank to a surf stance.”

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