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    Training for Surfing

    Have you tried surfing before?  Do you want to prepare your body for that day of catching waves and feeling your board harmonizing with the energy of the ocean?  Did you know that the surfing is not only balance and timing, but it involves a tremendous amount of paddling.  Experienced surfers agree that they spend more time paddling than riding waves.  

    Your first day of surfing, you will realize your arms will become limp noodles and your rib cage will hurt from lying on a hard board all day.  Your neck will ache, your shoulders will sore, and your arms have given out.  So prepare for surfing by training beforehand.  You don't have to go to the ocean, you don't have to go to the gym, you can train at home on your Milkshake Board.

    Exercise 1:  Paddle-paddle-paddle

    This exercise increases the endurance and strength of the muscles used in paddling. The rockers of the board encourages stability in the core musculature to maintain balance.  

    Lie prone on the board and start paddling your arms, just gently scraping the ground like you were swimming in 4" of water.  Do this for 1 minute and gradually increase to 5 minutes.  

    Exercise 2: Back extensions

    This exercise will help develop your muscles in your back and neck and build up the area of your rib cage as you press your chest into the board.

    Lie prone on the board and raise up your chest and legs.  Hold for counts of 15 seconds and relax.  Repeat 20 times.

    Exercise 3: Push-up and pop

    You've found your wave, you are paddling fast to get ready to ride your wave.  Now you have to push up and pop into a low balance position on your board and ride that wave in.  This exercise will not only help build those muscles used for pushing up, but it will create the muscle memory of popping into a balanced position, low on the board.

    Lie prone on the board, place your hands near your chest gripping the sides of the board, tuck your toes under and do a push-up.  Practice doing push-ups on your board keeping your core engaged.

    For popping, you will continue to grip the sides of the board but as you are doing a push-up, you will pop your feet in a low balanced position and you will release the board with your hands and use them for balance out by your side.

    Core Strength with Dumbbells


    The other day I was teaching a yoga class when my 4 year old daughter decided to climb all over me.  The next day, it felt like I had gone to a personal trainer for a hard-core workout and it got me thinking: I should incorporate some weights into our balance board routine.  Why not, right?  So, here are 4 core-strengthening and whole-body power poses for you to try on your balance board. 

    Try going through the whole series 2-3 times.  I used 5 pound weights, and recommend starting off light and then working your way up if needed. 




    Holding the end of the dumbbell in your fingers, place your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and at your hips slightly, and swing the dumbbell back through your legs.

    Pop your hips forwards and bring the dumbbell back up to eye level. If you’re using an adjustable dumbbell, be careful and make sure that the plates are secure.  Do this 8 times.




    Hold the dumbbell with both hands up and to one side of your head with arms outstretched.

    Pretend to slice the dumbbell down across your body and squat as you go, so the dumbbell ends up beside your opposite shin.

    Return to the start and repeat. Repeat 8 times, then switch sides.




    Sit on the floor with your feet in the air and knees bent, holding a dumbbell in both hands in front of your sternum.

    Keeping your core braced and arms straight, rotate to one side. Then twist the other way. Return to the start again to complete one rep.  Do this 8 times like the others.



    Begin in a full plank position with a dumbbell on the floor a few inches away from the outside of left hand. Engage abs to keep torso steady and reach right arm under or over left to grab dumbbell. Pull the dumbbell across the floor to the right side of body, releasing it just outside of right arm, and then return to plank. That's one rep. Do 10 reps, alternating sides each time. 


    Ok, so now you should really feel your core! Always make sure that you keep your core strong and a neutral spine when doing these poses.  And by the way, instead of letting my daughter climb all over me while doing these movements, I had her be the photographer….otherwise I would have been a MILKSHAKE board sandwich!

    A Strong Core

    Strengthening your core has many health benefits.  An unbalanced, weak, or tight core can cause a lot of problems, so it's important to not only strengthen your abdominals, but also your back muscles and the muscles in between. 

    Here are just a few of the benefits of maintaining a strong core.

    Good Posture:  You will not only stand taller and look more confident, but you will also feel more confident.  You will be able to breath better and your spine will thank you.  Good posture helps the spine and the plates in between the spine align and feel less stressed.

    Stability and Balance:  By having a strong core, you will have better balance and stability.  This will allow you to move more freely on all sorts of terrain.  Increasing balance and stability helps decrease accidents and falling.  Thus, you will have more independence.

    Sports and Activities: Your core is your powerhouse.  The stronger your core, the stronger you will be in the sports and activities that you do.  Whether it's golf, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, rowing, tennis, or just playing around with your friends-be the best that you can be with a stronger core.

    Healthy Back:More and more people today have back pain.  It's a debilitating, excruciating pain which can be prevented or treated with core strengthening and exercises.  It's best to prevent back problems from happening by keeping a strong core. 

    Every day activities will become easier and safer to do when you have a strong core.  House-cleaning, getting onto a bike or train, getting in and out of a car, or bending over to pick up a ball all require your core muscles.  We want to maintain our health and be able to do things with ease.  This is why it's important to strengthen your core and thus, have more power.