The Surfer's Guide to Summer Fitness

Pro surfing’s go-to trainer Paul Hiniker lays down 10 steps to get your body ready for anything this summer

   Photo: EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock

Laird Hamilton. Kelly Slater. Joel Parkinson. Don’t let the chill surfer vibe fool you: these guys didn’t get their killer beach bodies from charging waves alone. They also work hard on land. 

“There’s not anyone on a professional level who isn’t involved in some type of training regimen,” says Encinitas, California-based trainer Paul Hiniker, who sculpts athletes for Oakley, Rip Curl, Reef, and Cali’s Finest, and has worked with pro surfers Taylor Knox, Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz, and Julian Wilson, to name a few.

The key to a surfer’s success, Hiniker says, is performing exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once to develop balance, stability, flexibility, and muscle endurance. “Surfers don’t operate in just a sagittal plane like runners,” he says. “They have to make sure their bodies are worked overall because they’ve got a wave that’s moving in one direction, a board that’s moving in 20 directions, and there’s a lot of stress that gets put on the joints.”

The result of all that dry-land bomb-proofing: a body prepared to handle whatever the ocean throws at it.

Want to get ready for anything summer can throw at you? Hiniker’s 10-step circuit workout, below, featuring pro surfer Taylor Knox, will get you there. Do it three to four times a week for at least two weeks before you hit the beach to see results.

What you’ll need: A Swiss ball

Beginners can do the circuit one to two times through, while advanced athletes should do it six to 10 times.

1. Plank Roll
2. Contralateral Superman
3. Press and Pike
4. Forward Lunge with Trunk Rotation
5. Supine Lateral Ball Roll
6. Scorpion
7. Windmill
8. Glute Raise-Hamstring Curl
9. Side Plank with External Rotation
10. Russian Twist

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