Exercises to Improve Your Paddling in the Surf

Paddling is a crucial skill for any surfer. It’s what gets you out to the lineup, helps you catch waves, and allows you to navigate through the surf. Having strong paddling muscles and proper technique can make a significant difference in your surfing performance. If you’re looking to enhance your paddling skills, here are some exercises to incorporate into your training routine:

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a fantastic exercise to strengthen the muscles involved in paddling. They target the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Start with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body in a straight line. Lower your chest towards the ground while keeping your elbows close to your body, then push back up to the starting position. Aim for three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions, gradually increasing the intensity as you get stronger.

2. Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls are perfect for improving the mobility and flexibility of your shoulder joints. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and let your arms hang loosely at your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion for ten repetitions, then reverse the direction for another ten repetitions. This exercise helps prevent shoulder injuries and increases your paddling range of motion.

3. Resistance Band Rows

Resistance band rows are an excellent exercise to engage the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms. Attach a resistance band to a solid anchor point and hold the bands in each hand with your palms facing each other. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees, and hinge forward at your hips. Pull the bands towards your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly release back to the starting position. Aim for three sets of ten to twelve repetitions.

4. Plank

A strong core is essential for stability and balance while paddling. The plank is a simple yet effective exercise for strengthening your core muscles. Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds. As you progress, try variations such as side planks or plank variations on an exercise ball.

5. Cardiovascular Training

Endurance is crucial for long surf sessions and continuous paddling. Incorporate cardiovascular exercises into your training routine to improve your stamina and increase your paddling endurance. Activities such as swimming, cycling, running, or rowing can help build cardiovascular fitness. Aim for at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise three to four times a week.

Take Your Paddling to the Next Level

By incorporating these exercises into your training routine, you’ll see a significant improvement in your paddling skills. Remember, it’s not just about strength; proper technique and mobility are also essential for efficient paddling. Join us at Pacific Surf, San Diego’s premier surf school, for personalized surf lessons and guidance to help you take your paddling and surfing in San Diego to the next level.

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