Health and Fitness for Surfers: Exercises to Improve Your Skills While at a Costa Rica Surf Camp

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Yoga at Kalon Surf Camp surrounded by jungle and rainforest

Advanced surfers make everything look easy. If you’re a beginner, you might wonder how to improve your fitness level before taking surf lessons. There are countless exercises you can do in your own home that mimic those types of movements.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the exercises you can do to get ready for surfing. You’ll learn how to improve your range of motion, work the upper body muscles, and fine-tune each movement. Then, you’ll be prepared to enjoy surf camps and what they offer.

surf practice on the beach in costa rica

People often choose to vacation at a Costa Rica surf camp, like the one at KalonSurf, because it’s all-inclusive. Enjoy the beauty of a beachfront hotel overlooking the Pacific Coast with a week-long experience after building up your strength and flexibility more. Let’s learn about the exercises you should be considering now:

How Fit Should You Be Before Your Surf Trip?

A novice surfer really doesn’t have to be extremely fit. Surf lessons will teach the basics, though some fitness training is recommended because surfing is often quite demanding for the body.

Usually, the Costa Rica surf camp coaches you on what you should know and has the surfboards and other supplies needed.

Most surf camps don’t require surfing skills, but it’s still helpful to have the strength, stability, and flexibility to be on a surfboard. You should be fine if you can do a land popup (go from lying on the stomach to standing in one motion).

Exercises to Improve Surf Skills in Costa Rica

Are you planning a surf trip? It’s important to exercise correctly and focus on the muscles you’ll use most.

KalonSurf is the best surf camp, offering lessons and an all-inclusive week-long experience. Let’s learn which exercises to consider:

Endurance Workouts

Endurance is essential for beginner, advanced, and intermediate surfers because it lets them stay on the water for a longer time to catch more fun waves.

The best way to improve your endurance is to incorporate swimming into the workout routine. It takes place in a similar environment as surfing, which forces your body to store and take in oxygen efficiently.

For example, the mammalian dive reflex is a physiological adaption that helps you conserve oxygen underwater. Though you’ll be on a surfboard, it’s possible to get sucked under the waves, which requires you to hold your breath.

When planning a trip to a Costa Rica surf camp, it’s wise to improve your endurance with these workouts:

Swim Laps

Lap workouts can help surfers improve their endurance. It should include anaerobic and aerobic exercises.

Typically, the laps are broken down into intervals of sprinting and jogging. This will help you improve your respiratory and cardiovascular endurance.

Before attending a Costa Rica surf school, consider this workout routine two or three times a week:

  • Warmup – Swim a 200-meter freestyle, rest for 30 seconds, and do another 200-meter freestyle as quickly as you can, focusing on your technique.
  • Jog – Swim 400 meters freestyle, rest for 30 seconds, do 200 meters freestyle, and rest again for 30 seconds.
  • Sprint – Perform 10 rounds of 25-meter freestyle swimming, resting for 30 seconds between each. Do this at your maximum effort possible to help improve anaerobic capacity.
  • Cool Down – Swim 200 meters freestyle at a slow pace to cool down after the strenuous workout.

As you improve your fitness level, you can change the length of swim time and rest less.

kalon surf pool sunset people

Open-water Swimming

Though swimming laps in the pool can improve your surf sessions, ocean swimming is typically the best solution. If you live by the coast, this could be a great option!

Open-water swimming shows you the environment you’ll be using, such as the currents and changing waves. Therefore, you can practice and build endurance more efficiently.

Stability (Core Workouts)

Surfing requires you to have a strong core for these reasons:

Maintain Healthy Posture to Protect the Shoulders and Spine from Injury

Many people decide to visit a Costa Rica surf camp because they sit at a desk all day. This often means they have poor posture, which will make it harder to paddle in the ocean.

When paddling, your spine is constantly extended. If you have weak spinal mobility, you could get injured during your surf trips. Strong lower back and abdominal muscles help you maintain a healthy posture for long periods without slouching.

Surf coaching will help you learn to paddle correctly, but improving your core strength will ensure you can do it for the whole lesson.

Improve Your Athletic Capacity to Stand Efficiently

Changing surf breaks can cause you to fall in the water if you’re not steady on your feet. Beginners often rely on their upper body strength to get to the right stance on the surfboard. However, the movement depends more on proper technique and strong abdominal muscles.

Upper body strength is important, which your surf coaching will indicate. Still, popping up focuses more on creating leverage instead of strength.

When you develop a strong core, you can avoid injury, maintain proper body posture, and improve efficiency during your surf tours.

Flexibility Workouts

Experienced surfers tend to focus more on strength and endurance, forgetting that flexibility is also important. You might be more advanced and still choose a Costa Rica surf school to learn more about the process.

Here are some flexibility workouts to incorporate before your next surf trip:

Yoga Sessions

Yoga can help you improve these things, which are crucial for surfing:

  • Joint health
  • Spinal mobility
  • Posture
  • Core strength
  • Body mechanics

Doing a few yoga sessions can help you prepare for your trip to the Costa Rica surf camp:

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is more relaxing and can open up the body’s posterior chain. You’ll feel a deep stretch in the ankles, quads, and hips.

If you visit a surf town, you’ll notice that many surfers come to a fully controlled stop in the prone position. This pose will help you do this, too.

Cobra Pose

Before booking a trip to a Costa Rica surf camp, consider performing the Cobra pose frequently. It stretches the abs, shoulders, and chest. You can use it to keep the surfboard’s nose from dipping underwater while catching a wave.

Warrior II Pose

Warrior II is a deep stretch for the groin and hips, which will improve balance while on a surfboard. You’ll need this for your surf trip.

Many people attend a surf camp for the first time and realize that the stance taken in Warrior II is similar to what they use on the board. Getting accustomed to it beforehand is highly beneficial.

Plank Pose

Plank poses can build strength in your arms, shoulders, and core (abdominals). When you’re at the Costa Rica surf camp, you’ll use it while paddling the surfboard through whitewater waves to make it over to the lineup. It can also help you “pop up” on your board.

Yoga at Kalon Surf Camp surrounded by jungle and rainforest

Functional Exercise

The first day at your Costa Rica surf camp will show you that the goal is to stay on the surfboard as long as possible. Coordination and balance are essential, and here are a few tips to help:

Coordinate Muscle Groups to Work Together

Surfing requires coordination, so many muscle groups have to work together. Improve this before heading to surf camp by doing the following:

  • Balance ball exercises
  • Push-up position holds
  • Dynamic movements
  • Double leg strength exercises

Incorporating those exercises into your normal routine will promote better balance, speed, and athletic ability. These things are crucial when heading to a surf town for some wave time.

Abdominal and Leg Muscles

You require strong abdominal and leg muscles to maintain balance for surfing at a Costa Rica surf camp.

  • Leg Workouts – Consider leg raises, lunges, and squats.
  • Ab Workouts – Choose crunches and planks.

Back and Arm Strength

People are often surprised to learn that surfing is about more than just standing when they attend a Costa Rica surf camp. Most of your time will be spent paddling to the waves. Therefore, you need strong shoulders and arms. These tips can help you:

Upper Back and Posterior Shoulder Muscles

Before heading to surf camp, you should focus on strengthening the upper back and posterior shoulder (scapula) muscles. They include the:

  • Scapula stabilizers
  • Rotator cuffs
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi

Targeting them will help you improve endurance and power for paddling.

Resistance Training (Strength Training)

Strength training is essential for building the shoulder and arm strength necessary to succeed at a Costa Rica surf camp. Target those muscles with bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, and weights.

Typical exercises include:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Rows

High Rep Warmup

Consider high-rep exercises before heading to surf camp. These include arm circles, face pulls, and band pull-aparts. You won’t need a ton of equipment, so they’re ideal for the warmup before you hit the waves (or pool).

Mobility Exercises

Though strength is essential, you also require good mobility in the shoulders and arms to surf efficiently and safely. Incorporate stretching exercises into your weekly routine to get a full range of motion.

Regardless of the Costa Rica surf camp packages you choose, it’s important to develop shoulder and arm strength/mobility.

Learn to surf in Paradise Costa Rica

Choose KalonSurf – An All-inclusive Costa Rica Surf Camp with Luxurious Comfort

Are you looking for surf lessons? There’s only one place to go for the best waves.

In fact, you don’t have to know the best Costa Rica surf spots to find consistent waves when you choose KalonSurf.

Experience the best surf breaks available with its week-long experience.

KalonSurf has Costa Rica surf packages that are all-inclusive and last a full week. It’s the best experience possible. Learn more about the experience you’ll receive from the top resort in the area.

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