3 rounds of:
1. Pop-up Push ups, 10 reps
2. Single Leg Squats, 5 ea side
3. Chin-ups, 10 reps
4. Surf Squats Under Low Bar, 20 reps
5. Deep Dips, 10 reps
6. 30 Sec rest, deep breathing, 5 sec in – 5 sec out
YES. When Dancers aren’t dancing they are learning or practicing to improve their movement so next time they dance they can dance more freely. Dancers practice efficient movement and aspects of choreography on a daily basis in preparation for the next dance. Do you practice the movements of surfing on a daily basis when the surf is flat?
Just as a musician spends time getting to know an instrument and music theory (scales etc) the dancer spends time exploring their body, practicing subtle movements, stretching, rehab exercises, yoga classes, pilates, gymnastics. Every minute seems to be focused on getting to know their bodies better so that they can express themselves freely, removing the physical limitations of the body so pure self-expression can be experienced. Learning how nutrition and lifestyle affects their health.
In the past 5 years or so we have seen pro surfers hire personal trainers and coaches, they speak of good nutrition and chiropractors etc. The surfing world is catching up to other sports in the sense that surfers are seen as ‘athletes’ as well as surfers. Sadly we see surfers adopting the kind of exercises you tend to see contact sport athletes and sprinters doing. Olympic lifting exercises and gym or body building exercise to increase ‘horsepower’, and these workouts have their place, but only for the elite. Good surfing is less about muscular body that capable of pure strength and speed like we see with sprinters and contact sports athletes. It is more like dancing and martial arts - grace - flow – timing – body awareness – movement efficiency – skill building drills; these give birth to power and speed. Only when you can move through full range of motion with awareness and flow should you consider ‘horsepower’. And for most surfers this is the case.
The martial arts and dance world is lot older than surfing and other professional sports so it makes sense that as surfers we look at them as well as the latest technologies in athletic ‘gym based’ performance strategies.
In MMA, talented multi disciplinary martial artists adding strength and conditioning training into the mix can produce absolutes beasts in the ring. However I doubt they could lay a finger on the likes of Bruce Lee – whose famous motto is ‘move like water’. Bruce always had flow and grace in mind when training/practicing. He understood that controlled smooth and efficient movement precedes fast accurate and powerful movement. In surfing we could compare Laird Hamilton with Kelly Slater, Laird is a big wave specialist and all-round waterman. He does a lot of strength training in between big swells to keep strong and resilient (big wave surfing is a contact sport).In the gym and pound for pound laird is probably stronger, but put Kelly vs Laird in 4-6ft perfection and Kelly will outshine in all areas, speed – power – flow.
If your more concerned with improving your grace, your range of motion, body awareness etc to become a fluid fast and agile surfer then go easy on the body building and weightlifting stuff.
Do bodyweight drills, try Yoga, Pilates, Dance, gymnastics, athletics or learn a Martial Art. Or if you are in NYC and resonate with this, then get in touch
Learn how to surf before you even get wet. With dry-land surf lessons we teach you the basic movement patterns of surfing. Building the mobility, strength and balance you need to be able to catch your first wave and stand up. Even advanced surfers only spend 3-5% of their time in the water actually surfing a wave. This is both part of surfings allure and mystery, but also explains why it takes so long to learn. Cut down your learning time by building the correct movement patterns on dry land.
One to one personal lessons, and group lessons are available starting February 2014 in New York and Brooklyn.
Please email – firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and bookings.
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your surfing outside of the water is develop a deep squat. Being able to get low and stay balanced is key to tube riding and is needed as a ‘go to’ position to prevent falls and recover from committed turns. The deep squat requires ample hip knee and ankle mobility, it decompresses the lower spine and improve digestion. Spend some time in the deep squat every day. Put the laptop on the coffee table and sit deep instead of slouching in your chair. All surfers should be able to do a deep squat. Here is a great vid and an article with some drills on how to improve yours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbozu0DPcYI&feature=youtu.be http://www.barefootperformanceacademy.com/downloads/TheSquat12.pdf
Surfers who care about their health do not want to be guinea-pigs for genetically modified foods (GMO’s). They gathered in numbers in Hawaii today:
Support local organic farmers!
The less toxic your body is, the healthier you are. The healthier you are, the faster and more efficient your nervous system works. Health is paramount to optimal performance and consistency.
The most obvious toxins are drugs, alcohol, pesticides, heavy metals and household chemicals. So limiting alcohol consumption, eating organic foods and switching to plant based household cleaners can greatly reduce your overall ‘toxic load’. But most of your toxins come from processed foods, especially refined carbs and oils.
Here is a link to an article by Chris Kresser that looks at this concept in more depth.
Having practiced a controlled ‘sit – stand squat’ (as described here in part 1) maintaining awareness of posture, movement and breathing, we now progress the movement. If you haven’t done so, please read part 1 as it describes the most basic squat in detail, and tips that apply to all forms of squatting.
Lets start by describing the ‘ideal’ wall squat; facing the wall, toes touching the wall, feet no wider than shoulder width and pointing straight ahead (see pic 1). Knees and nose are NOT to touch the wall, finger tips can for awareness, keeping feet flat perform a deep squat. Keep focused on smooth, controlled and balanced movement. Often the most challenging part of the movement is moving through the midway point when hips are at knee height (see pic 2), make sure you keep heels down and knees at feet width here. Breathe out as you go down and go as low as you can (see pic 3), breathe in as you come up. Keep the movement slow. 10 reps.
It is a very challenging exercise for most, but is easily modified for anyone. Simply stand further away (1 foot max), point toes out at 40 degrees and widen stance. Find a distance/position that is do-able, yet challenging. This will be your start point and from here you can slowly progress closer each week.
See Vid here:
Pause any surf video at any point and the surfer could be said to be in one of many ‘squat’ positions, squatting is a fundamental part of surfing. It is also a fundamental part of general health, especially hip/pelvic/lower back function, (use it or lose it).
In this article/video series we explore the squat in-depth. We will start with the most simple and common form of squatting, then progress all the way to ‘surf squats’ – surf squat variations and some more advanced single leg work as well.
The first few articles/videos in the squat series may be too basic for you and you may be tempted to skip the first few and get into the challenging stuff, but I urge you to watch all to get a more overall understanding of the movement.
We will begin with becoming aware of how you currently squat the most (sit-stand), and through self-awareness look to improve control and efficiency. We all squat many times per day, each time we sit or stand we are doing a partial squat. Most of us will tend to hover over a chair or couch and fall to sit, then we use momentum and our arms to stand.
keep ‘awareness, posture, control and efficiency’ in mind as you practice flowing from standing to sitting, and sitting to standing.
Align yourself squarely in front of the chair, become aware of your standing posture. Think tall spine, relaxed shoulders and bodyweight distributed evenly and symmetrically through feet (see Fig 1). Maintain awareness of bodyweight distribution and posture as you slowly sit into the chair (breath out). As your sit bones touch (see Fig 2) maintain control and awareness as you slowly and silently transfer the weight from your feet to your butt (breathing out). Find a comfortable relaxed upright posture, you have just sat down with grace and poise. (see Fig 3)
Sit upright with a tall relaxed posture, keeping an upright posture tilt forward from the hips and begin to slowly transfer the weight from your sit bones to the centre of you feet(breathing out). Maintain posture and awareness as you slowly stand with a graceful weightlessness (breathing in).
If you find coordinating the breathing difficult then work on awareness and control before integrating the breathing.
Awareness and integration of: Movement, Posture and Breathing is important, and will be a running theme throughout all practice.
For some this will be a challenge and can be done as an exercise: Perform 10 reps taking 10 sec to do each (5 sec down 5 sec up). Others may find this very easy, if so go straight to part 2, but practice what you learnt here each time you sit.
See video HERE
Part 2 soon