Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting into surf shape: Tips from Laird Hamilton and some yoga gurus


There is nothing worse than paddling out on a great day only to be forced out of the water after an hour with dead arms and a sore back. There are a lot of great workouts you can do to get you into surf shape and the best of them combine some form of strength, flexibility and cardio training (and surfing). I have compiled some of the better workouts I have found around the interwebs.

Laird Hamilton's Workout

This guy apparently is a fitness fanatic. Laird's workout looks something like this according to a couple of sources - definitely not for nancies:

Mon: Circuit training with weights. He works the entire body in about 1.5 to 2 hours. He chooses 20 different exercises and does enough sets per exercise to get 105 reps (this is a rough workout, by the way).
Tues: Rides a mountain bike for 2 hours, followed by "sand training" (lunges, push-ups, log pull, sand dune sprints), and ends with "water activity" (surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, etc.)
Wed: Circuit training…followed by a "short" bike ride of 1.5 hours.
Thurs: Bike (mountain or road for 2.5 hours), sand training(lunges, push-ups, log pull, sand dune sprints), and water activity (surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, etc.)
Fri: Circuit training…followed by a "short" bike ride of 1.5 hours.
Sat: Rest (surf if the waves are breaking nicely)
Sun: Bike (mountain or road for 2.5 hours), sand training(lunges, push-ups, log pull, sand dune sprints), and water activity (surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, etc.)

Some insight on the benefits yoga can bring to surfers from the folks at Surfitness.com

(Many CRSI students already know this, but for those who aren't sold, or are just too lazy to get into the yoga studio after surfing, read on.)


"Top pros including Rochelle Ballard, Layne Beachley, Taylor Knox, and Kelly Slater have all used yoga to stay loose, flexible, and focused in the surf. Yoga is one of the best activities surfers can do because it actually restores energy by nourishing and revitalizing every cell of the body! Practicing yoga helps build flexible strength, endurance, balance, and mental focus – all necessary for fluid, powerful surfing. Yoga breathing or 'pranayama' increases lung capacity so you can stay calm and relaxed even in a wipeout."

"There are many varieties of yoga and different styles of teaching, so be sure to shop around until you find a good fit. Let your instructor know that you’re a surfer and ask for specific poses that will open the shoulders, stretch the hips, and keep the back strong and flexible."

“There are some very good restorative yoga poses like child's pose and supported chest openers that make recovery a lot more productive,” says Kurt Dabisch, a personal trainer at Equinox Fitness Club in New York City. “Even the active yoga poses like sun salutations and doing downward dog to upward dog have a great effect on recovery. Besides helping get the lactic acid out of the muscles, yoga poses result in your feeling better than when you started”

Bonus: yoga increases your sense of well-being and inner strength.
Caution: avoid forcing yourself into unfamiliar or advanced poses. Move at your own pace and listen to your body.

Check out these links for more info, peace!

Costa Rica Surf Institute YOGA
Surf Fitness Inc

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