Simple Exercises To Increase A Surfers Core Strength!

Surfing is a fantastic sport, full of thrills and spills! It's no surprise that the fitter you are the better surfing experiences you will enjoy but what about the quality of your surfing? Are you running out of paddle power? Do you find it difficult balance on your board? Would you like to decrease the risk of injuries? If the answer is yes to any of these, then you will benefit from developing your core strength using an exercise program designed specifically for surfers that adopts a functional approach.

Where are My Core Muscles?

Your core muscles run the length of the trunk and torso. The combination of your pelvis, hips, obliques, back, and abdomen act to stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle giving you stability, strength, movement and flexibility. Your core muscles connect the upper and lower body and serve to transfer the power developed in your hips and legs into your arms and from your arms into your hips and legs.

Why should I increase my Core Strength?

Core strength is simply about having a strong core muscle group. If your core muscles are weak your body will not work as effectively as it could, resulting in poor posture and injuries to the knees, back and shoulders. By developing your core strength you are not only going to improve your posture (and look much better for it!), decrease the risk of injury but you will also improve your balance and stability. Even when you are only standing on the board you are engaging your core muscles, so think how much you use your core muscles when twisting, turning and rotating on your surfboard out on the waves.

How to improve your Core Strength?

Since your core muscles are made up of many muscle groups you must ensure you are targeting all the muscles. The best exercises to improve core-strength are those that involve balancing and ideal you should perform exercises where you move your arms and legs while keeping your torso stable. The beauty about core strength training is that you don't need to use weights or equipment, you just a need a mat or carpet.

CRUNCHES: - Lie on your back, place hands at the side of your head and place feet on the floor with your legs bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles. - Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and bring your chest towards your thighs. - Return to the start position.

REVERSE CRUNCHES: - Lie on your back, place hands at the side of your head. - Raise your legs and bend to a 90 degree angle. Tighten your abdominal muscles. - Lift your hips off the floor and bring your knees towards your chest. Then, lower feet to the floor. Try to use your abs to lift your hips rather than momentum and try not arch your back.

OBLIQUE CROSSING OVER CRUNCHES: - Lie on your back, place your right hand at the side of your head and your left hand stretched out on the floor. - Place your right foot flat on the floor so that your knee is bent. Place your left foot on your right knee. - Lift your shoulder blades off the floor, twisting diagonally towards your left knee. You should contract your abs as you lift your head and shoulders Return back to the starting position.

AIR BICYCLING: - Lie on your back, place your hands at the side of your head. - Place your feet flat on the floor bending your knees. - Lift the upper part of your body, bring your left knee towards your chin and extend your right leg straight then switch in a fluid motion. Continue to alternate sides as if you are pedalling a bicycle.

PLANK: - Lie on your front and lift your upper body so that have placed only forearms and palms flat on the floor. - Lift your lower body off the floor, so that you are resting on your forearms and toes. - Hold while tightening your abs for about 30 seconds.

SIDE BRIDGE: - Lie on your front and lift your upper body so that have placed only forearms and palms flat on the floor. - Turn to the right and lift your right arm off the floor so that you are balancing using your left forearm. - Hold while tightening your abs for about 30 seconds.

V-UPS: - Lie on your back, place your hands at the side of your head - Keep your legs straight and feet together. Place your arms behind you flat on the floor. - Bring your legs up without bending your knees and your arms forward and try to touch them in the air. - Return to the start position.

It's a good idea to vary your exercises to keep the muscles challenged. A well rounded exercise program would also incorporates stretching, cardio, and strength training. As a surfer you will benefit most from following a surf specific exercise program that uses a functional approach. These programs will cover core strength but vitally they will also focus on all the elements required for optimum surfing such as speed, flexibility, agility and power.

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