warm-up for surfers

An Effective Car Park Warm-Up For Surfers

Put your wetsuit on. Couple of star jumps. Few shoulder swingy thingys, then run into the sea.

That is the tried and trusted, standard warm-up used by most surfers in the UK at least.

Could this be made more effective? 

Almost certainly, BUT the desire to get in as quickly as you can overrides any need to warm up ‘properly’ – I know that’s the case for me!

Think of a proper warm up as ‘greasing the wheels’, allowing things to run much more smoothly in the ocean – and it shouldn’t keep you out of the water for a minute longer than absolutely necessary!

For me, having driven at least two hours to most of my local breaks, before getting in I know I SHOULD ideally:

  1. Lengthen my lats
  2. ‘Open’ and mobilise my hips (ideally in flexion, extension and rotation)
  3. Mobilise my mid back and shoulder blades
  4. Activate my upper back

The compromise is that I don’t want it to eat into my valuable surfing time by anymore than 5 minutes.

So here’s a run through of what I do after I put my wetsuit on (as that now seems to be a warm-up in itself).

I should point out that it’s not by any means comprehensive and there is plenty more you could do, but it beats the shoulder swingy thingys.

5 Warm-Ups For Surfers!

Bench Kneeling Lat Stretch

60-90 second hold (performed off the back of my rear bumper!)

World’s Greatest Stretch

8-10 rotations per side

Cat Camel

8-10 reps

T Push Ups

8 reps per side


8-10 reps

I repeat this for 2 rounds generally, but even one time around will probably do the job for most of us if we’re just too keen to get in!

I hope you have enjoyed my car park warm-up for surfers.

Don’t forget to download my FREE PDF, The Surfing Mobility Manual.



Don’t allow a lack of mobility to limit your surfing, or your life! ‘The Surfing Mobility Manual’ was written by a coach working in professional sport. 

“Adrenaline Athlete was a complete game changer. Alan’s approach is so professional and not at all overwhelming…I’ve never felt so energised and confident in the line up and it’s all down to hard work and the correct guidance from Alan.” 

Chris / Longboarder