Popular Science



Riding waves is physically demanding, and preparing for competitio­n requires intense cross-training to maximize strength, agility, and balance. Two decades of research have shown that these five parts of the body play a central role in mastering the surf, even if you aren’t a pro. —Molly Glick

1/A strong core links the shoulders and hips, providing rotational strength for turns and aerials. It also improves balance and helps absorb the impact of big airs.

2/Toned glutes, quads, and hamstrings help riders keep their feet firmly planted on the board as it moves over the waves beneath them.

3/Strong, flexible ankles are key to maintainin­g balance and quickly rotating a board 180 degrees or more, making jawdroppin­g jumps and other maneuvers possible.

4/Surfers spend more than half their time on the water paddling into position. That demands powerful pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

5/All that upper body movement can send an athlete’s heart rate soaring to 160 beats per minute or more, making exceptiona­l cardiovasc­ular fitness a must.

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