Nothing ruins a surf vacation like constantly wiping out and never catching the waves you want. It highlights a weakness on your part. The chances are it's either your muscle power or balance which is letting you down. Believe it or not yoga can really help you develop your power and maintain your balance when you explode into your standing position.
Here are four cool yoga poses you can use to incorporate into your daily fitness regime for improving your surf skills.
Using just your arms, extend them in front of you and cross one arm over the other. Bend the elbows and test the arm on top in the crook of the one below. Press your palms together and lift your elbows until you feel a stretch. Try to hold it for about 30 seconds, if you can.
This stretches the upper back and shoulders, which will enhance your ability to paddle hard on windy days.
Stand with your feet wide enough so you can squat down comfortably. If it hurts your knees, put something under you to support them. Place a towel under your heels if you can't put them flat on the floor. Pretend like you're making a prayer and press both elbows into your thighs. This should open the chest and hips.
Over time, this strengthens the hips and stops them from cramping whilst getting into your standing position.
3. Four-Limbed Staff
On your surf vacation, you might find yourself struggling to pop up from your board after a hard day. This is something most surfers struggle with at some point. Perform this move by getting into a plank position and line up your wrists with your chest. Lower your body until it's hovering over the floor. Keep the back flat and tuck your elbows in. This engages the abdominals.
Aim to hover for about 30 seconds. The four-limbed staff works your core, back, and triceps.
The locust is something any surf camp or yoga retreat will always teach you. The locust strengthens your spine and gluteus, as well as the backs of the limbs. There's also some stretching for the shoulders and the chest. Since much of your strength in surfing comes from your back muscles, consider this an essential part of your regime.
Do it by lying on your belly with your palms on the floor. Place your palms next to your chest and lift your legs, upper torso, and head off the floor. Don't grip your buttocks during this exercise. Your hands should act to keep your balance not to lift your body up. The weight should be on your pelvis, ribs, and stomach. Hold it for about 30 seconds.
Your surf school will always recommend yoga. Many of your instructors also perform yoga in their spare time. A lot of surfers find yoga more effective than a standard workout in the gym. These poses don't take long to learn and anyone in a reasonable state of health can manage them.