There is a considerable gap between muscle work in the gym and the mechanical movements performed in the surf. The similarity between the ever-popular crunch workouts and bodysurfing maneuvers is small to non-existent. So why not work out in a way that closely resembles bodysurfing movements?
Bodysurfing functional fitness exercises will train your muscles to work together and prepare them for bodysurfing tasks by simulating and overloading common movements you might do in the surf.
While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, the functional bodysurfing exercises shown in this video emphasize body streamline improvement and strengthening of respiratory muscles.
It's important to maintain a clear, visual memory and sensory memory of surfing a wave while performing these drills, which strengthens and tones your abs, shoulders, arms, and back in the same way bodysurfing does.
It´s all about fine-tuning the details, so that the actions performed in the gym approximate those conducted in the surf, facilitating a sensorineural transfer between your home workout and surf. For example, the position of the arms and hands holding an AB roller is far from that of holding a handboard, or swimming in the hyper-streamline or superman position. Also, AB rollers are too stable.The axel of the skate wheels under the board in this exercise can be adjusted to be as unstable as you can handle. The more unstable, the more demanding.
The difference between a bodysurfer with really strong core and one with a not-so-strong core is the same difference between surfing a large wave with a carbon fiber board or a low-density foam board (without the fiberglass coat 🤣 ).
Common mistakes related to swimmers´ streamlines, such as fingers separated and thumb sticking out, represent an average 18.2% increase in frontal drag - and the feet hanging can represent a whopping 33% increase in frontal drag1! Add the wave’s speed and instability, and these numbers increase alarmingly.
During the drills you must hold you fingers, hand and your feet during the hyper streamline and superman variation.
Improve your streamline, and your performance and safety in the wave grows proportionately.
Strengthening your core muscles (that includes abdominals and layers of stabilizer muscles that run around your entire torso, including along your sides and lower back) in the “bodysurfing way” displayed in the video will result in a strengthened core acting like a corset of muscle ready to pull everything into the maneuver performed on the wave.
You will find that not touching the floor or the gymnastic bench with your chest, head or arms, requires a huge of effort by the specific parts of the muscles in your back and shoulders that are used while bodysurfing.
These drill besides strengthening the core, also strengthen respiratory muscles, which are key to the maintenance of the streamline position while breathing in and out comfortably when bodysurfing.
The weight of your body added to that of the ankle weights and the pressure coming from rubber band squeezes your diaphragm. You have to work hard to breathe. You should inhale and exhale when you perform these exercises.
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