The 9 Best Strength Training Exercises For Surfers

Moves that'll help you hang ten.

Originally Published: 
The best strength training exercises for surfers, according to fitness pros.


Surfing requires full-body strength to paddle past the breakers, stand up on your board, and balance on a wave. That’s why it helps to do strength training exercises back on land 3 to 4 times a week, says chiropractor Dr. Scott Vatcher. Here, 9 moves that’ll help you hang ten.


Banded Side Step

This move will help you shred your next wave, Vatcher says.

- Place a resistance band above your knees.

- Bend knees slightly.

- Keep chest high as you take a step sideways.

- Keep knees apart as you continue to step laterally.

- Do 3 sets of 8 in each direction.



Vatcher says this exercise will help you gain strength and confidence on your board.

- Lie on your stomach, arms stretched overhead.

- Engage core, squeeze bum, raise shoulders off ground.

- Lift legs off ground and hold.

- Lower.

- Repeat 10x.


Bosu Squat Press

Strong triceps help you paddle while leg strength makes it easier to pop up on your board, says trainer Sheena Rubino.

- Stand on flat side of Bosu ball.

- Dumbbells on shoulders, lower to squat.

- Press up, arms overhead to military press.

- Lower arms, do 10x.



Burpees should be a go-to move for anyone who wants to try surfing, Rubino adds.

- Start in a squat.

- Jump up and land back in squat.

- Place hands on ground.

- Kick legs back to plank.

- Keep core tight, do a push-up.

- Jump back up to starting position.

- Repeat 10x.


Swiss Ball Plank Squeeze

Trainer Soji James says this move targets your pecs and abs so you can handle the instability of a surfboard.

- Place hands on both sides of a stability ball.

- Hold a high plank.

- Tighten abs.

- Squeeze ball 30 times.

- Repeat 4x.


Bulgarian Split Squats

Unilateral exercises like this can improve your balance, says trainer Corey Lewis.

- Stand in front of a bench or couch.

- Extend left leg back, rest toes on bench.

- Bend both knees, lower into squat.

- Raise up to start.

- Repeat 8x per leg, 2 sets.



Trainer Tyler Read says push-ups will improve your core stability and mimic the motion of standing up on a surfboard.

- Get into a push-up position, knees down if needed.

- Lower your body towards ground.

- Push back up.

- Do as many reps as you can to build endurance.


Battle Ropes

Fitness pro Aaron Guyett suggests this core-strengthening move to help you steer while surfing.

- Grab battle ropes in both hands.

- Engage abs.

- Alternate arms to create “waves” down the rope.

- Slowly walk to anchor point and back.

- Repeat 30 seconds, 3x.


Gate Opener

Guyett also recommends this exercise to strengthen your feet and improve balance.

- Balance on one foot.

- Lift other knee into air as high as possible.

- Rotate this knee counter-clockwise for one minute.

- Rest, then switch legs.

- Repeat for 3 rounds.

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