Try this trio of dynamic stretches before you surf, afterwards, or anytime you work out. These moves will help you get in the athletic positions you need on the board by releasing tightness in your hips and shoulders, which tend to stiffen up from paddling and surfing.
1. Sidelying Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch
Benefits: Lengthens the muscles of your rotator cuff and helps protect your shoulder from the stress of paddling.
How to do it: Lie on your side with your upper arm on the ground and perpendicular to your body, with your elbow bent 90 degrees. Rotate your palm towards the ground, using your other hand to gently guide it down. Hold at the bottom for two seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat. Perform 8 repetitions with each arm. Click here for video and coaching keys.
2. Lateral Squat (Low)
Benefits: Loosens your groin to allow you to pop up onto your board in a low squatting position.
How to do it: Stand in an athletic position with a wide base, hips back and down, toes straight ahead. Slide your hips from side to side by bending one knee while straightening your other leg. Keep your chest up and hips low as you go. Do 4-5 reps in each direction. Click here for video and coaching keys.
3. Forward Lunge with Rotation
Benefits: Improves mobility and flexibility of your hips, groin, and upper back.
How to do it: Take a large step forward into a lunge, straightening your back leg and placing your hands on the ground for balance. Rotate your torso and raise your left arm up as far as possible behind your right arm. Then reverse the movement, rotating back down and reaching your hand across your body beneath your chest. Do 4-5 reps in each direction. Click here for video and coaching keys.
– Craig Friedman