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Physiofitness Blog

Surfing Prep 101

| In Health, Movement, Outdoor, Training | on May 5, 2016

Chris Delehanty’s a surfer. The signs are everywhere: surfing pictures on the walls, talk of wave height, his computer set to Rockaway’s surf cam. No matter the weather, he’s always thinking about the next wave. Before heading to Costa Rica for his first warm water ride of 2016, here’s how he and Dina, his wife and Physiofitness’ Business Manager, got beach ready despite wintry weather.

To build his stamina and strength for three-hour blocks of surfing, Chris swam two-to-three times per week at Chelsea Piers. Getting in the water allowed him to develop upper body endurance for the long “paddle out” in Costa Rica.  Dina worked on her stability and strength so she could quickly go from paddling to standing. To improve foundational strength, Dina worked with James Chung, one of the Physiofitness Trainers, on squats and deadlifts.

They also focused on the Dynamic Warm-Up, a sequence of five exercises that elevate your heart rate (so it could double as a mini-workout) and get your joints moving – especially pesky areas like the upper back and hips. The exercises are:  Seated T-spine Twist, Cat Cow, Spiderman Twist, Inchworm and Split Squat Twist, which can all be found on our YouTube Channel. To make sure she didn’t get bored, Dina would occasionally switch up the order. Every morning before hitting the waves in Costa Rica, she and Chris warmed up with this same routine. It worked so well we made it our Exercise of the Month.

To make sure surfing never felt too far away during the winter months (and remind himself to get to the pool), Chris spent his commute reading Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. The surfer’s biography took Chris straight to the challenging, awe-inspiring waves of the world from Maui to Fiji. “I’m on the surfboard with the writer,” Chris says. “I’ve surfed waves that I shouldn’t have. I feel that fear all over again in the big waves that the book describes.”

By the time they headed to Nosara, Costa Rica in late March, they were ready.  “The waves were epic,” Chris said. At the start the waves were at three-to-five feet, and grew about a foot each day. Despite spending six hours a day, for seven straight days on a board, they came back without any soreness or injuries. The mental and physical prep did the trick.

If you’re looking to get ready for a physically active vacation, such as climbing, hiking, golf or tennis, ask your therapist or trainer at Physiofitness for suggestions. We’re happy to help.


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