Surf events need the ability to balance. If your balance is good you’ll have a more exciting surfing experience and avoid those nasty wipe outs. By developing your balancing ability you will also build upon your core strength. The stronger your core, the more adventurous the maneuvers you will be able to perform! Lets look at the different ways you can improve your balance and core strength.
Good balance exercises are one-legged exercises, exercises performed on different surfaces and exercises that are performed with eyes closed. Surfers in particular must develop their dynamic balance. Dynamic balance is the ability to maintain a balanced position while moving. Therefore exercises performed on both firm and unstable surfaces will work really.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise one foot and do not let it touch the other leg or the floor. Close your eyes and maintain your balance for 30 seconds or more. Another take on this is to put your hands on your hips, place the raised foot behind the knee of the standing leg. When you have balance raise your standing leg onto the ball of your foot so that your heel is no longer touching the floor and close your eyes. Repeat three times and take your average score. If you can balance for more than 50 seconds on the ball of your foot without hopping, taking your hands off your hips, or taking your foot away from your knee, then you have excellent balance. Anything below 10 means your balance is poor and needs some work!
Without equipment and on flat surfaces you could use exercises such as:
The Hover Step-Up: Stand facing the long side of a step or sturdy box about 6-10 inches in height. Stand up on the step / box. Now dangle your left leg off the side of the step. Bend your right knee and slowly lower your body until the left foot is just above the floor. Bring your body forwards so that your body weight is suspended directly above your right ankle. Wait for 10 seconds and then return to standing on the box with both feet but keep your knees slightly bent. Repeat using your right foot. Progression: include weights and / or use a higher step / box.
One-Leg Punches: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise 1 foot and do not let it touch the other leg or the floor. Using 1kg hand weights, punch the air above the head using alternate arms. Keep the supporting knee soft. Repeat 10 times. Next while still balancing on the same leg, punch out to the side above shoulder height. Finally complete 10 alternate crossover punches above the head. Then repeat on your other leg. Progression: include weights or repeating with eyes closed or perform on a different type of surface.
If you have a stability ball / fit ball possible exercises are:
Balance on the ball on your knees for 30-45 seconds. Progression: If you find this easy try to balance on one knee and one foot.
Sit upright on the ball and tighten your abs. Place your hands on the ball. Roll the hips in a circle clockwise, firstly make small circles and then, as you find it easier, make larger circles. Make 10-20 circles and then repeat going anti-clockwise Progression: place your hands behind your head
Sit upright on the ball and tighten your abs. Start to march forward slowly, taking the ball with you, lifting first the right foot and then the left foot. As you progress march faster while lifting your knees higher. Do this for 1-2 minutes. Progression: place your hands behind your head
Sit upright on the ball and tighten your abs. Place your hands on the ball. Lift the right foot off the floor and holding for at least 5 seconds. Lower and repeat on the other side. Repeat for 5-10 reps. Progression: place your hands behind your head
Sit upright on the ball and tighten your abs. Place your hands on the ball. slowly walk the feet forward until you are only resting you head and shoulders on the ball. You hips should be lifted and your torso perpendicular to the floor. At this position you should be able to place a glass of water on your tummy without it spilling! Now walk all the way back until you’re seated again on the ball. Repeat for 3-5 reps.
These exercises are merely suggestions and any balance exercises should be incorporated as part of your over all workout. Ideally you should place balance exercises early in your workout program as they tend to be quite challenging requiring a lot of focus and concentration. To really get the most from your workout you should use a functional training program that is specifically designed for surfers. These programs will cover balance in-depth but crucially they will also focus on all the elements required for optimum surfing such as speed, flexibility, agility, power and overall core strength.
For an amazing core strength exercise training program that builds incredible balance, upper body strength and lower body strength visit [http://www.easysurffitness.com] and receive a free training program that will kick start your new and improved surfing fitness!
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