Surfing can really take a toll on your body, physically. While staying physically fit is extremely important, your shoulders should be given extra attention. Injuries to the shoulders are one of the most ailments that can plague a surfer, so keeping them strong and healthy is vital to your continued enjoyment of the sport. Here are some tips to keep your shoulders strong.
Maintain good posture and alignment
It’s no secret that surfing requires a good understanding of alignment and balance. However, if you don’t maintain good alignment while training and exercising for the sport, you won’t just be a poor surfer, you could cause yourself some serious pain down the road. Remember to keep your head centered over your body when surfing, as well as when you’re exercising or conducting every day, mundane tasks like sitting at a desk and typing all day.
All of that alignment translates to maintaining a proper posture. A good posture translates into good shoulder function. Lousy posture translates to lousy shoulder function, which, in turn, translates to poor surfing. Ultimately, if your spine is not in proper alignment it can disrupt your spinal rotation, breathing and shoulder motion. It can not only affect your surfing but the simple act of paddling out can wear down your shoulder joints and become painful.
Good Spine Health Equals Good Shoulder Health
All of that paddling puts a serious strain on your shoulders (repetitive motion usually will). However, the pain and injury that can follow all of that repetitive paddling aren’t strictly focused on your shoulders. Your shoulders connect to your spine via a system of muscles and connective tissues across your shoulder blades. It all adds up to a fairly complex system and for that system to work appropriately your spinal mobility needs to be at its best. The spine is the start of the entire system.
Weight training and stretching will obviously increase your shoulder strength, but don’t overdo it. Much like you paddling and surfing techniques, remember to keep your movements small and controlled. Stay aligned, stay centered and stay surfing!