Workouts to prepare your body for your first attempt at surfing in Costa Rica

Catching a wave, photo credit maria18057.
Catching a wave, photo credit maria18057.

Getting ready for your Costa Rican surfing holiday? You have your stay booked at amazing Pranamar Oceanfront Villas, and have decided this is the trip when you learn to surf. 

If you are already in tip top shape, you will probably be able to tackle the physical demands of paddling out on the water, catching a wave and the balance and leg strength to stand on the board.  Why not help your body prepare for the very enjoyable, yet very physically demanding sport of surfing a few weeks before your trip, and blow your instructor’s mind with the speed with which you stand up on your board!

Warm up

Any physical activity demands a proper warm up to improve joint mobility. Some options to get started are:

  • Breathing squats
  • Warrior Lunges
  • Standing knee hugs
Pushups on the beach, photo credit bobtimr.
Pushups on the beach, photo credit bobtimr.

Training workouts

Surfing is a sport where you use muscles you never knew you had, and for that reason it is important to use full body movements to prepare your body.  Balance is an important requirement for successfully maneuvering your board through the wavesSingle leg balance drills assist with coordination and strength.  Add these moves as well:

  • Kettlebell exercises
  • Deadlifts
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
Squats on the beach, photo credit bspencefit.
Squats on the beach, photo credit bspencefit.

Core Training

Your core muscles go beyond your abs, including all the muscles that support your spine.  A strong core will help you control the board and move faster in the water.  Exercise bands and stability balls are good tools to assist in moves like leg presses, crunches and twists.

Shoulders and back

Paddling out on the water is an important part of surfing, and if you´re exhausted before you even catch a wave, there won´t be much of a chance of standing up on the surfboardCable pull downs and rotator cuff rotations as well as strengthening your triceps will assist in preventing injuries.

Paddling out to catch a wave, photo credit buddimana.
Paddling out to catch a wave, photo credit buddimana.

Resistance

Interval training can assist in increased endurance, which will help prepare you for longer stays in the water, and tackling an unexpected swell coming your way.  It can be achieved with running intervals, row machines, jump rope and swimming.

Practice these exercises as soon as you know you are coming to Costa Rica for your surfing lessons, and they will help you avoid injuries and enjoy yourself while awing your instructor and travel mates with your innate surfing abilities.

Nancy Goodfellow yoga lunge on Santa Teresa beach, photo credit nancygoodfellow108.
Nancy Goodfellow yoga lunge on Santa Teresa beach, photo credit nancygoodfellow108.

Article by Katie Widdowson