5 functional fitness exercises for surfers


Surfer cathing a wave

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One way to get better at surfing is to simply surf more. Sometimes, however, this may not be an available option (weather, schedule, etc.). When this occurs, you’ll have to look towards the dry land to participate in a training program that incorporates movements that can translate into surfing. The following exercises by the WeckMethod BOSU Elite and RMT Club are designed to boost functional strength and increase endurance to assist in making you a stronger and more fluid surfer.

1. Symmetry training with Laird Hamilton

When surfing, the entire body needs to be synchronized - the right and left side working in harmony with the upper and lower part of the body. Laird Hamilton suggests in a Men’s Journal article, to find and correct the imbalances in your body by performing asymmetry movements that force your body to strengthen its stability. One of the exercises he mentions is the One-Legged Shoulder Press – “with a dumbbell in one hand, and the opposite leg lifted by bending the knee, press the dumbbell up to full extension, then lower it down to your shoulder.”

2. Rotational movement training – Bailer with RMT Club

Surfing requires dynamic multi-planar movements that are able to integrate multiple muscle groups. Adding in range of motion and coordination exercises can be a great way to mimic the fluidity that surfing provides. Start with the RMT Club towards the lower side of right foot and then swing club up toward left shoulder. This exercise will cross over all three planes of motion while strengthening multiple muscles groups in the process. *If you don’t have an RMT Club, substitute it with a medicine ball and perform the same motion.

3. Balance – Corbing with Danny Weiland

Corbing focuses on the importance of functional movement training by engaging bodies to respond effectively in changing environments. Exercises within the Corbing training system will enhance the body awareness and concentration skill levels needed to remain stable and balanced on a surf board. These skill sets also assists in developing quicker reaction times while surfing.

4. Standing – Drop & Pop with WeckMethod BOSU Elite

The surfing motion from laying on the board to standing is called the pop-up. This is one of the most important movements in the sport. Without proper execution you can fumble off the board or miss an opportunity to catch a wave. The Drop & Pop takes you from a prone plank position to an upright stance. The functionality of the movement transfers easily to performance in the water - especially when you land with one foot forward. *Skip ahead to 1:20 on the video below for an advanced version of the exercise.

5. Core Training - Seesaw with WeckMethod BOSU Elite

The “core,” often mistaken as just the abdominal muscles, also involves the hips and lower back. When improved surfing is your goal, core training should focus on strengthening the core muscles to help distribute power throughout the body while maintaining stability. The Seesaw with WeckMethod BOSU Elite aligns the body in a way that braces the core and integrates spinal extension to encourage balance and coordination throughout the entire body. Practice regulating tension with this exercise.


These are a few movements used to prepare your body for the physical demands that surfing requires. Visit the WeckMethod BOSU Elite and RMT Club video pages for more exercises to help round out your training program.