Paddling out against waves is no easy feat, it requires a tremendous amount of physical fitness. Consistent paddling gets the cardiovascular muscle pumping hard whilst using the muscles in your shoulders, back, arms and buttocks.
Its certainly a work out! When you train your body to the point of being out of breath overtime this lowers your blood pressure & resting heart rate, which decreases your risk of heart attacks, stroke and other diseases whilst keeping you fit and healthy! Surfing is a great way to add a healthy dose of cardio into your life.
Functional movements such as the single shoulder dislocate movement that is carried out whilst paddling through waves, strengthens the arms and the shoulders.It is a repetitive movement that contributes to the overall tone and strength of the deltoid, pectoral, and rotator cuff.
The supine position used whilst lying face down on the board subtly engages the lumbar muscles which works to strengthen the back as a whole. Having a strong back leads to better stability, flexibility and endurance – essential for surfing.
Leg strength is another benefit of surfing, think of an hour session as the equivalent of a session of squat jumps/burpees. You are constantly changing levels from, chest pressed to the floor, to fully extended whilst in a standing squat. This contributes wildly to leg strengthening exercises, and can match any “big leg day” you had planned for the gym. Abdominal muscles are used to stabilise you in a solid position whilst lying, sitting and standing on the board.
Your balance comes entirely from your core, and this part of your body is being worked during all stages of a surf session.
Remember that feeling when you were a child of the wind in your hair as you flew high on the swings, running through puddles in your wellies, and rolling in fallen autumn leaves in the park with your family. Breathing in fresh clean air helps to combat stress, low mood and fatigue.