Surf stretches that you can perform with your board out in the line up
Is your mind telling you to stay out catching waves but your body’s beginning to tell you otherwise? Here’s a set of simple stretches that you can perform with your board whilst still out on the water. Take advantage of the lull between sets to give your well used back body, outer hips and upper back a bit of light relief before going for your next wave.
For your whole back body; lower back, hamstrings and calves
Use your board sideways like a giant float under each armpit and stretch your legs out to the other side of the board. From here grab both of your shins or feet. Allow your back to round as much as possible as a counterpose for your lower back from paddling about in a backbend. The more you can pull your toes towards your body, the more you’re going to encourage the back of your legs to lengthen. Drop your head to also release your cervical spine, aka your neck. You can focus on one leg at a time if this works better for you or if you’re particularly tight in the hamstrings, although if you can reach both feet with your hands then you can really push your toes into them in order to encourage a rounding and release of the lower back.
For your outer hips and glutes
Continue using your board as a float, but this time cross one ankle over the opposite knee into a floating figure of four position. The closer you bring your crossed ankle and knee towards your board the deeper stretch you’ll get in the glute and IT band of the top leg. Trust me your hips are going to love you for this one mid session and its perfect for surf maintenance for longevity out in the water.
For your ribs, upper back, neck, chest,deltoids and triceps
Let’s face it, our upper back gets a pounding when we’re out surfing for hours. These next few exercises can stretch out those tired muscles around your shoulders and neck and can be done whilst sitting on your board.
Firstly just grab your opposite wrist and take a nice side stretch to give the muscles between your ribs, your intercostals, a bit of respite.
Next cross one arm under the other and then wrap your arms to the best of your ability; for some of you this may mean just working the backs of your hands towards each other, for others you may be able to clap the front of your palms together. Either way you should feel a nice stretch in your upper trapezius muscles and rhomboids, especially if you tuck your chin as well.
Finally reach up and over your shoulder with one arm and then bring the opposite arm down and round behind your back and see if you can reach your hands together. This will stretch out the triceps of the top arm and the deltoids and pecs of the lower arm. If you can’t reach your hands together try holding onto your rash vest or wetsuit and pull on it as resistance.