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How to Surf Better – Experience Life

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– Fitness Tips –

Expert advice and drills to enhance your surfing skills and enjoyment.

The best surfer is the person having the most fun.” Or so says surfing legend Gerry Lopez. But to get to the point where you’re riding on the crest of a wave and having all that fun, surfing requires a lot of focused effort.

Paddling your surfboard out past the break zone and catching a wave demands core and upper-body strength. Bursting in one fluid pop-up motion from a prone position to standing on your board entails explosive power, flexibility, mobility, and fine-tuned balance.

And then the fun kicks in. As the Beach Boys rejoiced, “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.” Mount Everest may be technically higher, but so far no one’s been inspired to sing about the sheer joy of climbing it.

Pro surfing coach Ximena Reynolds, a Life Time trainer in Rancho San Clemente, Calif., describes surfing simply as “addictive.” Which is all the more reason to hone your conditioning for it, whether you live close to an ocean, near one of the new-tech wave pools, or landlocked far away — but with a surfing safari on the horizon.

Many people have viewed surfing as purely recreational, but in truth it’s a complex, demanding sport. “It has taken years for surfers to understand the importance of training out of the water to stay strong and prevent injuries,” Reynolds says.

“There are two methods of training for surfing that are very effective: functional training and Pilates,” she notes. “Both methods work for the high-level competitive surfer or a beginner surfer who is trying to improve their surfing.”

The following drills can help you catch that wave.

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Health & Fitness

How to Pack a Gym Bag

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Forgetting your socks or weightlifting gloves can derail your workout, especially if you’re new to exercise or entrenched in a rigid program. To stay the course, having the right supplies is key to your success. To help you prepare, we asked Life Time personal trainers Anna Taylor, NASM, USAW, Alpha, and Bryce Morris, MS, NASM, ISSA, Alpha, for their favorite gym-bag essentials.

Staples

  • Stretchy, flexible, sweat-wicking shirt and pants or shorts
  • Socks (two pairs)
  • Undergarments, sports bra, support, or protection
  • Cross-trainers or sport-specific shoes
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Flip-flops for showering
  • Hair binders, deodorant, toiletries
  • Sports watch or heart-rate monitor
  • MP3 player/phone and earbuds or headphones for music

Nice to Haves

  • Swimsuit for the whirlpool or sauna
  • Wet/dry bag for swimsuit or sweaty clothes postworkout
  • Razors: Some clubs offer them in the locker room, but bring a reusable one to cut down on waste
  • Odor-absorbing charcoal sticks to keep your bag smelling fresh
  • Shaker bottle with premeasured protein powder so you can add water and refuel

Coach Anna also suggests:

  • A protein-packed bar to eat before your workout
  • Bear KompleX Hand Grips for pull-ups
  • A weightlifting belt for lifts at 80 percent or more of max

Coach Bryce also suggests:

  • An extra T-shirt
  • A RPM speed rope for double-unders and conditioning
  • A BCAA and L-glutamine supplement to support recovery after your session

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