How Many Muscles Do You Use When Surfing?

Have you ever wondered how many muscles do you use when surfing? Surfing is a far more demanding sport than most people know—especially non-surfers. It’s not just the ride that demands muscle power, but paddling out, duck diving, and struggling to the surface for a much needed gulp of air also require strength and fitness. Just how many muscles do you use when surfing? I guess that depends on how good a surfer you are. However, knowing the muscles you should be using when surfing enables you to keep them fit with a good exercise program.

Paddling out exerts great amounts of energy on your arms. The biceps and triceps are the major muscles involved. The deltoids also play a huge role in paddling out. They are located in the upper back and shoulder area.  When a surfer is prone on the board, heading out to the waves, the torso and lower body are almost entirely disengaged. All power and motion is derived from the biceps, triceps and deltoids. 

Awaiting a wave requires constant balance while sitting on the board.  To do this the abdomen muscles are all engaged, as are the lower back muscles. Core strength is key to proper balance. The entire girdle of muscles that make up your midsection are what gives surfers excellent balance.

Muscles used when popping up on the board are vast. The biceps, triceps, trapezium, and deltoids are engaged. So too is the entire back. The gluteus maximus (your butt) is also highly active during this surfing maneuver. Also involved are, of course, the legs. The hamstrings and quadriceps in your upper leg work very hard at this point. In the lower legs the calves are also in high power mode.

Turning the board while riding a wave requires abdominal muscles and the obliques. In addition, the upper arm muscles and deltoids are in use. All core muscles are exerting energy, too, as the body maintains balance and moves with the wave.

Another usually forgotten muscle used while surfing is the heart. It’s a very necessary muscle in this case, as in most other cases. Cardiovascular exercises will insure that your heart is strong and ready to support all your most excellent surfing sessions.

Tips: Always stretch before a surfing session. Make sure your muscles are warmed up and loose.

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