Warm-Ups for Surfing

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone looking to catch their first wave, it’s essential to start your surf session right. One way is with an effective warm-up.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is a great way to prepare your body for the physical demands of surfing. This type of stretching involves moving your muscles and joints through their full range of motion. It helps improve flexibility, increase blood flow, and reduce the risk of injury.

Here’s a simple dynamic stretching routine to get you started:

a. Arm Circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and make small circles with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles.

b. Leg Swings: Stand next to a wall or a sturdy support. Swing one leg forward and backward, then switch to the other leg.

c. Hip Rotations: Stand with your hands on your hips and make slow circular movements with your hips in both directions.

Core Activation

Surfing requires strong core muscles to maintain balance and control while riding the waves. Engaging your core muscles during your warm-up is crucial. Here’s an exercise to help activate your core:

a. Plank: Begin in a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and your body in a straight line. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, focusing on keeping your core tight and your back straight.

Cardiovascular Warm-Up

Surfing can be physically demanding, so getting your heart rate up before paddling out can help improve your performance and endurance. Try some light cardiovascular exercises to warm up:

a. Jumping Jacks: Perform a set of jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and increase blood flow.

b. High Knees: Stand in place and lift your knees as high as possible while jogging in one spot.


After your dynamic warm-up and core activation, it’s crucial to stretch your muscles. Stretching can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of muscle soreness. Focus on stretching the muscles you’ll be using most during your surf sesh:

a. Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent so the sole of your foot touches your inner thigh. Reach forward to touch your toes, holding the stretch for 15-30 seconds on each leg.

b. Quad Stretch: Stand on one leg and bring your other heel toward your glutes. Hold your ankle or use a strap to gently pull your heel closer to your body. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds on each leg.

Warming up before a surf session can be an essential for optimizing your performance and preventing injury. Whether you’re taking surf lessons with the San Diego Surf School or you’re a seasoned surfer, these warm-up exercises can help you prepare for the waves that await you along the beautiful San Diego coastline.