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Surf-Inspired Exercises to Sculpt Lean Muscle

You can bet a surfer’s toned arms, sleek back, flat abs, and sculpted legs aren’t built in the gym. “Those tight, lean muscles are the result of duck diving and paddling, popping up and down, and working through several planes of motion to stay on the board,” explains Adam Rosante, a celebrity trainer in New York City who works with a number of pro surfers. (He earned his surf cred while growing up on Long Island by riding waves in Montauk, an East Coast waterfront hot spot.) Rosante translated all those unique physical demands into fresh moves you can do using nothing more than your body weight. We asked him to put together an exclusive-for-you fat-burning circuit of the most effective exercises from his new WaveShape workout DVD set. (You can also check a video of this surfer routine!)

“I designed this high-intensity routine to work your body from every angle and challenge your balance as you incinerate a maximum number of calories,” Rosante says of the moves that he cherry-picked. “It will not only make you look amazing, but it will also help you root out any muscle imbalances.” Each motion simulates a surf-specific skill and then takes it up a notch so you get even leaner than you would out on the water.

These moves also work magic with your endurance, power, coordination, and flexibility—build those and anything you do will feel easier, whether it’s exercise, sports, or your everyday mad dash. “This isn’t your typical plyometric workout; it’s a total-body routine grounded in sports conditioning,” Rosante says.

Inspired? Your goal is to get in as many rounds of Rosante’s nine moves as possible in 20 minutes. The number of rounds you reach is dictated by the work you’re willing to put in.

“Don’t cheat or hold back; go harder than you think you can, because that’s when the body-changing results happen,” Rosante says. “Just always remember to focus on your form first. Beginners can start off slowly and then increase their pace once they get used to the movement patterns.” And forget the wet suit. Make this your go-to workout this month and you’ll want to put on a little bikini instead. (See more of The Surfer Body Workout.)

How it works: Set a timer for 20 minutes. Do these moves in order for the number of reps indicated—no resting between moves. Repeat the circuit as many times as you can until the clock runs out. Do
 this routine three or four days a week on alternate days and record the number of rounds you did each time.

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

You will need: No equipment

1. Surfies

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides. Crouch, place palms on floor, jump feet back to plank.

B.

Lower body to floor, then explosively push up and jump feet to hands to land in a staggered stance with left foot forward, knees and elbows bent as if balancing on a surfboard.

C.

Jump, tucking knees toward chest and bringing palms over knees. Land softly to complete 1 rep. Repeat, this time landing with right foot forward. Do 12 reps, alternating sides.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

2. Rail Grab

A.

Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat, and palms pressing into foot directly below shoulders width fingertips pointing behind you. Lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to knees. Reach left hand up. Quickly push off right palm and sweep arms to switch positions, landing with left hand
 on floor and right hand reaching up. Switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep. Do 
12 reps, alternating sides.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

3. Crescent Lunge

A.

Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Raise arms overhead. Step left foot back and bend right knee 90 degrees (left leg bends slightly), simultaneously turning torso to right, swinging arms down to outside of right thigh. Return to start. Switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps, alternating sides.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

4. Paddle Out

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Extend right arm forward to shoulder height with palm facing down, then sweep it out to right in an arc until it meets right thigh. Drag right palm up alongside body until it’s beneath shoulder. Lower hand to floor to return to plank; switch sides and repeat. Do 
a pushup to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

5. Pop Up

A.

Kneel on floor with legs together and sit back on heels, bending elbows by sides to bring hands in front of chest to start.

B.

Swing arms back, then forward as you explosively pop up off knees to and with feet flat on floor, hip-width apart. Stand tall, pressing hips forward and squeezing glutes. Lower back to start to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

6. Bridge Kick

A.

Sit on floor with palms flat under shoulders, fingertips pointing forward, legs extended in front of you. Lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to heels to start. Pull bent right knee toward chest, then press heel back to start. Next, kick right leg up as far as possible, then lower to start. Switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps, alternating sides.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

7. Boat Rocker

A.

Lie facedown on floor with arms extended forward and legs straight to start. Left chest and thighs off floor, reaching arms and legs long. Lower.

B.

Roll over left shoulder and rise to sit, balancing on tailbone, extending arms forward and legs up and out so that body forms a V shape. Lower to floor and roll over right shoulder to return to start and complete 1 rep. Do
 12 reps, alternating sides.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

8. Jackknife

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides. Hinge forward from hips, reaching arms back and lifting right leg back until body forms a T shape.

B.

Explosively jump, driving 
right knee forward and scooping arms so fingertips meet at chest level 
(as though you’re hugging a barrel). Land softly to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12 per side

9. Duck Dive

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Press hips up and back so that body forms an inverted V shape (downward-facing dog).

B.

Bend elbows and dive head forward into the bottom of a pushup with elbows close to sides.

C.

Push up to start position to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Sets:

1

Reps:

12

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