Balancing Act

by Bev Sanders on August 11, 2016

Life is all about balance—balancing career aspirations and passion projects with family responsibilities and friendships, balancing exercise and health with relaxation and indulgences. We may not always keep our busy lives in balance, but there are ways you can practice balance for surfing.

Las Olas surfcoach Amanda shares some total body balance exercises that help tone and strengthen your core. Be as composed as a ballerina on pointe when you pop up on your next wave.


Exercise 1: Burpees ~ Surfer-style

Burpees - Surfer Style

Burpees are a favorite total body workout for crossfitters and we love them because they mimic a pop-up—the motion between paddling and standing up on your board.

For a regular burpee, start by standing with your legs hip width apart, then crouch down with your hands to the floor.
Kick your legs back behind you into plank position.
Lower down to a push-up all the way down to the floor.
In one movement, push up, then kick your legs forward underneath your shoulders to jump straight up.
For the surfer’s burpee version, jump into a surfing stance.
Do 10 reps for three sets.

Exercise 2: Yoga Push-Ups
Yoga Push-up

Surfers love push-ups of all kinds, but the yoga push-ups or Chaturanga Dandasana specifically target the tricep muscles more than traditional push-ups. Master these and you’ll be that much stronger on your board. Remember, more push ups mean more pop ups!

Start by lying face down on your yoga mat and place your hands at the top of your rib cage.
Make sure to pull your elbows in towards your body and don’t let them flare out.
Push up, keeping your core straight from head to toe.
Lower yourself back to the floor.
Hover for one second, then push up again.
Try 10 reps for three sets.

Exercise 3: Planks with Arm Raises
Plank with arm raise

It’s a subtle movement that’s harder than it looks. This plank variation works your back, shoulders, and core while testing your balance. A strong back makes for stronger paddling and also helps prevent injury.

Start in the standard plank position with your body in a straight line from head to toe, engaging your core.
Stack your shoulders above your wrists and do not let your head drop.
Slightly shift your weight to your right side and lift your left arm so that it is level with your back.
Engage your back, core, and legs for balance.
Bring your left arm down and repeat same motion on the other side.
Do 15 reps on each side for three sets.

Exercise 4: Superwoman

Surfers love this superwoman exercise because back strength is key for paddling your board. A lifted chest allows for shifting body weight to speed up (lean forward) or slow down (shift your weight back). Even people who spend hours a day sitting can benefit from this exercise as it strengthens your upper and lower back.

Start lying face down on your mat.
Hold your arms out with your hands facing down.
Take a deep breath in and slowly lift your chest and your legs, making sure to pull your shoulders back and down.
Hold for a couple seconds and release, maintaining control.
Do 10 reps for three sets.


Thanks Amanda, I’ll start balancing right away. ;-)
You’ll always find tips and tricks right here at La Playa.

See you in the waves,

Amanda LeVett is a surfer, hotelier, world traveler, and Las Olas surf coach. When she’s home you can find her and her dog, Sadie, every morning scanning the horizon for the next set.

Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women and editor-in-chief of Jennifer’s Journey, the online travel portal for women adventurers. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports. You’ll find her and husband Chris on the beach in Mexico throughout the surf season.

Photos: Camilla Fuchs

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