Summer is finally here!
After months of wrapping up and rocking a waterproof every time we ventured out for an adventure, we can finally spend those longs days exploring in the sunshine, that we've been dreaming about for so long.
Like any exercise however, summertime adventures are always so much easier and a lot more enjoyable when our bodies are trained and ready for them. Going out for a surf is much better when you've worked on our arms and core and can jump on the smallest of waves, hiking is great when you feel like your legs are strong enough to carry you for hundreds of miles.
Whatever adventures you're planning for the summer months, make sure you're in great shape to take them on with these exercises and stretches!
Surfing is an exercise that really takes whole body strength, but if you've been out of the water for a few months (or more) and you want a kick start those powerful pops again, there are a few exercises that are great to focus on.
To get the power you need to survive a session in the waves, focus on your arms, core, legs and balance drills for the couple of weeks leading up to your trip.
4 Workouts To Kick Start Your Surfing:
Overhead Weights, Walking Lunge - Lift weights of your ability level overhead and step forward into a deep lunge, with your thigh parallel to the ground. Repeat for 10 sets on each leg.
Burpees- Yep - We know, we hate them too. Burpees are however, one of the very best exercises to get into surfing shape, just think of the muscles you use to get up on a wave. Add 3 reps of 10 burpees into each workout leading up to your trip and just wait and see how much stronger your pop becomes!
Balance Drills- If there's one thing a surfer needs in buckets, its balance. A few balance drills a day will send you right on your way to get those long rides and quick turns. Work in a one-legged balance, a single leg bend and reach and single leg squats and keep your best times to see your improvement.
Russian Twists- This well known exercise is great for rotational core strength, which will be more than a little handy when your turning into waves and cutting back. Vary the exercise with different weights and rep ranges. Here's to a happy core!
Hiking seems like an adventure that anyone can do with little to no training and it is one of the most low impact outdoor sports out there. If you condition your body ahead of your hikes however, you'll be amazed to the difference it makes to your days out.
When training for a long hike, the best things to focus on are leg strength, general aerobic ability and endurance - you don't want to be stuck halfway up a trail with burning legs and no energy left to finish what you've started.
3 Workouts To Support Your Hiking
Uphill gradient running/ walking- This type of exercise will be slightly more intense than the type of hike you're planning and will prepare your heart and aerobic system. To regulate training, use a treadmill and set it to a constant climb of 2.0%. Depending on ability, either slow run or power walk for 20 minutes each day.
Squats- The old favourite, these are brilliant to strengthen your thighs and glutes, so you can run straight up those hill climbs. Crouch or sit with your knees bent and one's heels close to or touching one's buttocks or the back of one's thighs.
Yoga- Hiking and yoga might not be the most obvious workout match, but regular yoga sessions really will help to improve both your core strength and your endurance. Get that downward dog on!
If you haven't been climbing in a few months or more, there are a couple of areas which you can try and strengthen before your next climb, in order to avoid injury and makes you a stronger climber.
All climbers know the forearm pain that comes with that first climb of the season, so focus on stretching and strengthening that area, but equally, strengthen your legs (that's where all your climbing strength should be hiding anyway!)
4 Workouts To Strengthen Your Climbing
Mountain Climbers- As with most sports, core is super important in climbing. Working mountain climbers into your workout will not only strengthen those important stomach muscles, but also improve your cardiovascular endurance and strength.
Burpees- Sorry, but the dreaded burpees are here again! Do these little terrors as often as you can, there are few other home workouts that have the same level of fitness results.
Pull ups- They might seem a little extreme, but pull ups are amazing for climbing. While your legs should be doing a lot of the work when your climbing up that wall, you still need some serious arm and chest strength to pull yourself over the harder routes and survive those overhang climbs. Head to the gym and get a couple of shorts reps in every week, you'll see your fitness levels shooting up!
Woodchop- This is a seriously tough, but seriously worthwhile abs and legs workout. Stand with your feet hip width apart and hold your hands just to the outside of your left ankle as in a squat position and engage your core. Pull your arms past your right shoulder as your torso rotates to the right and then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times and then swap to the other side of your body, work up reps corresponding to your ability.
While it might be tempting to focus on training your legs for a cycling adventure, you shouldn't forget about the important areas of the body that all cyclists need to be in good shape.
While doing those important leg exercises, make sure you also workout and strengthen your back, your core and your glutes.
3 Strength Exercises To Prepare For Your Cycling
Superman- Great for your spine and core strength, the superman is done by laying on you stomach on a mat and simultaneously raising your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor, and holding for two seconds before lowering and repeating.
Renegade Rows- A full body workout that targets similar muscles as the plank, as well as the upper back and arms. Rows will help build great endurance within your upper body when cycling. Grab a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells and get in plank position with your hands on the weights and your feet hip-width apart. Bend your right elbow and raise the dumbbell until your elbow passes your torso, pressing the left dumbbell into the floor for balance, then lower and repeat.
Kettle Bell Swings- The best exercise for endurance power, kettle bell swings will condition your body to be super strong for those long rides and climbs. Work in two to three reps of 15 swings into your workouts to gain the best results.
It might seem a little odd to do work on land for an exercise you're going to do under the sea, but diving is as physically strenuous as any other adventure.
When diving, your shoulders, back and lower legs feel the strain more than other areas, so these stretches will give you a little strength to avoid cramps mid-dive.
3 Exercises To Help You Dive Deeper
Hanging Shoulder Stretch- The equipment needed for diving is heavy and can cause back discomfort, make sure your shoulders are loose by placing your palms on a wall, shoulder width apart, keeping the elbows straight and walking your feet backward as you lean your chest towards the floor until a good stretch is achieved.
Swimmer's Stretch- A common stretch for divers and swimmers, this stretch focuses on opening the chest before a dive. Stand up right and reach your arms around to the back, interlocking fingers. Push back until you feel the stretch in your arms and across your torso.
Standing Calf Raise- The stronger your calves are, the easier diving will be and the less likely you will be to experience cramping. Stand with the balls of your feet firmly on the edge of a step and your heels suspended and sand as tall as you can, emphasizing a squeeze in your calves before slowly lowering yourself, repeat as many times as you can.
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