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yoga for surfers

Improve your surf with these asanas sequence.

These positions and exercises are selected exclusively for surfers to help them to stretch the body after the time spent in water. It is very important to stretch the body in order to regenerate the muscles and bring flexibility into the body. Some benefits of adding surf stretches to your training include improved body control and balance, which is a very important factor in surfing, and leads to improved body awareness, posture and coordination. Regularly stretching also reduces the risk of injury by improving range of motion, and also helps to reduce fatigue. We want to focus especially on the upper body, lower spine and hamstrings as these are predominantly used while surfing thus the major soreness occurs in these muscle groups.


Forward bend with arms over
Uttanasana

Easy position to start with. Bring your arms behind you and interlock the fingers. You can bend with your spine straight or roll down with slightly bended knees if your lower back is aching. Standing forward bend stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves, strengthens the thighs and knees, and keeps your spine strong and flexible. In the bend keep your knees locked, suck your stomach in and keep pushing the arm up and over the head with the elbows locked.

yoga for surfes Uttanasana

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Arms crossed under the chin

Stretches shoulders, area between shoulder blades and the intercostal muscles. Keep breathing into your back, send the breath right between your shoulder blades.

yoga for surfers arms crossed under the chin

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Cat-cow
Marjaryasana – Bitilasana

This exercise helps to bring mobility into the spine and helps to keep the core muscles active. Stretches the back torso and neck. Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs. 

Yoga for surfers Cat cow

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Cow face
Gomukhasana

This pose stretches your hips, provides power to your ankles, thighs, shoulders, armpit, chest, deltoid and triceps. Thanks to the sitting posture it provides strengthening benefits for your spine and abdominal muscles.

Yoga for surfers cow face

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Bow
Dhanurasana

Bow is an excellent back bending pose for increasing and regaining spinal strength and flexibility. It also strengthens the leg muscles, especially the upper thighs, relieves stiff shoulders and reduces excess weight around the abdominal area. It is a great chest and throat opener that provides nice stretch for the rotator cuffs and arms.

yoga for surfers bow

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King Pigeon pose
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Pigeon is an excellent pose for the hips as it provides a tremendous stretch of one hip and deep compression of the other hip at the same time. The compression of the hip joint bring s the blood into the area so the hip joint and surrounding tissues will become more perfused and flexible. The discomfort of the stretch and compression can often be felt deeply in specific upper-leg and hip muscles, including the psoas, piriformis, tensor fascia latae and gluteus maximus. It also relieves tension in the chest and shoulders, and it also stimulates the abdominal organs, which helps to regulate digestion.

yoga for surfers king pigeon pose

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Warrior 1 flow variation
Virabhadrasana

Warrior 1 strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest and stretches the arms and legs. This pose develops concentration, balance and groundedness, improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body. Adding the arm twist with the flow provides stretch of the shoulders, rhomboids and trapezius and the flow strengthens the core muscles. 

Yoga for surfers warrior 1 flow variation

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Triangle
Trikonasana

Triangle is an excellent position requiring the entire body to perform. It strengthens the knees, ankles, legs, chest, and arms. It completely stretches and opens up the groins, hips, hamstrings, and calves and also the chest, spine, and shoulders. Keep the back knee locked, front thigh parallel to the floor, arms upright, elbow touching the knee, upper arm pointing up creating the sensation of separating the shoulder blades and looking up. This pose increases both physical and mental stability. It improves digestion and stimulates all the abdominal organs. 

yoga for surfers Triangle pose

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Bridge
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana / 

yoga for surfers Bridge pose

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Reverse plank
Purvottanasana 

 These positions strengthen the back, glutes, pelvic floor legs and ankles. Opens chest, heart and hip flexors.

Stretches the chest, neck, shoulders and spine. Rejuvenates tired legs. In the bridge keep your shoulder blades on the mat, tuck the tailbone and bring the hips up. In the plank drop the head back completely and touch the mat with the toes. Lock the knees and keep pushing the hips up.

yoga for surfers reverse plank.

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Wind removing pose
Pavanamuktasana

This position is beneficial for surfers [while lying on the board] because it regulates and normalizes hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. It also relaxes the lumbar spine from compression while surfing. Relieves lower back pain. The lower back is completely flat on the mat as well as both shoulder blades. Point the knee to the armpit and tuck the chin in the chest. This position will help you to improve flexibility of the hip joints, firm and tone muscles of the abdominal wall, thighs and hips.

yoga for surfers wind removing pose.

Monik is wearing the Guadalupe one piece in Lilac. click on the photo for more details**

 


Rabbit pose
Sasangasana

This position lengthens and stretches tremendously the entire spine from the neck to tailbone. The strong grip on your heels prevents you from putting too much weight on your head and provides a deep and nice stretch of your shoulders, rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi and the entire area between your shoulder blades. Suck the belly in, look into your navel, do not move your head and breathe between the shoulder blades. 

Yoga for surfers rabbit pose

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Child pose
Balasana

Gentle stretch for the spine, shoulders and arms, while releasing the tension from the lumbar spine and sacrum. Keep the arms long and touch the mat with your forehead and top of the nose and keep pushing your seat into the heels. In this position you also nicely stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles.

yoga for surfers child pose

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Muscles used in surfing


Surfing requires the perfect physique including great cardiovascular and respiratory health. This sport places a large emphasis on the core muscles, as well as the muscles of the entire upper body, especially shoulders and triceps which are used while paddling, hamstrings and quads help to stand up and the back muscles mainly trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi and spinal erectors are included for the entire time while staying down on the board and turning.



Most common surfing injuries

Surfing is considered as an extreme and adrenalin sport that is inherently dangerous. Drowning is a major concern in heavy surfing. Also the violent tossing and bouncing in the surf can lead to traumatic injuries to the body. Beside from these a surfer may also experience lacerations, muscle bruises and contusions, skull and facial fractures, shoulder injuries, including separated shoulder and cuff rotator issues.


Conclusion

Make sure you always give yourself a minute to warm up and stretch before entering the water, as cold unprepared muscles are more prone to injury. After surfing, take a moment to cool-down. Remember that a comprehensive set of surf stretches will increase your overall flexibility and prepare the body for unexpected situations inside as well as outside the water. Always listen to your body, know your limits and do not put yourself in danger.

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