By and large I do love internet swell forecasts. For the modern surfer we have an oceanography service that allows us to quite literally plan our professional lives around the next swell. Ever wondered why the late completion of your seaside home renovation coincided with a bulging swell season? Perhaps not, but read on.
Personally, I commandeer the charts to navigate my travels between the coast and the higher ranges. When the swell in on, I run around like a kid on Christmas eve, except in India I replace presents with uncrowded 3-4 foot river-mouths, mum’s roast dinner with a Masala Dosa, beer with Chai, and silverware with my right hand. When the swell abates I turn my attention to the cultural and natural gems that the mountains possess, a luxury not accessible to our ancestral surf predecessors.
And this brings me to a Surfbodysoul client who bases much of his life around the next bump on the surf radar, Anthony Walsh. Walshy is a talented goofy footer hailing from the Aussie surf mecca of Lennox Head. The fact Walshy grew up in the land of playful rights, yet somehow developed the ability to charge 50 foot reef slabs is beyond my comprehension. Combine this with the fact he is a non-drinking Aussie, who watches what he eats and completes his surf fitness program religiously and you start to get a picture of a man with strength of character.
Below I have outlined how to complete the Prone Hold Leg Lift. This is a core strength exercise included in Anthony’s program. This exercise is great to strengthen the deep abdominal and spinal muscles simultaneously, providing support for your lower back, and increasing power for your surfing.
Start in a 4-point kneeling position (on your hand and knees). Engage your abdominals by tucking your belly button in towards your spine.
Place your elbows directly below your shoulders, tuck your toes under and raise the knees off the floor into a prone hold position. Tuck your chin in, draw the shoulders away from the ears, and keep your abdominals activated at 100%. Your back should be flat, avoid arching the lower back.
Exhale to activate your right buttock cheek and raise your straight right leg off the floor to hip height. It is essential that the hips are square and the lower back remains strong and flat, not arching. Keep your belly button tucking in towards the spine at 100%.
Inhale return the right leg to the floor, exhale repeat on your left leg.
Repeat 5-10 times on each leg depending on your level of strength.
If you feel any lower back pain during the completion of this exercise stop immediately.
Add this exercise to your daily practice to build your core strength. From Ponmudi in the mountains of Kerala, I look forward to seeing you on the mat, or in the water!
Ryan Huxley is the co-founder and program creator at Surfbodysoul, a website that provides safe, effective, holistic, scientific e-book exercise programs catering for surfers of all age, level and experience. Ryan is a qualified Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist, Advanced Yoga and Pilates instructor. His list of pro surfing clients includes Fergal Smith, Chippa Wilson, Anthony Walsh, Paige Hareb, Emi Cataldi & Rusty Miller.