Surfers are often thought of as relaxed, or even lazy. Our obsession with waves and total prioritization of surf over most other things in life (work and school included) leads some to believe that surfers are, in fact, lazy. Our guests at our Sri Lanka surf camp and those who surf or have tried surfing elsewhere, know that nothing could be further from the truth. While many argue that surfing is not a sport, but rather an art form or lifestyle, no one argues that surfing is not physically demanding. Good surfers are almost always in top shape, and for good reason, simply paddling out leaves most novices completely exhausted. To help our guests at our Sri Lanka surf camp, The Surfer Weligama, prepare for their next visit, we’ve compiled a list of 5 Yoga Poses for Increased Paddle Strength.
High Plank may appear easy, but when held for long periods or incorporated in various vinyasas (flows), High Plank becomes a powerful strength builder that will engage your core and strengthen your shoulders. To perform, begin at the top of the pushup position with straight arms, a tight core, and engaged glutes. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat. Learn High Plank and other surf-related yoga poses in our daily yoga classes at our Sri Lanka surf Camp, the Surfer Weligama.
A favorite for our instructors at our Sri Lanka surf camp, Downward Facing Dog and Upward-Facing Dog are perhaps the two most recognizable poses in yoga. When performed together in a vinyasa with a quick tempo, the flow can turn into a serious shoulder burner that is sure to increase your paddle strength. To perform, begin in High Plank, maintain a straight back, and walk your feet up in the direction of the hands until your body forms a “V” shape. Keep your gaze towards your feet, spread your fingers, and press your heels towards the floor.
To perform Upward Facing Dog, uncurl your feet so that the tops of your feet are pressed against the floor. With your hands placed firmly on the floor underneath your chest, begin to arch your back and slowly and lift your chest off the ground. Maintaining an upward gaze, elongate your core.
Side Plank is a plank variation that engages the core and builds the shoulder strength required to paddle out in the surf near our Sri Lanka surf camp. To Perform, begin in plank pose, press your feet together and place your weight down through your right hand. Rotate your body to the right, balancing on the edge of your right foot. Place your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight. Extend your left arm to the sky and reach through your fingertips. With a straight left leg, lift your leg at a 45-degree angle, opening your hips. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
For surfers, Balancing Table will build core and lower back strength that will increase turning power in the water and help with paddling. So, if you’re a serious surfer visiting our Sri Lanka surf camp, incorporate Balancing Table into your training before your trip.
To perform, begin on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Shift your gaze forward and engage your core. Push your right leg backward, with your toes pointed extend your right leg behind you and hold it extended at hip height. Extend your left arm forward at shoulder height, reaching through your fingertips with your thumb pointed towards the sky. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds are repeat on the other side.