Stretching: your surf muscles will love it | Photo: Rip Curl

Surfing is a complete physical sport. The act of catching waves interferes with your bones, tendons and muscle groups. Surfers are known for quickly developing flexibility and endurance, but what are the main muscles involved in surfing?

The concept of surf training is relatively new. In the last two decades, professional surfers have dedicated more time to the performance of their bodies and added special workout routines to their schedules.

But what can the average surfer do, in terms of physical exercise, in order to step up from good to great, out in the line-up? Is there any particular fitness guide for wave riders?

With time, we've learned that, yes, human muscles play a vital role in several surfing functions. And muscles can be trained for you to be a better surfer, with less surf injuries.

When we paddle for a wave multiple muscles get in action: triceps, biceps, deltoids, trapezius, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi and obliques. These muscles require pre-surf warm up rituals.

In other words, you give them instructions on how they will be used in the next hour or two. The first stretching exercises at the beach should involve muscles that will paddle out, duck dive and catch the first waves. However, keep in mind that stretching exercises should also be performed right after your daily dose of waves.

Later, when you prepare to take-off on a good-looking wave, the pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps and biceps will lift your upper body before your legs get into work.

As your feet touch the surfboard, you'll get the main lower body surf muscles into action: quadriceps, gluteals and the gastrocnemius. They will certainly ask you: how's your strength plan going?

Hips muscles are very important in surfing because they will be called to work in bottom-turns, carves, aerials, snaps and roundhouse cutbacks. They are often associated with torso rotations, which basically happen all the time.

Strength training will build size and strength to your surf muscles so that they can be ready for greater efforts. If you dedicate 30 minutes, and three days per week to these exercises, you will be able to duck dive those challenging winter double overhead closeouts.

Keep your surf muscles fully oxygenated and active. Quit smoking, follow a few simple physical guidelines and eat well. Muscles are the source of power and projection. You will notice it very clearly in a matter of weeks.

Learn more about how to stay fit to surf, discover the best Pilates exercises for surfers, and take a look at how to prevent cramps in surfing.