• Evolution PT

Breath Control Exercises for the Surfer

by Amy Schultz, DPT, CSCS >> Request an Appointment


It's winter and you know what that means: heavy north swells. Many of us already train our paddling and surfing muscles, but let's not forget about our breathing muscles too! Our diaphragms not only play an important role in breath control, but also calm our nervous system in order to maintain balance while surfing and a sense of relaxation when being held down under a powerful set. 


Needless to say, it's important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature can throw at us when suiting up. Here are some breath control exercises to help you stay safe out there, friends. Yewww!


Diaphragmatic Breathing (x 10 reps)

Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your diaphragm. Take a deep breath into the hand that is resting on your diaphragm for a count of 3. Hold your breath for 2 seconds and slowly breathe out for a count of 5. 

The hand resting on your diaphragm should move towards the sky when inhaling and back towards the ground when exhaling. The hand resting on your chest should not move. 

Work your way up to breathing in for 5 seconds, holding for 3 seconds and breathing out for 10 seconds. Perform this simple exercise before paddling out for the greatest benefit!


Diaphragmatic Breath Hold under Fatigue (x 5 min)

Once you have the breathing technique down, you can add a cardio component. Try rowing for 50 seconds while holding your breath for 10 seconds and work your way up to a 20 second breath hold.

If you do not have access to a rowing machine, grab a jump rope. Try jumping 100 times while taking only 4 breaths and work your way up to 100 jumps while only taking 1 breath!



When practicing breath holds, make sure to take a break if you're feeling lightheaded.


Try these out and let us know what you think in the comments section!

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