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Cue The Beach Boys, get the sex wax, load up the boards, and jump in the VW Surf Bus because you’re about to have the most epic surf season of them all. Surfing is one of those sports where the more you practice the craft itself, the better at it you get. “Well no duh… that’s how everything is, fool,” you’re probably thinking. So instead of rewriting that statement about practicing, I’m just going to clarify it. What I mean is that surfing is the epitome of a skill sport. You can spend countless hours in the gym working out, but if you don’t have the skill to surf, you’re just SOL. This is a little contrary to other sports, such as soccer, which I feel more than equipped to discuss given my long career through Division 1 Collegiate Soccer. Many o’ women have played soccer, at a high level mind you, that lack skill but are just ginormous, strong, and fast as hell. Although typically the more you progress in soccer, or any sport, the more skill you need to have, however, tell that to some of the college teams we played against who had Amazonian women running through you like a semi truck over a speed bump. Anyways, I digress. 

Surfing is much different than those sports. Plain and simple, you need some sort of surfing skill in order to actually surf. It’s not like going to shoot the basketball around, playing horse with your homies, or taking trick shots and throwing the ball up hoping it goes in…. If you play the horse equivalent of surfing, the only horse you’re gonna be is a seahorse. So skill is a required element to surf because of the nature of the sport. An important thing to note though is that when it comes to sports, gym training doesn’t make you phenomenal at the sport. Rather, it’s a tool to enhance your ability and performance to make you into the most well rounded, best version of the athlete by maximizing the qualities needed in order to excel at said sport. So that whole dialogue before this wasn’t to turn you away from gym training for surfing. Damn, that would make me the world’s worst trainer. The point was to show you that the goal of training is making your body more adapted and enhanced to thrive under the conditions you are in, which in this case, is water.   

Right about now, and if you’ve read my other articles, you’re not surprised that you have this thought, but you are probably wondering why I go off on rants, and can I just get to the surf workout already? Well now that you asked, I must answer. Why do I go off on rants? That’s simple… because I can. Onto number two, can we get to the surf workout already? No. And that’s because I have more rants I want to rant about. 

Have you ever wondered why sweat is pronounced “/swet/,” but if you break down the word, it’s “sw/eat.” And last time I checked, “eat” is pronounced “eeet.” So with that logic, shouldn’t “sweat” be pronounced “sw/eeet”? Okay, now my rants are over. Let’s continue. 

Surfing is one of my favorite things to do. There’s no feeling like chillin in the ocean, riding fast on top of waves, only to aggressively wipe out. All jokes aside, wiping out isn’t really that bad, at least not right off the shore where I surf. If I was good enough to surf at Pipeline, I think I’d be whistling a different tune about wiping out… that’s if I even survived a Pipeline wipe out. Ahh death… what a way to transition over to our training goals lol 

Essentially, the whole point of surfing is to catch gnarly waves, do awesome shit, and not wipe out. So this workout here is designed to help you do just that. We’re focusing on initiating movement through the hips (this is extremely important for turning and the pop up), leg power (for turning and kicking to catch a wave), strengthening the back muscles and shoulders (for paddling), stability, balance, and core strength. All of these elements come into play at different and concurrent times when we surf, so it’s important to make sure all aspects are being hit. 

For more elite surfers, you can break down your training into block phases. For example, target strength and endurance months before the surf season begins, then switch your focus more to higher intensity sessions targeting short term anaerobic endurance, strength endurance, and finishing with power right before the start of surf season. This will allow you to specialize your training to focus on a single parameter at a time, which will ultimately lead you to maximal performance, peaking right when the season begins. However, that method is for elite surfers who take it very seriously. This workout below is more for those people who just enjoy surfing and want to train in order to prepare their body and make the aspects of surfing a little easier (e.g. paddling, kicking, balance, etc.)

So without any further ado, here’s the breakdown of the workout:

Prep: Mobilization and activation of hips, shoulders, and ankles (2 sets)

a) I to T Shoulder Exercise (x10 reps)

b) Shoulder External Rotation into Overhead Press (x10 ea.)

c) Hip Switches (x20)

d) Wall Knee Drives (x10 ea.)

Prep exercises demonstrated

Group 1: 3 sets

1A) Bosu Ball Box Jump (x4)

1B) MB Shot Put (x2 ea.)

1C) Single Leg Banded Lateral Jumps (x8 ea.)

Group 1 exercises

Group 2: 4 sets

2A) Barbell Back Squat (x4) 


2A) Goblet Squat Iso (x 20 sec)

2B) Banded Broad Jumps (x3)

* for 2A, you can either do a Barbell Back Squat or a Goblet Squat Iso*

Group 2 Exercises

Group 3: 3 sets

3A) Banded Explosive Pull Up (x6)


3A) Explosive Straight Arm Pulldown (x8)

3B) Push Ups w/ Knee to Elbow (x20)

Group 3 Exercises

Group 4: 3 sets

4A) Incline Burpee w/ 90º Rotation (x10 total) 

4B) Pallof Press (staggered stance) (x10 ea.)

4C) Side Plank w/ Row (x15 rows ea.)

Group 4 Exercises

As I stated earlier, this workout is designed to get your body prepared for the surf season and keep you in shape. While training for surfing can help expedite the initial adaptation of your muscles for this sport, the best way to be fully equipped is actually surfing itself. Nothing mimics riding a wave quite like riding a wave, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t magically turn into Mick Fanning out there. But with PowerLux Fitness’ training programs, we can get you somewhere close.  

Make sure you’re checking out our instagram, @powerlux_fitness, and our YouTube Channel for more athletic workouts and ways to train like an athlete for the everyday person! If you’re interested in working with PowerLux Fitness, if you want programming, training, or a consultant, don’t hesitate to reach out! We have top of the line trainers with experience training professional athletes ready to help you!

Until next time, stay rad ??

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