Check in with your surfing La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers for a few moves you can do in the gym to help your time in the water!
The telltale signs of summer are here… Bikinis and boardshorts, sunscreen, trekking too much stuff down to the water, those floppy hats, more sunscreen and maybe a secret margarita at the beach. What San Diego summers are not known for, however, is surfing. Sure, the tourists are lined up at La Jolla shores to do the stingray shuffle, but for the most part, the waves are tiny and the sets are lully… but boy, does that water feel good.
When the waves are small you’ll find your La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers, Maxx Holdreith, Neil Minella, Kevin Root and Bram Wiley building their skills, biding time for the random summer swell and getting ready for the upcoming surf season.
Haven’t had a chance to catch their routines at La Jolla Sports Club? Lucky you, we asked them their favorite surfing workouts, so grab your wax and let’s get started (click on the links below to see examples).
Maxx Holdreith Likes:
Balance Pad Single Leg Deadlift – Helps to establish balance by increasing ankle, knee and hip stability. Add the balance pad for an upgrade.
Plyometric Medicine Ball Push-ups – Mimics the ‘pop-up’ from surfing and helps develop the power to explosively transition from prone to standing
TRX Clean and Press – This explosive full-body movement helps develop power in the shoulders and back, which are required for paddling. It’s also a great move for posterior chain conditioning, a necessity in longer surf sessions
Neil Minella Does:
Kevin Root Digs:
With so many overhead repetitive movements and explosive presses required for surfing, Kevin likes to focus on (p)rehab exercises at La Jolla Sports Club.
Related: The following exercises are great to offset all of the internal rotation we face every day sitting at the computer, driving and binging Netflix!
Half-kneeling Bottoms-up Kettlebell Press – While this looks like a shoulder exercise, it’s actually helping to strengthen the sub-scap, with a sneaky core component. Keep the shoulders and core engaged the entire time and don’t overdo it on the weight.
Side-laying Bottoms-up Kettlebell Rotations – Another great shoulder stabilizer for the scapula and rotator cuff. Start with a lighter weight.
Incline Dumbbell High Row to External Rotation to Press – A burner, but wildly effective shoulder (p)rehab.
Bram Wiley Says:
Hello, this is Bram!
I’ve been surfing for 19 years, and have found the following exercises to be helpful for catching more waves, popping up faster and surfing stronger.
Upper Body: Pull-Ups – In a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, there was a direct correlation found between 1RM (1 rep max) pull-up strength, surf paddle sprint speed AND surf paddle endurance. If you can’t currently do a pull-up, do 2-3 sets of negatives (lowering from the top of the bar under control until your arms are straight). Once you can do 10 reps in a single set, you should be ready for your first body weight pull-up. If you’re a bit overweight, or have a shoulder injury, feel free to skip this one.
2-4 sets of as many reps as you can do with excellent form.
Core: Mountain Climbers – This is my go-to exercise for popping up faster. The quicker you can get your feet under you, the more critical waves you can catch. I’ve also recommended it to two older surfers who’ve undergone hip replacements and they’ve both confirmed it helped them out.
A good goal is 2-4 sets of 100 reps in 45 seconds (the left knee up is 1 rep, then the right knee up would be 2 reps, etc.).
Lower Body: Dumbbell 1-Leg Deadlifts – To be honest, the stronger your legs, the better your surfing is going to be, and you should really be training them from a variety of angles. But many people who want to surf are concerned with their balance, and the 1-leg deadlift is a great exercise for that purpose. Make sure you bend your knee, drive your butt back and keep your lower back neutral (no rounding!!). Don’t be worried about only going a few inches down when you start out. As your balance improves, you may be able to make it all the way to the floor.
I like 2-4 sets of 10 reps each leg.
Questions on form in the gym or the water, be sure to ask your surfing La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers.
Be safe out there, and keep enjoying all that San Diego summers have to offer!
// Your friends at La Jolla Sports Club