Stay Flexible, Surf Better, & Prevent Injuries
As we have onshore's for the foreseeable future, taking a few minutes to stretch will help warm-up your muscles, increase range of motion, and promote flexibility, which can help prevent injury.
The following simple stretches will help keep you limber and flexible, which potentially even improves your surfing. Spend about ~30 - 60 seconds on each stretch prior to paddling out.
1. Cobra Pose - Increases flexibility of the spine while also opening up the shoulders and stretching the chest and abdomen. Will help with getting to your feet more smoothly.
Lie on your front with your legs together, placing your hands alongside your body just below your shoulders.
Keeping your elbows close to your sides, press into the ground through your palms to lift your head and chest off the ground, keeping your neck in line with your spine.
To release, slowly lower your chest and head to the floor.
2. 90/90 Hip Stretch - Helps increase hip mobility, which will allow you to pop up more quickly and get your legs positioned more easily for turns and cutbacks.
sit on the ground and place your right leg out in front of you bent at a 90-degree angle, with your shin parallel to your forward-facing hips (if you’ve taken a yoga class, think Half Pigeon pose).
Now, position your left leg behind you, also bent at the same angle. Slowly lower your chest toward your front leg until you feel a deep stretch, and hold for 20 to 60 seconds.
Reverse legs and repeat.
3. Arm Circles - The shoulder muscles are constantly being pulled forward while paddling, so it’s important to activate this area before paddling out.
Stand with your legs hip-width apart and stretch your arms out straight at shoulder height.
Start by doing five small circles and then five larger ones.
Reverse direction and repeat.
4. Ankle Rolls - Ensuring the ankle joint and muscle are strong and flexible is essential for a good session. Tight ankles could put added pressure on your knees, which could result in an injury.
Place one foot a few inches in front of you for balance.
Lift your back foot off the ground, point your toe down and gently rotate your ankle 10 times clockwise and then 10 times counterclockwise.
Switch legs and repeat.
5. Lunge w/ Rotation - The forward lunge will work to stretch your hip flexors, activate your core and strengthen the muscles in your ankles. This exercise can help simulate & improve your turns.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward.
Slowly lower your body into a lunge until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee stays directly over your ankle.
Remain in the lunge position and gently rotate your torso toward the forward leg. Hold for a moment and then return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise 10 times on each side.
6. Knee-to-Wall Dorsiflexion - To assessing your progress on this movement, keep in mind that you want the angle of the knee to reach approximately 45 degrees for normal dorsiflexion.
Standing in front of a wall with one foot forward and the other foot back, point the toes forward while being sure the bottoms of both feet remain planted firmly on the ground.
Move the forward foot so that it’s approximately four inches from the wall. While maintaining the foot’s connection with the ground, bend the knee forward and see if you can get it to touch the wall
7. Figure-Four Hip Opener - The goal here is to try to get the knee of that leg to touch the ground, which will help open up the hip.
Start by laying down flat on your back and making sure each point of connection is firmly grounded.
Cross one leg up and over the other, so that the ankle of the top leg rests just above the knee (making the shape of a four with the legs).
While maintaining that solid connection to the ground, let the upper (crossed) leg fall outward.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them ASAP.