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On my walk to the waves I often see surfers stretching on the beach prior to their session.
The idea behind this is great: loosen up before the paddle out, see where the waves are breaking best, and mentally prepare for what lies ahead, however a static stretch may not be the best way warm up the body for a surf session and should be saved for a post surf warm down.
What is more beneficial for optimal performance is an active warm up to gradually increase your heart rate, raise your core temperature and use muscle movement patterns that are needed in your surfing movements.
A brisk walk or light jog across the sand is a great way should to get your heart rate up and should be the first warm up activity you do.
Next some simple movement patterns like sun salutations used in yoga, including cat/camel, downward dog, and sphinx poses repeated 3-5 times is a great way to warm up your lumbar spine and core musculature.
Next warm up your shoulders by reaching your arms away from your body in a diagonal plane and alternate crossing patterns in front of your body. Ten in each direction should be plenty.
Finally a single leg balance reach exercise where you stand with your feet straight and hip width apart, then balance on one leg and lift the other directly beside it. Point the lifted leg and toe back at a 45 degree angel keeping hips facing forward and hold for 5 seconds. Return lifted leg to start position and repeat to a count of 5. Switch legs.
For added difficulty raise the arms and lean in the direction of the planted leg.
Now with your muscles warm go enjoy the surf!
(Pictures to come!)
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