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Rotational Core Strength Exercises for the Surfer

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


Surfing requires a great amount of rotary core strength. Whether you're turning, cross stepping, pumping or even popping up, your core must counter the rotary forces placed on it. Below are a few exercises to help you stabilize your spine in the transverse plane of motion thereby maximizing performance and keeping you pain-free both in and out of the water.


Dead Bug Fly (2 x 5 reps each side working up to 3 x 10 reps)

You can really test your rotary core stability by adding a one-armed fly to this fundamental core exercise. The further you bring your arm out the side, the harder your core has to work.

Make sure to keep your lumbar spine (low back) flat on the ground and don’t let your hip pop up on the opposite side. *Modification: no weight, hold lower body static.



Lower Body Plank Rotation with Stability Ball (2 x 5 reps each side working up to 3 x 10 reps)

Want to put your core, glutes and shoulders to the test? Try a rotational plank with a stability ball! Not only does this require balance, but you also need to keep your posterior chain working against gravity.

Make sure to keep your lumbar spine (low back) flat. *Modification: perform plank without the stability ball.



Banded Twist (2 x 5 reps each side working up to 3 x 10 reps)

This exercise targets your strength at end range thoracic spine rotation. Being in a slightly squatted position translates to turning while on a board. Keep your arms straight out to the sides, rotating from your core. Turn as far as you can and looking over your shoulder. *Modification: perform without the band or try holding the band in front of your chest with both hands.



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

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