Bodysurfing and handboarding really makes you move, if you haven't noticed already. With all of those muscles working so hard, it's important to warm them up properly before heading out for a session. Here are a few stretching exercises for bodysurfing guaranteed to get your body relaxed and ready to shred.
You use your triceps extensively as you're paddling for a wave, so it's important to keep them limber and ready. Place one arm overhead while standing up comfortably. Grab your overhead elbow with your other hand and gently pull until you feel a slight stretch. Hold it at the point where you can feel the muscles stretching, but don't pull so hard to the point where it hurts. Be sure that the forearm of the triceps you're stretching stays vertical, with your fingers pointing directly to the floor. Hold stretches on each set of triceps for at least 15 seconds. Be sure to take normal breaths while you stretch.
Lie on your back and cross one leg by placing the ankle on the opposite knee. Now curl forward and wrap your fingers around the leg that the opposite ankle is resting on and gently pull back until you feel a stretch in your hip and/or glute. This glute and hip stretching exercise, when done on each leg, will help increase your flexibility in your hip flexors when you are kicking furiously to the lineup.
This stretch(and helpful photo) comes courtesy of Surfer Magazine. This back bodysurfing stretch is also called the "Cat Pose" and it helps to mimic the opposite of what your muscles do while you're paddling. While crouched on your knees, push your chest into your knees and press your hands into the ground. As you press with your hands, round out your back while spreading your shoulder blades out at the same time. Next, you should feel as if you are pushing your tailbone into the ground. Surfer Magazine writes, " This stretch simulates blood flow to muscles under tension, thus causing your brain to make them relax." This bodysurfing stretch will prepare you for paddling, whether it be with a board, with a handboard or with just your body weight.
Include these bodysurfing and/or surfing stretches in your shred routine and you will be out in the waves for hours and feeling great!