As I try to do most years that I play footy, I booked a nice little end of season surf trip to an island East of Lombok in the Indonesian Archipelago called Sumbawa. Within the surfing community it is a well know region for waves, offering a few different set-ups that require a variety of skills. In this blog I wanted to outline my preparations for the trip, what have I been working on in order to get the most out of the time that I am there.
The first step with any surf holiday is to make sure that you have the relevant equipment sorted, that is a few different boards to suit a variety of conditions and then stock up on the simple things – new leash, back up fins, wax, sunscreen and boardshorts. The last thing that you want to happen is to snap a leash and not have a backup so it is super important to have that with you on your travels as well as a set of spare fins. For this trip I will take 3 boards away – I have a 6’0 performance board, 5’10 middle range board and a 5’8 more small wave type board.
Playing football last Saturday, I injured my shoulder which has put a spanner in the works for my planned routine of exercise over the next 6 weeks. However, it has given me the opportunity to go back to basics with some shoulder health. With a greater focus on rotator cuff control and scapula (shoulder blade) positioning I should be able to support the new injury and ensure it is not a limiting factor whilst I am away on the trip. If you are reading this and find yourself in a similar situation with an injury to the shoulder, then you have the opportunity to follow my lead.
1. Wall Sit Shoulder External Rotation/Internal Rotation: 3 sets of 12
2. Prone ‘Y’ + ‘T’ + ‘W’: 5 sets of 10 each position x 3 second holds
3. Supine Shoulder Clockwork: 3 sets of 15
The above exercises are a starting point for re-training some shoulder range of motion and strength work. It is important for surfing, particularly if going to surf more critical waves that as well as shoulder health, you optimise your hip range of motion and mobility for enhanced performance. This will help the ease and speed of your pop-ups as well as giving you better control and drive from your turns. I have found a few really key exercises that help this and have put into my routine in recent weeks to build into this trip.
1. Pretzel Hip Rotations: 2 sets of 8 each way
2. 4-Point Kneeling Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 90 seconds hold each side
As for leg strengthening the focus in this early stage of my preparations is to get some strong glute activation and single leg stability going. I really like to use the looped therabands with these exercises to add some resistance to the movement and make it burn.
3. Single Leg T-band hip opening: 3 sets of 15-20 reps each side
4. T-band Crabwalks: 3 sets of 10 steps each direction side to side
In order to prepare generally I am heading to the sauna 2-3 x week doing 20-25 minute stints concentrating on some breath regulation (something like 4 second inhale through nose, 3 second hold, 4 second exhale through the mouth). This is great for recovery, and cardiorespiratory optimising. After the sauna I generally jump into the pool and muck around with some underwater breath holding. For this I don’t have a set routine but enjoy mixing it up so that I can work on my anxiety during a wipeout in the surf or if I am paddling out through the bigger stuff and copping a beating.
I really enjoy these types of exercises and activities so it never feels like a chore, plus I know the benefits will be significant if I can get a good block of preparation moving forward towards this trip. Give these a go and see what you think!
If you have any queries, feedback or advice I would love to hear your thoughts! Get in contact :) yeewwww
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