Surfing is a demanding and physically challenging sport that requires a great deal of strength, endurance, and coordination. The sport involves riding waves while balancing on a surfboard, which puts a significant amount of strain on various muscles throughout the body. In this article, we will explore the muscles used for surfing, including how they are used and the benefits of keeping them in top condition.


First and foremost, surfing requires a strong core. The core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, are used to maintain balance and stability while riding the waves. These muscles also help surfers to generate power and speed while paddling out to catch waves. Therefore, core strength is essential for surfers of all skill levels.

Upper Body

In addition to the core, the upper body muscles are also heavily utilized in surfing. The chest, shoulders, and triceps are all involved in the paddling motion, which is necessary to catch waves. The deltoids, biceps, and forearms are used to maneuver the surfboard while riding the waves. Therefore, surfers must have strong upper body muscles to paddle out to catch waves and perform tricks while riding them.


The legs also play a vital role in surfing. The quadriceps and hamstrings are used to push up onto the surfboard and maintain a stable position while riding waves. The calf muscles are also involved in stabilizing the ankle and foot, which is essential for maintaining balance while riding waves. Therefore, strong leg muscles are crucial for both paddling out and riding waves.

In terms of specific surfing movements, the pop-up is one of the most critical movements in surfing. This movement involves pushing up from a prone position on the surfboard to a standing position. The pop-up requires explosive power and coordination from the entire body, with a focus on the upper body and core muscles. Therefore, training for the pop-up should involve exercises that focus on explosive power, such as plyometrics and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Most Effective Exercises for Surfing 

When it comes to training for surfing, there are many different exercises that can be used to target the muscles used for surfing. Some of the most effective exercises include:

Core exercises: Planks, sit-ups, and Russian twists are all great exercises for building core strength.

Upper body exercises: Push-ups, pull-ups, and dumbbell rows are excellent exercises for building upper body strength.

Leg exercises: Squats, lunges, and calf raises are all great exercises for building leg strength.

Plyometrics: Jump squats, burpees, and box jumps are all great plyometric exercises that can help build explosive power.

Stretching and Flexibility

In addition to strength training, stretching and flexibility are also essential for surfers. Stretching helps to prevent injury and increase mobility, which is necessary for performing surfing movements. It’s also essential to wear appropriate clothing for surfing, such as ladies summer wetsuits, which can help protect the body from cold water and other elements.

In conclusion, surfing is a physically demanding sport that requires a great deal of strength, endurance, and coordination. The muscles used for surfing include the core, upper body, and legs, all of which play a vital role in maintaining balance and stability while riding waves. To train for surfing, surfers should focus on strength training, plyometrics, stretching, and flexibility. And, of course, don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing to stay comfortable and protected while surfing.