yoga for surfers warm up sequence before surf

Warm up sequence for surfers.

It is very important to warm up and stretch the body before surfing at least for a couple of minutes. Taking the time to stretch before entering the water helps you to prepare yourself not just physically but mentally as well. It is also an essential prevention of injuries while surfing. Most people have very tight hamstrings, dis-balanced hips and locked chest due to today’s lifestyle. The extensive use of specific muscles in this action sport can lead to overuse/overtrain, more dis-balances and potentially injuries. Thus mindful and regular stretches will help to minimize risk of these and help your body to regenerate better. 

After our success on the last post of  Yoga for surfers we decided to create a short blog post about the WARM UP series. We add a lot of images so you can have a better idea of each position. We hope you like it.

Forward bend with rotation

Start simply by standing up straight. Feet together, toes pointing forward. Engage your abdominals and squeeze your pelvic floor. Slowly bend forward with your spine straight until your fingers reach the ground. Bend your knees one by one and loosen up your lower back. Find your balance, lock both knees and lift your right arm up towards the sky and look up towards your hand. Open the chest and take a deep breath. Same on the other side. After that slowly roll up (vertebrae by vertebrae in a C shape) back into the standing up position. Repeat 5 to 10 times and deepen the breath with each round.   

yoga warm up for surfes Uttanasana

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

Stretching the spine in all 4 directions

We want to make sure that our spine is warmed up properly in all directions. Stretch your arms up and over your head. With the exhale reach to the right side, elongate your torso and move your hips to the side also, so your body curves into a C shape. Do it both sides, gently and use the exhale to get deeper with each move. 

yoga stretching for surfers

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

Lunge with arms up

Stand up straight and take a large step back into a lunge position. Lift both arms up, look up and open your chest. Take 3 deep breaths here, then go back and continue the same on the other leg.  

yoga warm up stretching lunge

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

Head, wrists, elbows, shoulders and hip circles 

It is important to warm up all the joints in the body. For surfing we mostly use the upper body and the hips. Of course it is a complex sport so our body must be warmed up from head to toes, but if you don't have time for the entire body, let's just concentrate on this. Circle your head and stretch your neck, this prepare’s yourself for looking back and checking the wave approaching. Bring your arms straight in front of you and circle your wrists, elbows and shoulders in both directions. Lastly, put your hands on your hips and lift your right leg until your knee is in 90 degrees and start circling your hip. The knee is not moving as the entire movement is coming from the hip joint. Both directions 10 times and then change legs. 

Side lunges

This simple movement is a gentle hip opener. Stand up straight, take a wider step aside and start shifting your bodyweight from side to side until one leg is stretched and the other one is bent with the knee in a 90 degree angle. Try to get as low/deep as possible.  

warm up yoga stretching for surfers side to side

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

Any variation of Sun salutation  
Surya namaskar is always good

Take your time and do a couple of sun salutations. Sun salutations is a great way to warm up your entire body, stretching the spine in all directions, stretching the legs and arms and opening the hips. Make sure you synchronize your moves with your breath, expanding your lung capacity which in turn, helps prepare yourself for cardio activity in the water.  

surya namaskar warm up yoga stretching for surfers

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

Breath work

Breath and respiration under control is crucial for any activity in the water. You must be ready for any situation and especially in surfing you might get washed out and held under the water for a few seconds. That is why you must feel confident about your breath and be able to use your diaphragm (our main breathing muscle) and be able to fill your lungs to full capacity. Simply sit down with your spine straight and take a couple of deep inhales (through your nose) and exhales (through your mouth). Breath into the belly first so you activate the diaphragm. Do this 15 to 20 times. After change and breath only into your lungs (using only the nose for inhale and exhale), fill the chest and ribcage fully with air, hold it for 3 seconds, and slowly with control exhale. Do it approx 5 times.

And the last exercise is good for the warm up and also for the cool down after your surf sesh. Breath control is known as Pranayama, a good Pranayama technique is called Chandra Bhedana/Single nostril breathsing your right hand, bring your index finger and middle finger to the third eye (spot between your eyebrows). Block your right nostril and inhale through your left. Then close the left and exhale through the right. Continue in this manner, inhale right, exhale left, for 1 to 3 minutes. Traditionally, Surya Bhedana is said to stimulate the brain and increase body heat, supports you to ground yourself, helps to calm you down and helps to release feelings of stress. 

breath work pranayama lungs warm up for surfers

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

At the end

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. Have fun but always be mindful. 

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