Sport Specific Training – Strength and Conditioning for a Surfer

To be more skilful at your sport of choice, spend time practicing and playing that sport. If you surf, go surfing.

However, if you’re looking to improve athletic performance or mitigate injury risk, a strength and conditioning program can be beneficial. Unlike general fitness training, a strength and condition (S&C) program will target specific athletic qualities. An S&C program will consider the individual/person. When designing an S&C program, consideration is given to key aspects of training. These include planes of movement, rate of force development, maximum strength and endurance requirements as well as your current training load, physical capabilities and limitations.

Exercise selection will consider the ‘specificity continuum’. This usually starts with movements far removed from the sport to movements that are highly sports specific. Generally speaking, the more specific a movement, the harder it is to overload and provide the stimulus required to promote adaptation. For a surfer, the deadlift would be on the more general or less specific end of the ‘specificity continuum’. However, the deadlift is relevant when considering the demands of the sport. The deadlift is a key lift easy to overload that can achieve desired neuromuscular adaptations. 

So where to I start with my sports specific training?

“You cant go wrong getting strong” is a saying that gets thrown around a lot and it’s one that holds true in most contexts, particularly when looking at injury risk mitigation and rehabilitation. While you can’t guarantee that strength gains will transfer to athletic performance, strength is a great foundation for athletic development.

In short, a surf or sports specific training program does not have to look like you are surfing the gym and it can/should include key lifts that are relevant to surfing. Reach out if you have questions about what a surf specific program, or any other sporting program should look like. Alternatively head over to our instagram or facebook for examples or get in touch with a health professional.