Five Surf Training Exercises to Implement into your Fitness Routine

For some surfers, it is hard to get to the ocean every day to surf. Most people work all day, or go to school and just don’t have the time to get to the beach. So, we’ve teamed up with Surf Training Factory to share five surf training exercises that will not only help you improve your surfing, but also keep your body in surfing shape when not on the water.

Surfing is a very physical sport and requires your body to move a certain way. Surfing requires strength, power, fluidity, endurance, speed and flow all at once. Now of course, there is more to it, but that is the basics of it. It is a fun sport, and most avid surfers want to progress in the sport.

 As you get older and improve in surfing ability, you will no longer stay in shape by surfing alone. Most surfers need to add some training exercises to their daily routines. Staying in top surfing shape is quite easy if you are doing the right exercises.

Below are some of our fundamental surf training exercises that will condition your body to have a better athletic capacity for surfing. Understand that no single exercise alone will automatically make you a better surfer, but all of them combined together as a routine and program will help you get in better shape for surfing and will help you improve your surfing skills.


Front Squats

The squat is a very crucial movement for surfing. Think about it….when you pop up, when you crouch for a bottom turn, when you land a turn, or when you do a rail to rail turns, or any turns, really, you need strong lower body muscles that allow you to move in a full range of motion. You are also required to have healthy joints and need to produce and absorb force at all times. 

A front squat is a a normal squat with load added to the front of your body. It is crucial to work out your upper back and gluteal muscles for efficient paddling techniques and to have a healthy back. When squatting proficiently, you will be developing a stronger lower body that moves well through all joint complexes.

Out of the water front squats will help your ankle, knee, hip, and spine mobility. Force absorption and production, as well as joint control, alignment, and strength, are all aspects of long-term surfing and athleticism. Start with a lighter front squat load, and then add weight as you feel comfortable. It’s important to ensure good form prior to adding heavy loads to avoid injury.



Most of us are aware of the good old pushup that we all did in gym class. Most people that have trained pushups in gym class have not used the correct technique. When you get the technique cleaned up and do it the right way it changes the game. It engages the core, aligns the spine, and helps build strength in the shoulders. It will become a whole new exercise with amazing benefits.  

Don’t you think having a stronger upper body and core would help you with duck dives, pop ups, and preventing shoulder injuries? We think so! The instability of your body when a hand comes off the ground to an extended position, requires your shoulder girdle and core to carryover the weight. This type of push up  is a great pushup that will carry over to surfing. Most, however, need to start with the basic pushup and slowly work their way up!

First you should build a great understanding of what good alignment looks and feels like. You will slowly start building some basic strength . You can then add more repetitions and rounds. You can also add some load while doing your pushups by elevating your feet or placing a weight on your back. You could improve some power when doing a pushup by increasing the speed when pressing down. There is so many variations available, but keep an eye on that goal to do proper pushups. Pushups are both very challenging and beneficial for surfing.


Look through surf pictures and check how the leg and hip positions are for the surfers in any turn, maneuver, or even barrel positions. The hip joint needs to be able to move very well and it also needs to be very strong. Keep yours healthy so that you don’t have to deal with hip issues later in life.

When surfing, a lunge will  give you hip flexibility for any turn you may want to do. You may also want to progress to a more challenging lunge by adding a jump in between lunges. Jumping lunges help your body to become dynamic and faster. When surfing your legs are placed in a bunch of vectors, angles and are constantly producing and absorbing forces. Hence why it is important to be doing both traditional lunges and jumping lunges.

Mobility Drills

For surfing your joints need to move very well and they need to have a full range of motion. Things such as too much desk time, lack of activity, and injuries decrease joint mobility. Speed, power, strength, flow and mobility are essential for surfing. That is why doing some mobility drills are a surf training exercise. 

Think of mobility as controlled flexibility for your joints and body. Some examples of mobility drills are laying hip rotations, keeling lunges, butterfly stretches, and downward dog (yoga position). 

Turkish Get-Ups


This is a very bizarre looking technique and might look like it has nothing related to surfing. When doing this at a public gym, most will stare at you and wonder what on earth you are doing. The Turkish Get Up has some great benefits for your overall health including: joint control, dynamic positions, mobility, stability of the spine, and dynamic core strength.

A Turkish Get Up starts with the person laying down on their back. You will then take a light weight and hold it in one of your hands. Extend that arm fully towards the sky while staring at that weight. Slowly come up to your free elbow, then hand, then stand up. Keep starting at the weight while doing all of this. Once up go back down to the laying position, you will then switch hands.

This is not meant to be a fast movement. If you can develop strength and precision, add some weight to a heavier load, and work on it often. Now you might still wonder what it has to do with surfing? Think about duck dives, pop ups, and shoulder movements and rotation when turning, it all includes core strength and stability. Turkish Get Ups incorporate all of that. Use this exercise as part of your surf training exercises for either warm up or just as a part of your workout as well. You will develop great strength and mobility from it!

Listed above are just five examples of surf training exercises you can start implementing in your dry land surf training workouts. All of these are great to gain strength, mobility, stability, flexibility, and so much more that are required to improve your surfing level. Surf training exercises will help you paddle stronger, surf longer, improve your surfing skills, and have more fun!

Peter MelhadoComment