Is surfing a good workout?

Does surfing qualify as a good workout? Can you get enough exercise by becoming a surfer? Surfing is a great way to get in shape, both for men and women. Surfing tones your upper body and core. However, if you want to lose weight then you should opt for an additional cardio activity such as walking or cycling. Surfing doesn’t necessarily make you skinny or lean – it ads muscle.
olaian 5'4 surfboard
Sometimes getting to the beach a workout in itself

Main thing is: it will give you a much better feeling than going to the gym. Because being outside in nature is way better than doing the routine exercise in the dark, smelly gym.

The best part about surfing as a workout, is that it doesn’t feel like a workout. It’s so much fun that you completely forget the time. Plus: it’s kind of addictive, in a good way. No wave is the same so you keep longing for that perfect one. That sense of desire translates to spending hours in the water and still wanting to catch ‘one more wave’.

I never have that when I’m running laps. Every lap is the same and I really have to push myself to do one more. With surfing, it’s the opposite. I often have to tell myself: Okay, you HAVE to get out of the water now otherwise you’ll miss that work meeting. There have been times when I surfed for hours and still didn’t want to get out of the sea, but I was so hungry and thirsty that I just couldn’t paddle anymore.

Is surfing a good allround sport if you want to get fit?

If you want to train your upper body then surfing is the perfect allround workout. You’ll strengthen your core, your shoulders, your lower back and your arms.

If you want to put on muscle on your upper body then surfing is the perfect exercise for you. If you want to tone your upper body and arms, then surfing can definitely help you where you want to get. If you want to lose weight than I recommend you combine surfing with a second sport that is more focused on endurance, such as cycling or running.

Because surfing is a quite explosive sport it won’t do much for you in terms of flexibility. That’s why the combination of surfing and yoga is so populair. Surfing a lot can make you feel stiff in the back, shoulders and neck. If you combine surfing with extensive stretching you can avoid feeling stiff. Keeping lean will help you avoid injuries and will improve your take-off.

Every surf instructor on the planet will tell you the importance of stretching before going in the water. Sure, I believe them. Theoretically… But most of the time when you enter the beach and the waves are firing, you’re just waaaay to stoked and chances are you’ll skip the warming up. That damn gap between should and must…

Best surfing warm-up?

What parts of surfing are the most physically demanding?

Putting on a winter wetsuit. I’m not even kidding. Getting in your 5’4 winter neoprene can be exhausting.

The truth is that surfing consists of 99% of doing other things than actually riding a wave. Paddling probably accounts for the dominant movement. Not only do you have to paddle in order to get into a wave, but also to navigate around the line-up.

Make sure to keep that balance

Being in the water is fun. That in itself should be a reason to do it. Maybe in the gym you’ll be able to lose weight and build muscle quicker. Probably. If you consider sports as something that isn’t just for your body, but also for your mood then surfing, like any outdoor sport, is super effective.

If you want to read more about the health benefits of surfing, make sure to check out

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