Surfing can be extremely taxing on the body. Maybe more important that your overall strength and surfing ability is your flexibility and breath control.
Surfers, and every really, can benefit immensely from yoga, stretching, and breath training.
The beauty of it is, you can do it almost anywhere at anytime – you don’t need a gym, a class, or any special equipment. And just a little bit each day or whenever you can find the time is going to help you out.
Yoga & Stretching for Surfing
I think of yoga and stretching being fairly synonymous, with yoga having a more deliberate connection to your breathing and awareness.
If you’re unfamiliar with yoga, it may help to attend a few classes or find some guided videos.
That said, you don’t need to go to classes to do yoga. You don’t even need to follow a specific routine.
To benefit from yoga as a surfer, here are some recommendations:
- Find some time each day or throughout the day where you can clear your head, find a space, and do some stretching.
- Get familiar with a few different types of yoga poses and stretches to incorporate into your routine.
- Some areas you may want to hone in on are your lower back, your spine, your knees, and your shoulders.
- Calm your breathing and match your breath with your movements.
- Hold the stretches for as long as you need to and focus on areas that may feel extra sore or weak.
- Mix it up and do whatever feels right.
Just like surfing, there’s really no right way to do yoga. Obviously you don’t want to do something that’s causing pain or do something with poor form, but in general you can just do what your body calls for.
Stretching regularly and doing yoga can greatly benefit your surfing:
- You’ll avoid injury and soreness.
- You’ll become stronger.
- Your balance will improve.
- Your breathing will improve.
- You can reduce your stress and increase your self-awareness and self-control.
Improving Your Breathing and Holding Your Breath
Yoga will certainly help with your breathing and breath control. Staying calm and control your breathing in the water is important.
You can also improve your breathing and lung capacity with exercise. Cardio and endurance training are great ways to train your body to use oxygen more efficiently – you’ll be able to surf longer without getting fatigued and you’ll be able to hold your breath longer and stay calm if you’re getting held down.
Some ways to improve your lung capacity for surfing include:
- Cardio exercises like swimming, running, biking, or rowing.
- Hypoxic swimming sets where you do laps (either underwater or above water) while holding or minimizing the breaths you take.