Pilates: the key to high performance surfing

Pilates improves balance, posture and agility in surfing and surfers. Simple Pilates exercises will boost your performance in the waves.


Strength and balance. Surfing demands several fitness exercises, if you want to keep riding waves until you're 80, with no physical limitations and injuries.

Modern surfers have been adding alternative physical fitness systems to their workout programs. Yoga and Pilates are becoming widely popular in contemporary surfing because the benefits are clear and almost immediate.

What is Pilates? The Contrology method designed by Joseph Pilates builds muscle strength and flexibility to arms, legs, hips, abdominals and back.

Centering the body, controlling the muscle system, fine-tuning the flow and movements and breath optimization are the main advantages of Pilates.

Paddling out, duck diving, paddling for waves, taking off, managing the surf line and completing maneuvers on the wave face are hugely affected by Pilates training exercises.

A simple daily Pilates workout program will add an extra layer of strength and balance to your surfing. You'll only need a carpet and lift weights.

1. Pelvic Curl: warm-up your spine and abdominal muscles by sitting on the carpet and rolling yourself down slowly, with your arms next to you. Inhale and exhale calmly.

2. Spine Stretch: increase your back and hamstrings flexibility and prevent injuries by sitting and then stretching the whole spine forward. try to touch with your fingers on your toes.

3. The Hundred: improve strength, stamina and coordination by lying on your back with your legs bent in tabletop position. Bring your head up using your abdominal muscles and repeat the movement five times.

4. Single Leg Stretch: improve your leg agility and abdominals by lying on your back and bringing your knee to the shin while the other leg extends at a 45-degree angle.

5. Swimming: improve your overall flexion and back strength by lying on your stomach. Lift both arms and legs and begin swimming motion.

6. Front Support: train your abdominal muscles and shoulders with a core stability exercise. With your arms and legs straight, place your hands on the floor, lift your hips towards the ceiling and roll back to standing position.

7. Saw: improve your breathing and exercise your spine. Seat with your arms opened in T position and twist your torso, as you reach the pinky finger of your front hand across the outside of the opposite foot.

Breathing properly is very important in Pilates exercise and so it is for surfers. As you progress through the initial Pilates program, you'll easily move into advanced schemes.

Also, discover the best Yoga exercises for surfers and specific surf training workouts.