Surf warm up

Surf warm up is the final step in the preparation routine for surfing (the first two were foam rolling and static stretching). You already did the soft tissue work and increased your mobility and flexibility. Now it’s time to concentrate on warming up the muscles, increase the body temperature and bring the heart rate up.

Effects of surf warm up

  • The warm-up should gently prepare the body for exercises by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation, this will loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles.
  • Apart from the general advantages one of the most important reason for doing the warm-up is to prevent injury during surfing. Keeping the muscles warm will prevent acute injuries such as strains.
  • Concentrate on stretching all the major areas on your body. Don’t just focus on small muscle groups.

How long should a surf warm up last?

I usually recommend for about 3-5 minutes right after stretching drills. This gives the body plenty of time to gradually get ready for physical activity.

Complete surf warm up routine cheat sheet

Below is a complete routine that can be done in 5 minutes. You can also download the below routine as a 1 page cheat sheet that will help you to warm up the key areas for surfing in 5 minutes at home.

Body parts, muscles that you should warm up for surfing:

So before you hit the water, here are some of my favorite exercises and why they are useful.

  1. Cat camel – warm up your back (20-30 seconds)

  1. Bird dog – activate your core (20-30 seconds or 8 reach/side)

  1. Egg roll – good for your spine (20-30 seconds)


  1. Single leg hip lift – activate your glutes (30-60 seconds or 8 reach/side)


  1. Grub walk – activate your core/shoulders (3-5 walk out)

How long shoud you do each drill?

Do it for about 15-30 sec in each exercise. We try to count breaths these days, so 3-5 breaths will do it. You should always concentrate on prepare you respiratory system before surfing especially, because of those messy wipe outs. During warm-up, try to take a deep breath through your nose to the stomach and then exhale through the mouth like blowing a balloon.


Don’t forget: Warm-up is also a really good opportunity for a surfers to prepare mentally and physically for the following session. During warmup you also have the chance to check the daily conditions at your break and watch the line up for a couple of moments. Warm-ups can also be used to practice skills on the dry land. There are a lots of useful drill what a beginner should master before heading into the waves.

Download the entire routine above as a 1 page cheat sheet that will help you to warm up the key areas for surfing in 5 minutes at home.


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