What exercises can I do at home to get fit for surfing? I would like to improve my fitness so that when I travel to a surf break I'll be able to enjoy myself rather than just being exhausted.

  • I would say, general stamina fitness, cardio workouts you can easily do at home. If you want to build some upper body strength then dumbbell workouts... swimming is a very good all round workout but not something you can do at home usually.
    – Aravona
    Aug 4, 2014 at 7:09
  • Isn't it surfing already a fitness exercise?
    – Desorder
    Aug 6, 2014 at 21:26
  • Paddle towing a 5 gallon bucket.
    – paparazzo
    Aug 4, 2017 at 22:08

4 Answers 4


Having been a keen surfer since the late eighties, I can give you a reasonable list of the essentials:

  • Press ups
  • Pull ups
  • Sit ups
  • Burpees
  • Swimming

That's it. Seriously. All you really need to focus on is upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness, and you can do all of these without buying equipment.

Technique can help a lot as well - when you arrive at the beach watch the water for a while. Learn where the breaks are, and where the rip will help you paddle out (If you use the rip correctly you don't really need to use any energy to get out to beyond the break)

Oh, and of course the best exercise for surfing is surfing...


I would recommend Yoga. Yoga when done to the extreme is very exhausting, good for balance, and stability muscles.

As trying to define yoga routines would be way to long of an answer, I would recommend checking out youtube for some tips. They even have surf specific yoga there.

  • It would be great if you can link to some / specific asanas & sequences
    – Alex S
    Jan 29, 2016 at 12:36

Without knowing your level of physical fitness, I would say that the following points would be important to be able to enjoy surfing:

  • Balance, critical for enjoyment of any "ride the thing" sport.
  • Static legs, beef up those thighs to be able to brave the highest of waves.
  • Stamina, run, cycle or swim to add to your current stamina (more stamina => longer sessions).

Be sure to warm up before and wind down after exercise, also stretch to keep yourself limber.


Do you live near the beach? If so the best exercise for surfing is surfing. As an avid surfer for 25+ years, this has been the case for me. Outside of that, swimming, paddling, and rowing are good alternatives. In terms of the goal of "not getting exhausted", focus on cardio. I rowed crew for a couple years in college. During that time, I was in my best 'surfing' shape, able to out paddle everyone (and faster paddling means more waves).

  • I do live near the beach, but while it's light I'm at work. When I go on holidays this will not be the case. That's why I want something I can do at home.
    – WW.
    Sep 15, 2014 at 2:24
  • If its inside the home, I'd agree with @jAce. Yoga is a great idea.
    – Tanner
    Sep 17, 2014 at 18:37

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