Stretching Routine for Surfing

A surfer can gain huge health benefits from including a surfing stretching routine in their surf training sessions.

by Brad Walker | First Published October 14, 2010 | Updated August 31, 2017

Including a surfing stretching routine in your surf training program can bring huge health and fitness benefits. The extensive use of specific muscles in this extreme sport can lead to overuse injuries, and a regular surfing stretching routine will help to minimize the risk of these injuries.

Muscles used in Surfing

Video stretching routine for surfingSurfing places a large emphasis on the core muscles, as well as the muscles of the arms, shoulders and back. The shoulders and triceps are used while paddling; hamstrings and quads help you to stand up; and the lower back muscles and obliques are used while turning.

  • In the upper back, the trapezius, rhomboids and latissimus dorsi muscles are used.
  • Among the chest and shoulder muscles, the deltoids, rotator cuff muscles and the pectorals are involved.
  • The core muscles, such as the rectus abdominus and obliques, and the spinal erectors are involved.

To properly strengthen and condition all these muscles, surfers must follow a comprehensive stretching routine during their surf training.

The Benefits of a Surfing Stretching Routine

Surfing trainers and surfers alike have emphasized the necessity and multiple benefits of a proper surfing stretching routine. This makes it all the more important for you to include a suitable routine in your surf training program. Here are some benefits of a good routine:

  • Improved Body Control: A regular stretching routine will improve body control and balance, which is a very important factor in surfing. It also helps to improve body awareness, posture and coordination.
  • Reduced Risk of Injury: When you stretch, you increase the limit to which your muscles can move without causing you injury. Regularly stretching reduces the risk of injury by improving range of motion.
  • Reduced Fatigue: Surfing as a sport requires a lot of vigorous activity, resulting in fatigue. However, stretching can delay the onset of fatigue; for every working muscle, there is an opposing muscle. If the opposing muscles are flexible, the working muscle will not have to exert a lot of force, leading to reduced fatigue.

Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review my article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.

Watch the Surfing Stretching Routine

Click on the play button below to watch the 10 minute surfing stretching routine video.

The Stretching Handbook, DVD & CD-ROMWhile the recommendations on this page are a good starting point, you'll get a lot more benefit when you include a wider variety of stretches.

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Brad Walker - AKA The Stretch CoachAbout the Author: Brad is often referred to as the "Stretch Coach" and has even been called the Stretching Guru. Magazines such as Runners World, Bicycling, Triathlete, Swimming & Fitness, and Triathlon Sports have all featured his work. Amazon has listed his books on five Best-Seller lists. Google cites over 100,000 references to him and his work on the internet. And satisfied customers from 122 countries have sent 100's of testimonials. If you want to know about stretching, flexibility or sports injury management, Brad Walker is the go-to-guy.