Exercises to Keep Older Surfers Strong and Agile

Once a surfer, always a surfer. The passion for riding the waves never fades, even as the years gracefully etch their marks upon us. For those who have experienced the exhilaration of gliding along the ocean’s edge, the desire to continue catching waves remains unwavering, regardless of age.

But as the body matures, a new challenge emerges: maintaining strength, flexibility, and balance to keep the stoke alive. This is where the power of exercises for old surfers comes into play.

In this article, we embark on a journey that celebrates the timeless connection between seasoned surfers and the waves they love. We dive into the realm of tailored exercises, designed to support the physical well-being of those who’ve spent a lifetime chasing the perfect wave.

So join us as we explore a repertoire of exercises specifically curated for mature surfers.

The Benefits of Surfing and Exercise for Older Adults

Surfing is not just a sport for the young and adventurous. In fact, it can offer significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits for older adults as well.

For starters, surfing is a low-impact exercise that promotes cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, and endurance. It can also help alleviate stress and anxiety by providing an opportunity to connect with nature and engage in physical activity.

However, in order to maximize the benefits of surfing as an older adult, it’s important to engage in regular exercise routines that target specific muscle groups used in surfing. Exercise not only strengthens these muscles but also helps prevent injuries by improving flexibility and range of motion.

So whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone new to the sport looking for a fun way to stay active, incorporating exercises into your routine can make all the difference in maintaining your physical and mental health. Let’s take a closer look at some exercises specifically designed for older surfers.

Get Warmed Up

Stretching routines to prevent injuries and increase flexibility

Stretching is an essential part of any warm-up routine, and particularly important for older surfers. As we age, our muscles lose some of their elasticity, which can make them more prone to injury. By stretching before surfing, you can help prevent muscle strains or tears that could keep you out of the water for days or even weeks.

Some recommended stretches include hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and shoulder stretches. Take your time with each stretch and don’t overdo it – aim for a gentle pull rather than pain.

Joint mobility exercises to improve range of motion

Another key component of a good warm-up routine is joint mobility exercises. These exercises focus on moving your joints through their full range of motion to help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness. For surfers in particular, it’s important to pay attention to the shoulder joints as they are heavily used during paddling movements.

Some great joint mobility exercises include arm circles, neck rolls, and ankle rotations. Do these exercises slowly and deliberately, making sure you’re not forcing your joints beyond their natural range of motion.

It’s important not to skip warming up before hitting the waves – even if you’re feeling impatient to get out there! A good warm-up routine will help prepare your body for the physical demands of surfing so that you can enjoy yourself safely without worrying about injuries or soreness afterward.

Balance Training: Staying Afloat in the Water

As we age, our balance tends to decline. This can be especially concerning for older surfers, who rely on good balance to stay upright on their boards.

Maintaining good balance not only helps prevent falls and injuries, but it also helps improve surfing performance overall. Luckily, there are several exercises that can help improve balance.

The Importance of Balance for Surfing

Balance is a crucial element in surfing. When riding a wave, surfers must constantly shift their weight and adjust their center of gravity to maintain balance on the board.

Good balance allows for smoother turns and maneuvers while surfing and improves overall performance.

Exercises to Improve Balance

There are many exercises that can help improve balance for older surfers. One simple exercise is standing on one leg at a time.

This exercise helps improve stability by challenging the body’s ability to support itself on one leg. Another great exercise is using a balance board or stability ball.

These tools provide an unstable surface that forces the body to work harder to maintain balance and build core strength at the same time. Pilates and yoga are two excellent forms of exercise that incorporate balancing movements.

These practices focus on controlled movements while maintaining good posture, helping build strength and stability throughout the body. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can help maintain your balance as you age while also improving your surfing skills in the water!

Building Strength for Better Surfing

Surfing requires a significant amount of strength, especially in the upper body, back, and legs. As we age, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly important for maintaining overall health and preventing injury.

Here are some tips on how to build strength for better surfing:

The Benefits of Strength Training for Surfing

Strength training has many benefits that can help improve your surfing performance and general fitness. When you build muscle mass through strength training exercises like weight lifting or resistance bands, you become stronger and more powerful.

This translates to improved paddling speed and endurance as well as better stability when riding waves.

Exercises to Build Key Muscle Groups

To build strength in the muscles used in surfing, it’s important to focus on exercises that target the shoulders, back, and legs. Here are some exercises to try:

  • Shoulder press: Use dumbbells or a resistance band to perform a shoulder press exercise that targets the muscles used in paddling.
  • Pull-ups: A classic exercise that helps develop upper body strength.
  • Deadlifts: This exercise targets your lower back and leg muscles, which are crucial for stability when riding waves.
  • Squats: Squats should be a staple exercise for any surfer looking to improve leg strength which is essential when popping up on your board. It’s not necessary to lift heavy weights or do endless repetitions of each exercise.

Start with manageable weights or resistance bands and gradually increase over time. Remember quality over quantity is key here.

Building muscle mass through targeted strength training exercises will help improve your abilities out on the water as well as provide anti-aging benefits such as increased bone density and joint health.

Make sure you’re performing these exercises properly by getting advice from a trainer if needed and stay committed on your journey towards becoming a stronger surfer!

Cardiovascular Exercise: Keeping Your Heart Strong

As we age, it’s essential to maintain cardiovascular health. This is especially important for older surfers who want to keep up with the physical demands of surfing.

Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, helps control weight, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

The Importance of Cardiovascular Health for Older Surfers

Surfing requires a lot of energy and endurance. Paddling through waves is a full-body workout that can tire even the fittest surfer.

A strong cardiovascular system means more oxygen gets to your muscles, allowing you to surf longer without getting tired or winded.

Suggestions for Low-Impact Cardio Exercises

If running or high-impact activities are too hard on your joints, there are plenty of low-impact cardio exercises that can still give your heart a workout. Swimming is an excellent option because it works all major muscle groups while being gentle on your joints.

Cycling is another great option that can be done indoors on a stationary bike or outside on a road bike. Other low-impact cardio exercises include walking, hiking, yoga, and Pilates.

These activities get your heart rate up without putting too much stress on your joints. Remember to start slowly if you’re new to exercise or haven’t been active in a while.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week and gradually increase as you become more fit. Keeping your heart healthy with regular cardio exercise will not only improve your surfing performance but also benefit your overall health and well-being as you age.

Recovery Techniques

The Importance of Recovery

Recovery is just as important as exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. After a strenuous surf session, your muscles need time to repair and recover. Proper recovery techniques help to prevent injuries and improve overall performance.


Stretching is an essential part of any recovery routine. It helps to increase flexibility and range of motion while promoting blood flow and decreasing muscle soreness. After surfing, take some time to stretch out your muscles, focusing on the areas that feel tight or sore.

Some great stretches for surfers include: • Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg extended in front of you and the other bent with the foot resting against the inner thigh of your extended leg.

Reach forward towards your toes with both hands until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. • Quad Stretch: Stand with one hand against a wall for balance if needed.

Bend one knee back towards your buttocks and grab hold of your ankle with the corresponding hand. Hold onto this position until you feel a stretch in your quadriceps.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is another excellent way to help soothe sore muscles after surfing. It works by using pressure to release tension in tight muscles, similar to getting a deep tissue massage.

Simply lie on top of a foam roller, using it to apply pressure along the length of each muscle group. Some areas that may benefit from foam rolling after surfing include:

  • Calves
  • Quads
  • IT band
  • Back

Cool Down With Yoga

Yoga can be an excellent way to cool down after surfing while also promoting relaxation and flexibility. Many yoga poses help target specific muscle groups used during surfing while also helping you unwind mentally.

Some great yoga poses for surfers include:

  • Downward Dog: Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Push your hips up towards the ceiling while straightening your legs, coming into an inverted V-shape. Hold this pose for a few breaths before releasing.
  • Pigeon Pose: Start in a downward dog position before bringing one leg forward until it is bent in front of you. Lower down onto your forearms and try to relax into the stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds to one minute before switching sides. By incorporating these recovery techniques into your post-surf routine, you can help prevent injuries and ensure that you maintain peak performance during future surf sessions.

Related: Do You Need A Life Jacket On A Kayak?

Final Thoughts

Surfing is a great way for older adults to stay active and healthy, both physically and mentally. However, it’s important to remember that as we age, our bodies require different types of exercise than they did when we were younger.

Incorporating warm-up exercises, balance training, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and recovery techniques into your workout routine will help you stay flexible, strong, and injury-free.

Encouragement to stay active and continue pursuing their passion for surfing

As an older surfer, it’s important to not let age hold you back from pursuing your passion. Surfing can be challenging at any age. But with proper training and safety measures in place, it can still be a fun activity well into your golden years. Don’t be afraid to seek out like-minded individuals or groups who share your passion for the sport.

Joining local surf groups or finding a mentor could open up new opportunities for learning and growth in the surfing community. In closing, never forget the joy that comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone while doing something that you love.

With consistent practice comes progress and there’s no better way to maintain good health than by staying active well into our twilight years. So don’t hesitate any longer – get out there on the waves!

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