Perfect Posture for Better Surfing

If you want to surf better, train. Pros give training top priority because their livelihood depends on it. And for the everyday surfer who wants to sharpen his surfing skills, training is equally important. All surfers need good training plans and good advice; homework, if you will, for the weekend warrior types. This is where Surf Stronger can help.

This Surf Stronger Fit Tip takes the fitness-focused surfer back to a fundamental piece of training: posture. For all athletes--especially surfers--good posture must be maintained throughout our basic movement patterns: squatting, lunging, rotating, pushing, and pulling. Before diving into more exercises, let's get back to basics. First, check yourself out (literally). Good posture begins with a quick look in the mirror. Use our checklist below to improve your posture.

Assess
From the front:
Is one shoulder higher than the other?
Is one hip higher than the other?
Do your knees knock or bow out?
Do the arches of your feet collapse in or roll out?
Can you see some muscle definition in your abs?

From the side:
Is your upper back rounded?
Do your shoulders round forward?
Does your chin jut forward?
Do you slouch or stand tall?

What do you feel?
Do you have back pain? Not just the little muscle aches from training and a good weekend surf, but discomfort in your back that limits your performance?
Do you have poor flexibility? (Can you do a deep squat or touch your toes without straining?)
Do you fatigue quickly when paddling? If so, it might be how you position yourself on your board due to inadequate flexibility and lack of back strength.

A quick check along these points is the first step in assessing your posture. If you see or feel something that might be a concern, check with a qualified healthcare professional for a more in-depth assessment. Most posture issues are due to lifestyle and behavior habits with too much sitting and poor movement patterns. Fortunately, with proper awareness and corrective exercise, good posture can be rebuilt and maintained.

Get in line
These tips will help you build strong posture:

Take breaks. To prevent chronically tight muscles, get up from your chair at least every hour and move around.
Sit with good alignment and adjust your work area to minimize stress on your body.
If you work for long hours at a desk, consider a standing work station and consider getting a professional help set you dial it in
When working out, always keep good neutral alignment.
Take a Pilates or Yoga class, or check out one of the latest videos in our store, Foundation Training. These programs emphasize proper alignment with every movement and reinforce strong posture. Posture habits are then carried out in your day-to-day activities.

To improve your posture is to improve your ability to move.

For a range of training and fitness products that can help your overall fitness including posture visit the Surf Stronger store.

Stay healthy, and we'll see you in the water.

Scott Adams, CSCS, CES

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Disclaimer: Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. The suggestions here are in no way intended to substitute for medical advice.