Surfer exercises: Preparing Body and Mind for Surfing

Specific surfer exercises not only physically prepare the essential muscles used during the practice of the sport but also promote mental skills necessary to face the challenges of the sea with confidence and resilience.

These exercises help surfers develop greater body awareness, which is crucial for improving technique and efficiency of movements in the water. By focusing on the connection between mind and body during the exercises, surfers can learn to listen to the body’s signals, adjust posture and movements according to sea conditions, and optimize their performance on the waves.

Some physical exercises that can help with surfing

Various surfer exercises for the body can be incorporated into a training routine, helping to improve surfing skills and fully enjoy surfing sessions. These exercises include:

Cardiovascular Endurance Training

Surfing requires cardiovascular endurance to paddle against the waves and remain active during extended surf sessions. Running, cycling, swimming, or cardio machine exercises are great options to improve endurance and lung capacity. These activities not only enhance cardiovascular fitness but also build strength and endurance in the muscles used for paddling.

Additionally, cross-training with activities like swimming can simulate the upper body movements involved in paddling, helping surfers develop specific muscle groups essential for powering through waves. Incorporating a variety of cardiovascular exercises into a training routine can improve overall fitness and performance in the water.

Core Exercises

A strong core is essential for maintaining balance and stability on the board. Incorporating exercises like planks, sit-ups, side planks, and leg lifts will help strengthen core muscles, improving the ability to stay firm on the waves. 

Additionally, a strong core enhances overall body control, enabling surfers to execute maneuvers with greater precision and efficiency. By focusing on core strength, surfers can enhance their surfing performance and reduce the risk of injuries caused by instability on the board.

Strength Training is a Fundamental Surfer Exercise

Strengthening major muscles, such as arms, shoulders, back, and legs, is crucial for propelling the board, paddling efficiently, and performing maneuvers accurately. Exercises like push-ups, rows, squats, and lunges are excellent for developing muscle strength.

Kids in a surfing lesson

Balance and Coordination Training

Surfing requires good balance and coordination to stand on the board and perform maneuvers. Practicing balance exercises, such as single-leg stance, and coordination exercises, like lateral jumps and balance ball exercises, can help improve these skills.

Functional Surfer Exercises

Functional exercises that replicate surfing movements, such as rotational squats, rotating push-ups, and dumbbell rows, can help improve the strength, stability, and mobility needed for surfing.

It’s important to always consult a qualified physical education professional or coach to ensure the exercise routine is safe and effective.

Surfer exercises: Mental exercises are also crucial

In addition to physical training, mental exercises play an important role in developing a surfer’s skills. Here are some ways in which mental exercises can be beneficial:

Visualization is a Powerful Surfer Exercise

Visualizing successfully surfing can help increase confidence and improve technique. Before getting into the water, take some time to close the eyes and visualize riding the waves, performing maneuvers with precision, and maintaining perfect balance. This mental practice can help strengthen mind-body connections and prepare for real performance.

Focus and Concentration

Surfing requires a high level of concentration and focus to read the waves, position correctly, and react quickly to changes in sea conditions. Mindfulness exercises and breathing techniques can help calm the mind and increase concentration capacity, allowing you to stay present and focused during surfing sessions.

Surfer lying on the surfboard and relaxing

Emotional Control is an Essencial Surfer Exercise

Surfing can be emotionally challenging, with frequent ups and downs. Practicing emotional control exercises, such as accepting failures and managing fear, can help deal with pressure and anxiety associated with surfing. Learning to stay calm and maintain a positive mindset, even in the face of challenges, is essential for success in surfing.

Resilience and Persistence

Surfing is a sport that requires resilience and persistence. Not always sea conditions are ideal, and not every wave will be perfect. Practicing mental exercises that promote resilience and persistence can help overcome obstacles and stay motivated even in the face of difficulties.


Knowing your own skills, limitations, and goals is essential for improving as a surfer. Practicing self-awareness mental exercises, such as reflecting on past experiences and setting clear goals, can help identify areas for improvement and develop an effective training plan.

In addition to physical and mental exercises, rely on trained and competent instructors to help learn or evolve in surfing.

Pacific Surf School has qualified instructors and a welcoming environment that guarantees enriching and safe learning or technique improvement experiences for surfers of all levels.

Contact Pacific Surf School today to schedule a surf lesson! 

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