Foundations of Core Training for Surfers- Basics before High Performance
Core Training for surfers!!!…… get some ripped abs!!!… Aagggghhhh!
Yeah, maybe you’ll get some abs, but what you should focus on is spinal stability and pelvic control, and then progressing into high speed rotational work. What I see too often is guys hopping right into high speed / power dynamic core training.
That’s exactly what surfers need to get to, and what most of the fancy pro-level surfer exercise videos demonstrate, but the average surfer doesn’t have the body of a pro-surfer, so needs to slow it down and focus on the basics… just for a bit.
Surfing Foundational Core Training
It comes down to spinal stability and having the necessary flexibility.
Flexibility: Do you have the required flexibility to rotate the lower body away from the upper body? If not, and you go into high speed core training, or whippy snaps, you’ll likely end up hurting something.
If you don’t have that necessary flexibility, you need to get flexible, or you’re at high risk for injury. I provide heaps of info on this site regarding various stretches. Here’s a few to take a look at.
Surfing Stretches- Full Body Dynamic Flexibility
Surfing Stretches- Dynamic Surfing Stretches and Warmup
Spinal Stability: Intrinsic core control. This basically means you need to have the “inner-unit” of the core functioning very well, before working on the fast and fancy core training. Think of an outer layer and an inner layer of the core. The outer layer are the abs, obliques, and muscles running up the spine. The inner layer is made of the diaphragm, multifidus, pelvic floor, and transversus abdominis.
We need to make sure the “inner-unit” is well functioning in order to provide stability and safety to the spine. I see a lot of folks with a dysfunctional inner-unit, which will result in some pain at some point unfortunately.
Check out the video. It starts with proper diaphragmatic breathing, and basic core control. Then you’ll progress that into movements that require stability of the spine. If you can adequately control the spine, then you’re ready for higher speed movements and rotational strength work.
How To Do Them:
Foundational core training for surfers focuses on proper core function and being able to efficiently stabilise the spine. The goal here is technique. Execute these movements with PERFECT form, and get highly efficient with the drills I show in the videos.
Aim for LONGER duration with the exercises. We want to have your working for up to 2-4minutes. So perhaps 4 sets of 1 minute reps. Your aim is to train these muscles to have endurance, and the ability to contract and maintain spinal alignment for longer periods of time.
Once those exercises are mastered, you can move into more dynamic core training like chops, kettle bell swings, medicine ball throws, and all the fancy stuff you see the pro-surf training programs doing. But you gotta’ lay the foundation first!
A Few More Foundational Core Training Exercises for Surfers
Become proficient with these movements. It will keep you out of pain and help you stay injury free. The key is proper progression to all the fancy training, which is what we as surfers need to be doing, but we need to find the best method to get there. Work on these foundations first.
Down the road, once you’ve mastered the basics, here’s some ideas for more dynamic core training: Dynamic Core Exercises for the Surfer