Mobility Exercises to Maximize Performance in the Water

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

Do you feel like it takes a few waves before your body starts to loosen up? Maybe you want to warm things up before paddling out, but you’re not sure which exercises are most effective to prep your session? Look no further! Here are some mobility exercises to maximize your surfing performance. Not only will you feel more limber, but the muscles used to stabilize your hips, core and shoulders will be on fire and ready to work in the lineup!

The lower body is the most common area of injury in the surfing athlete. Therefore, it’s important to train the joints at end ranges to allow for greater mobility in your unpredictable environment – the ocean.

Hip 90/90 with External Rotation (x 10 each side)

Begin sitting with your hips at a 90/90 degree position. Place your surfing stance front foot in front with the back stance hip resting in internal rotation. Activate your core to remain upright with both hands off the ground. Externally rotate the back leg by lifting the knee up while keeping your foot on the ground. Hold at the top for a count of two and return to resting position.

Due to the rotational forces that surfers use to maximize turns and other maneuvers, a mobile (yet strong) spine is key! Try this thoracic spinal rotation exercise during your regular core workout.

Thoracic Rotation (x 10 each side)

Start by sitting with your legs crossed or in a kneeling position. Grab a foam roll, a rolled up towel or a pillow. Squeeze the item as tightly as possible. Use your core to rotate your torso to the left as far as you can. Repeat in the other direction. Be sure to breathe the whole time.

Don’t forget to give those paddling joints some love too!

Shoulder CARs (x 5 each side)

Start by kneeling or standing and keeping your core tight. Raise an arm straightabove your head as far as you can. Once you can’t raise it anymore, rotate the palm of your hand away from you. Keep rotating your hand away as you extend your shoulder backwards, ending with the back of your hand nearly touching the outside of your thigh. Then, reverse reverse! Extend your shoulder as far as possible behind you (palm still facing away). Once you can’t extend any further, rotate your palm in the other direction and bring your shoulder back above your head and to the starting position.

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

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