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Dragon Slayer’s Predicament Vol. 2: Getting Back Into Surfing Shape

So here you are…You’ve made your flight reservations, stashed some cash, and if all goes according to plan you’ll be in the water in just a few weeks. But are you even ready? In the last installment, I delivered words of hope and encouragement intended to help you get through the mental challenges of being landlocked. Now, I return with the ultimate surf-workout regimen; specifically designed to deliver you from your current washed-up state to the level you’ll need to be at in order to realize your potential on your upcoming trip. What follows is the first step in the Dragon Slayer’s Six Week Surf Workout Program.

Building Surf Strength

Although many surf workout programs suggest weight room exercises to build strength, we will employ only calisthenics. After all we are dragon slayers, not narcissistic muscle heads. The idea here isn’t to bulk up, but rather tone up; to prepare our bodies for the double session days that we’ve been yearning for. Do these strength building surf exercises 2-3 times a week:

Pull-ups- Palm out, wide grip, close grip, bar behind the head, bar to chest etc. Start by setting a goal for the number of reps you’re going to do overall, maybe 60 to start with. Then, try to minimize the number of sets it takes to achieve your goal. Start with wide grip palms out. Maybe you’ll get 10. Do another set. Maybe this time you only get 8. Switch to narrow grip and repeat. Switch your grip again and keep going. All the way down. When you can’t do anymore, do some negatives by jumping all the way up to the bar and letting yourself down slowly for an additional 3 reps or so. These count too. By the time you’re on the plane, you should be able to knock out 10 sets of 10 easy and fast and you’re shoulders, lats, and arms will be thanking you on your first paddle out.

pull ups for surfing

Push-ups– Again, do wide grip, close grip, inverted, inclined, and declined variations. Remember, quality over quantity here, but do set a goal for total repetitions. Try 100 to begin with. Do a set of wide grip declined pushups. Maybe you’ll get 25. Do it again, then switch it up. Following your pull-ups, you should feel the pump after your first set, but by all means keep going. You don’t want to be going over the falls because you’ve got no more pop-up. When its finally go-time, you should be able to knock out about 200 push-ups after you’ve completed the pull-ups and still have juice.

Dips– When your doing this strength set, you want to alternate push and pull exercises. Dips are a good alternative to pushups. Do pull-ups and push-ups on Monday, but substitute dips for pushups on Wednesday. Both of these push exercises will increase core strength as well as upper-body power and you’ll be appreciating both after you’re caught inside a few times during your first sessions.

Your strength set should only take about 30-45 minutes. Find something to grab on to and do it. You will be amazed at how quickly you can improve, increasing not just reps/set, but core strength in general. These exercises are great because they don’t require any special epuipment and they are extremely effective. You will definitely be sore after your first strength building workout. Eat bananas and drink a lot of water though, because this is just the first component of the regimen.

Stay tuned for Part II: Reclaiming Aquatic Fitness.

Posted by Caleb on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 in Surfing.


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