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Personal fitness trainer Lee Stanbury gives A1Surf.com users regular advice on how to keep surf fit. Keeping surf fit means you will be able to surf stronger and for longer, plus you are more likely to avoid any surf injuries that may keep you out of the water.

In this article Lee offers advice on some dynamic mobility exercises that are ideal for a warm-up before you surf.
3-4 min light run to warm core body temp
4-5 min light mobility session to increase joint mobility, and the muscles for activity.

The following are examples of basic dynamic mobility exercises, which can be used to form part of a pre-surf session warm up.

Any dynamic movement exercises you incorporate into your warm up program should be appropriate to the movements you would experience in your surfing session.

The aim of any warm up is to increase blood flow the working muscles, this will decrease muscle stiffness, allowing you to paddle out with slightly less effort, get into your first few waves quicker, and reduce the risk of injury.

A light 3-4 min run followed by a short mobility set will increase body temp this improves muscle elasticity, in the cold muscles are far less elastic, this increases the risk of muscle strains and pulls.
During the warm up blood vessels dilate - this reduces the resistance to blood flow and lowers the stress on the heart.

As the body gets warmer there is an improved range of motion [ROM} around the joints, if you’re a competing surfer, then warming the joints and increasing {ROM} will ensure greater performance on your first waves of the heat.

In all exercises use smooth and controlled movements.

The Exercises

Joint rotations

Slowly take all joints though a full range of movement:

Truck and shoulder blades

Shoulder rotations

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
Slowly rotate your right shoulder towards your right ear and backwards do this 6-8 times then repeat on the other side.

Basic arms swings

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
Slowly swing both arms continuously to an overhead position and then forward, down, and backwards, repeat this for around 2-3 minutes.

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Hip circles and twists

Circles - with your hands on your hips and your feet spread wider than your shoulder, start by making circles with your hips in a clockwise direction for around 15/20 repetitions.
Then repeat in a counter clockwise direction.
Twists - extend your arms out to your sides, and slowly twist your torso and hips to the left, slowly shifting your weight on to your left foot.
Then slowly twist your torso to the right while shifting your weight to the right foot, repeat this 10-15 times on each side.

Leg swings

You may need the help of a surfing chum for this one to help maintain a good posture!

With your weight on your left leg, and your right hand on the shoulder of your surfing buddy for balance, swing your right leg forwards and backwards.
Repeat 15/20 times on each leg.

Cross body leg swings

Leaning slightly forwards with one hand on the shoulder of your surfing buddy and your weight on your left leg , slowly swing your leg to the left in front of your body, pointing your toes upwards as you foot reaches its furthest point of motion.
Then swing the right leg back to the right as far as comfortable, again pointing your toes up as your foot reaches its final point of movement.
10/15 reps on each leg.

Once you’ve finished your surf a light static stretching session can be of great benefit, this can aid recovery and in many cases reduce stiffnes.

Lee Stanbury is a personal trainer with over 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry. He is Head Coach to St Ives Swimming Team and is currently personal trainer to top UK surfers Oli Adams and Ben Skinner.

Lee's new book, 'The Complete Guide To Surf Fitness' is released soon.

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For more information visit www.fit2surf.com
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