How To Train Your Hips

Hip Training- The Best Surf Specific Exercises

Hip training: It’s all in the hips baby!!!! Move em’!

The hips are one of those joint complexes, that as a surfer, at some point some pain or injury will come along. So get ahead of the game, and build some hips that can handle some solid surf, remain pain free, and have lots of flexibility.

Surf Training for Your Hips!?

Your hips are a vital part of the kinetic chain, and if certain muscles are weak, or full of knots and adhesion, it leaves a lot of room for some back pain, hip pain, or knee problems. Get into some foam rolling.. foam rolling for surfers. (watch that video link!)

So start working on hip strength and stability. Not to mention, these movements are a hell of an activation/warmup to get your nervous system woken up, and get your hip stabilizers active so you can get in the surf, and not bonk your first wave.

Surf capable hips need flexibility, as well as stability. If lacking in either aspect, injuries have a great opportunity of showing up…. up or down the chain of joints.

Knees, hips, low back, and maybe even further up or down. Bottom line, if the hips are problematic, lacking flexibility, or really weak, you ARE NOT surfing at your potential and waiting for an injury.

Think of the dynamic positions your hips are placed in while surfing. The pop-up, a bottom turn, an air(if you can boost them). You need all sorts of flexibility to get your legs into those various positions, and some really good muscle strength to absorb landings and stabilize your knees.

If you don’t have the ideal range of motion in the hip joint, your body will literally force movement into the lumbar spine, or knee…. and that can be some terrible shit. So make sure your hips are up to speed, and incorporate some hip training into your surf training.


Speaking of your surf training…. How Good Are Your Surf Workouts? They could probably use some tweaking so you can truly benefit from your training, and get some improvement in the water! Email me at [email protected] and lets make sure you’re doing what you NEED to be doing, and not just some shit a buddy saw in a magazine.

You’d go to the doctor for medical advice, so you should be asking some fitness professionals for some exercise advice. The last thing you want to do is waste time and effort in the gym… so let’s get you on a professionally designed program so you can build a body that can surf like hell.

How To Use These Hip Movements

ACTIVATIONS– any of the movements from the video are great for part of your pre-surf warmup. Standing on a single leg really excites the nervous system and ‘wakes” it up so its primed for those first few waves.

These movements will also help to “fire up” the hip stabilizers so you can produce force through your legs without weak hips getting all wobbly, and losing that power for those bottom turns.

I personally use these in just about everyone of my surf warmups.. Just today I used the 3D deadlifts, along with a few of the movements from the Surf Dynamic Warmup (the one offered FREE on this site), along with some extra shoulder activation work.

Speaking of Warmups…. Here’s another vid for you I forgot I had. A FULL dynamic surf warmup. Use It!!

Watch video here

EXERCISES– all of these movements can be a great addition to a surf specific training program, especially the first two movements. The leg swings is more of a warmup in my eyes, but could be a great beginner level for hip movement and stability.

The hip airplanes and 3D Single Leg Deadlifts can be a hell of an exercise. I would recommend you use them more towards the beginning of a workout, as they can be a very demanding movement.

They could also be used as a filler movement between an upper body exercise…. think stability ball chest presses, and while you’re resting bang out some hip airplanes…. SICK!!

HOW TO– Airplanes and 3D Single Leg Deadlifts…

  •  SLOW movements.
  • Make the movement happen at the hip, and stabilize your knee and foot.
  • Do NOT cave in medially at the knee.
  • Keep a strong active core.
  • If these are really demanding and a bit too tough, use a smaller range of motion.
  • You may need to work on flexibility to get those hips opened up.
  • To start, if using these as a single movement exercise, go 2sets of 4-6 SLOW reps. If you’re using them as a filler, use maybe 2 slow reps per leg.

 Leg Swings

  • get that core active, and stabilize the pelvis.
  • Control the swing movement.
  • When moving from front to back, don’t allow the low back to move excessively. You’ll see me brace and put a hand on my lower back to make sure I’m not cheating.

I’ve mentioned strength and flexibility of the hips over and over and over. The previous movements will address both of those, but some folks have some damn tight hips.

Especially those of you in chairs or cars all day. Here’s a few movements to really get that tissue opened up. It’s an older video….. a bit nerdy for sure!

Another aspect of these movements, and to maintain optimal hip health………….. you gotta have a strong core! Take a look at these movements and videos.

Surfer Core Training

Rotational Core Training

Must Do Surfer Torso Training

All the “core” muscles have attachments at the pelvis (parts of what comprises your hip joint), so these muscles are hugely important in overall hip and core strength. So get them up to speed!

Just like the shoulders and low back, the hips can be a weak link in the chain, so don’t let them effect your surfing. Start working on dynamic hip training stability and strength, and keep yourself in the water….


PS. This is a lot of info, and can be tough to incorporate into your current hip training regime. Shoot me an email at [email protected] and let’s get you sorted out and working on some serious surf specific training that YOU NEED.

Grab the Surf Athlete Program & Enhance Your Surfing & Health Today…and Forever


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