Surf Exercises That Will Improve Your Paddling and Posture

You want to become more confident and boost your performance in the ocean? As surfers, we spend most of our time paddling in the water. Let’s talk about exercises that will improve your paddling, posture, and overall surf performance to gain more energy and strength for the best surf sessions and create unforgettable moments. So, before you get ready for your upcoming surf session, dive into this article first!

Dynamic warm-up Routine

When we’re eye to eye with the ocean, and it’s calling for us, it’s hard not to dive in straight away, but your body will thank you later for having a bit more patience and having a dynamic warm-up before you get in the water. Our goal is to have peak performance and be able to surf as long as possible, right? A dynamic warm-up will prevent us from having injuries and prepare the body to perform optimally. Anyone can do it; it involves moving your body through active movements such as; arm swings, arm circles, leg swings, hip circles, shoulder circles, torso twists, and ankle circles, doing each one about 8-12 times.

Engaging in a meditation session prior to hitting the waves for a surf session

Its purpose is to prepare our body and mind for the activity. A dynamic warm-up helps increase blood flow to the muscles, improves mobility, and activates stabilizing muscles, reducing the risk of injuries. It increases your body’s ability to paddle faster, pop up quicker, and maneuver your board with speed and power.

It also serves as mental preparation for the surfing session ahead. It helps surfers focus their attention and raises their level of alertness and readiness for performance. It gets you into the right mindset for optimal performance.

Paddle power Push-ups

Men usually love them when women tend to run away from them, but you really shouldn’t! It is one of the most versatile surf exercises with various purposes. Push-ups can benefit your torso and improve knee and hip stability. There are lots of good benefits for shoulder stability, strength, and power development. Even posture correction is possible, but only if you are doing it properly! So don’t drop your belly or your head; keep your body tense and straight. This exercise is excellent for surfers’ training as it helps build the necessary strength and power for effective paddling, which is crucial for catching waves and having as much fun as possible in the water!

Plank Variations

We all know ‘The traditional plank’ when a minute feels like forever (For those who don’t know this exercise, you begin in a push-up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels, and stay like this for a designated amount of time). We’ve already mentioned the traditional plank, but there are many variations, such as the Side plank, Plank with Arm/Leg lifts, Plank with knee drives, Plank with shoulder taps, Stability ball plank, and Plank with rotation.

Adding these plank variations into your workout routine can help improve core strength, and stability, which are essential for maintaining proper posture and balance while surfing. So, next time you’re struggling through this exercise, think about the many benefits it offers: improving core strength, posture, and stability, and reducing the risk of back pain. If you can hold a plank for 2 minutes, you’ll notice improved balance on your board!

Superman Lifts

Superman lift is a floor exercise that involves lifting your arms and legs off the ground while keeping tension to your core. Now, think of the floor as your surfboard; you’ll recognize that this is the exact posture we hold while paddling—it’s our general surf posture.

Doing this exercise will strengthen the muscles of the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, all crucial for maintaining stability and control on the surfboard. By strengthening these muscles, surfers can improve their ability to arch their back and lift their torso while riding waves, helping them maintain proper body position and maneuverability.

Additionally, the Superman lift can help fix any muscle imbalances that may develop due to paddling and surfing, reducing the risk of injury and improving overall performance in the water.

Balance and stability Exercises

What is balance training? It’s the ability to maintain your center of gravity over a surface, and in our case, a surfboard is a moving surface. The purpose of stability and balance training is to be able to regain your stability after you almost lose it. A surfboard at speed is pretty stable, so especially when doing maneuvers we need to maintain our balance and stability.

Our sight helps us to keep balance, but what if we don’t have that? What if water sprays into our eyes due to the presence of the wind? We need to be able to rely on our kinesthetic awareness and motor patterns to navigate through more challenging conditions, and that’s why this balance training is important! Let’s list some of the main and well-known balance and stability exercises:

Surfers are stretching and meditating before hitting the waves


Additionally, practicing on a slackline can improve overall coordination and reaction time, which are beneficial skills for surfing or in daily life. It does wonders for your kinesthetic awareness of your body!

The good old basic ‘single-leg deadlifts’, it strengthen the muscles involved in balance, stability, and core control are essential for stability on a surfboard.


Not only is this a very fun way to practice, but it’s also good for your balance and helps your body memorize the surf movement. Start working on rotation. How your eyes, head, shoulders, and hands work together and influence your surf performance.

Yoga and Pilates:

Both yoga and pilates focus on core strength, flexibility, and balance, making them excellent exercises for surfing.

Surf-Flow training:

It’s a surfing workout where you mimic the movements you make while riding waves by practicing them on land. It will improve your balance, rotation, and motor patterns.

This kind of training might seem stupid, but it is very beneficial. Our body and brain must memorize these movements like an automatic pilot. We already have so much to pay attention to while surfing; doing these movements on land will help our bodies memorize them and will naturally evolve your maneuvers.

Balance board:

The design of a surf balance board is simple yet effective. The roller or cushion underneath the board creates an unstable surface, forcing your muscles to keep you balanced. You will improve your balance, and strengthen your core and stabilizer muscles, in a very fun way!

Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance band exercises are the perfect way to integrate daily surf workouts. By minimizing your training program and doing a little every day, it becomes a regular part of your daily routine, which makes it easier to find motivation. You will evolve your surfing in no time!

Resistance band exercises can be highly beneficial for surfers as they help to strengthen key muscles used in surfing, such as the core, shoulders, back, and legs, while also improving stability and flexibility.

Some resistance band exercises specifically for surfers: Standing Row, Lateral Band Walk, Surfer Squats, Pallof Press, Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift, and Rotational Twists

Although it’s recommended to watch online videos for this kind of workout to ensure you have the correct posture while doing these exercises.


Paddle fitness exercises:


You will never regret warming up or working out. Start doing this, and your body will only crave more. Not only will this kind of surf workout prepare your body and mind for your upcoming session and improve your surf performance, but it will also boost your mood and self-esteem. Overall, you’ll be a happier person! When the rest day (a day without working out) becomes the hardest day, you’ve made it!

Use these surf warm-up exercises at Hollow Tree’s Resort and it will improve your paddling, your surf technique, and your overall experience! so you can feel stronger and more confident in the water.

Related read:

Surfing Stretches Prepare Your Body To Surf, How Wind Can Make or Break Your Surf