Your desk job is killing your surfing
An average American sits for more than 10 hours a day according to a study cited in the Washington Post. But don’t believe “recent studies”, calculate it for yourself here how much you are sitting every day.
Maybe you have a hunch that this is not great for your health, but here is what it does to your surfing:
You spend your day sitting, but then you paddle out and expect your body to have the mobility that is needed for proper paddling and turning.
Your deep muscles in the front part of the hip bone (iliopsoas) are getting shorter due to sitting around too much, plus you are actively developing a “desk butt”, as sitting all day atrophies your muscles, making your bottom flat.
Single leg hip lift: fixing your desk butt and improving your posture for better paddling and also for making turns
This simple drill will exercise the back side of the body (hamstrings, glutes, extensors around
the spine) before surfing.
The goal is to stretch out the muscle complex on the front part of your hips in order to successfully
activate the glutes and hamstrings on the opposite side of the body for surfing. It is part of my five-minute pre surf warmup (you can get the entire warm up as a one page cheat sheet here).
How to do the single leg hip lift properly?
The movement should originate from your glutes, hamstrings and core muscles:
1, Start on your back. With the knees bent and only one heel on the floor
2, Lift one leg in the air
3, Brace the stomach, tilt the hips, push the heel into the ground before the movement
4, Lift the hips off the ground by squeezing the glutes (butt muscle)
5, Make sure you keep the glutes active (squeeze) and push with your heel
6, Take a deep breath, return to the starting position and exhale during the motion
Repeat the above 20 times for each leg (5 sec for each rep). Takes about 1,5-2 minutes in total.
Common mistakes – avoid doing these
1, Using the lower back instead of activating the glutes. Typical mistake is overloading the lower back because of the lack of core control and hip tilt
2, Pushing the hips too high. One of the most common mistake is trying to do full bridge. Try to create a straight line from the knee to the shoulder in the end position
3, Using the arms as a support. You can easily recognize and solve the problem: back part of your upper arm (triceps) will hurt immediately
4, Heel is too close / far from the hips. Make sure you place the heels almost below the knee.
Call to action – get out of your office rut
This is a simple, but powerful exercise. Do you want the sequence for a five-minute pre surf warmup? I have made a one page cheat sheet that will help you with that.