Warming up – just before your session
Dynamic surf specific movements
Warming up is widely accepted as a useful thing to do to prepare yourself to perform better in what ever your chosen physical endeavour may be. Surfing is no different.
For a lot of us, the warm up is the boring part we should go through, before we hook into the real stuff. For most surfers, the warm up is non existent, or if it is done at all, it is usually rushed and done with poor attention. When the waves are good it takes a lot of discipline to stay on the sand and go through a routine.
So why do it? There needs to be a strong enough reason?
Here we go.
Firstly, if the waves are good, they’ll still be there in 5 -10 minutes. If they’re bad then there’s no rush, and the warm up will make a huge difference on how you perform out there.
I think we would all agree it usually takes two or three waves to feel connected to your board, in some sort of rhythm with the waves and have a general feeling of readiness to surf well. A high quality, specific, stimulating warm up will get you ready to surf well straight away. Being ready to go first wave rather than fourth is worth the effort. It only needs to be quick and it’s amazing how it affects your confidence once you are out amongst it.
What do I do?
Where a lot of warm ups fail is in their specificity. Surfing asks a lot of you; explosive and elastic movements of the whole body, deep breathing and sustained and short burst paddling. The idea of slow stretching (we’ll talk about this next week) is going to have minimal affect on your performance. Your warm up needs to mirror the movements that you are going to be doing out in the water.
Jumping, twisting, spinning, squatting, balancing, breathing are all things that can be explored on the sand and it’s good fun! Your muscles, joints and nervous system get a nice wake up and in a specific way. Your attention and focus is now in your body. For those surfers the other side of 30, not warming up, paddling out at 5 foot Winki and going for a critical floater on the first wave is sooner or later going to catch up with you.