Surf.. Shoulders.. Exercises.. Do em’!
Paddle… hurts… Paddle… hurts… It… hurts…You need Shoulder Clocks
That is not a fun way to surf.
As a surfer, you know how important it is to have strong and healthy shoulders to paddle and maneuver through waves.
However, it’s not uncommon to experience frustration and pain in this area due to the repetitive motions involved in surfing.
In fact, you may have even found yourself so angry with your shoulders that you’ve imagined punching them in the face and spitting on them!
But let’s put that anger aside and focus on what we can do to prevent this frustration and pain from occurring.
Instead of relying on old-school seated military presses that can actually do more harm than good, you need functional surf shoulder exercises that can build endurance and stability/control of the upper body.
I’ve written extensively about some of the basics of what you need to do to restore proper function to a shoulder.
Tissue work, flexibility and mobility, posture, scapular stability, back endurance, rotator cuff stability, deltoid endurance….. check it all out and get to work here….. Guide To Surf Paddle Training
Warm-Up and Strengthening Exercises for Surfers’ Shoulders
Before hitting the waves, it’s important to properly warm up and strengthen your shoulders.
A solid warm-up routine increases blood flow, enhances mobility, and reduces the risk of injury.
So, let’s dive into a few exercises that’ll help you paddle into those waves with ease and confidence.
1. Shoulder Circles
A simple yet effective exercise to warm up those shoulder joints is shoulder circles.
Stand tall with your arms relaxed at your sides.
Slowly, start making small circles with your shoulders, gradually increasing the size of the circles.
After about 10-15 seconds, reverse the direction of the circles for another 10-15 seconds.
2. Band Pull-Aparts
Band pull-aparts work wonders for strengthening the muscles around your shoulder blades and improving scapular stability.
Grab a resistance band with both hands, palms down, and hold it at chest height.
Keeping your arms straight, slowly pull the band apart by moving your hands outward.
Hold for a second, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
3. Rotator Cuff Exercises
Healthy rotator cuffs are crucial for surfers, as they help maintain shoulder stability and control.
One great exercise to target these muscles is the external rotation.
Hold a resistance band with one hand, elbow bent at 90 degrees, and secure the other end of the band to a fixed object.
Rotate your forearm away from your body while keeping your elbow close to your side.
Slowly return to the starting position and complete 10-15 reps on each side.
By incorporating these surf shoulder exercises into your routine, you’ll not only help prevent injury but also improve your overall surfing performance.
So go on, give them a try, and ride those waves with confidence!
Strengthening Exercises for Better Paddle Power
Strong shoulders are essential for surfers, as they provide the paddle power needed to catch waves, maintain balance, and execute maneuvers.
Incorporating targeted exercises into your fitness routine can significantly improve your surfing performance.
The exercise I mentioned earlier, which has proven beneficial for both myself and my clients, is the shoulder press.
This can be done with dumbbells, a barbell, or even resistance bands.
By focusing on proper form and gradually increasing the weight, you’ll strengthen your shoulders while reducing the risk of injury.
Injury Prevention and Recovery
As a surfer, shoulder injuries can be a major setback, affecting your performance and enjoyment in the water.
By regularly practicing warm-up exercises and strengthening your shoulder muscles, you can greatly reduce the chance of injury.
However, if you do experience shoulder pain or discomfort, it’s important to listen to your body and allow it to recover.
Rest, ice, and gentle stretches can help speed up the healing process, ensuring you’re back on your board as soon as possible.
Remember, a healthy shoulder is a happy shoulder – and happy shoulders lead to better surfing.
By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you’ll not only prevent injuries but also improve your overall surfing performance.
So, give these exercises a try and enjoy the benefits both in and out of the water.
But what I really want to show you now is an exercise that I’ve been using personally and with clients lately, and having some great results.
I like it, I think you’ll like it, and I know it’s beneficial, so use it, and allow yourself to not be forced to inflict violence onto your own shoulders…. cause that’ll screw up your surfing.
I Call Em’ Shoulder Clocks
Without being too specific with anatomy, you’re essentially strengthening and building endurance in your posterior shoulder and back…. that’s good for your paddling.
- With this movement you want to go for length of time, not a specific number of reps.
- You want to aim to build up to 3-4minutes of time under tension. So think of doing a rep that lasts 30seconds (continuous movement for 30 seconds).
- You would have to do 6 reps at 30seconds each for 3minutes time under tension.
- You should get to the point where you can keep the movement going for a full minute, or even 2 minutes.
- You’re building endurance here, so keep those muscles working for as long as possible.
You’ll have to use a pretty light weight. At times, I have people use no weight at all.
So just play around with it and find what your shoulders need.
As you should have read in the link above to the Complete Guide To Surf Paddle Training , there is an essential component of tissue flexibility to paddling well and without pain.
Give this a watch and get to work.
Read about all the essential tissue release, stretches, and what muscles you need to lengthen here…. this is important stuff, but a bit anatomical.
So watch out those of you that don’t like to learn or use that thing between your ears.
So there ya’ go…. a rad exercise with a heap of benefits so you can paddle with some endurance.
Just tonight it was only about 3-4 foot, and I was getting gassed with some of those paddle outs.
It never hurts to get a bit stronger.
And really focus on shoulder health so you can keep surfing without pain.
If you’re looking for more insight into building an upperbody that doesn’t give you hell in the surf, and can handle those heavy heavy heavy paddle outs… check out Surf Training Success.
Not only does it give you months of Surf Specific Workouts, Mobility Drills, and Recovery Secrets.
There’s also the guide to Surfers Shoulders- Essential Shoulder Training which gives you all the tissue work, all the exercises, and all the pro secrets to having strong, mobile, and pain-free shoulders… so stop surfing with painful shoulders… it sucks.
Get pitted!!!! Let me know what you think about this exercise.
And leave some comments below if you use it in your next training session!