TRAINING ON WOBBLY SH*T
Some athletes & coaches swear by it, others think it’s a big ol’ pile of sh*t. So what’s my take on balance training for surfing.
The answer as always depends on the context in which it is used, and the adaptation you are seeking.
Here’s an overview of when to use a Bosu Ball in your training:
BALANCE Training For SURFING
If you are squatting on a Bosu Ball solely to improve proprioception, you are a smart one.
Positional / kinesthetic awareness is essential in surfing.
…If you’re using it to develop ‘surfing specific strength’……Stop it. Please, just stop.
You need to have an awareness of where your centre of mass is, relative to your board, and be able to constantly make micro adjustments – this is an autonomic process, but it is very trainable. Bosu, balance board and slack line training is phenomenal in developing this ability.
REHAB / PREHAB
If you are recovering from a hip or knee injury, a Bosu ball can be a phenomenal tool in developing/relearning motor control – controlling knee extension after ACL/PCL ruptures for example.
PLEASE always consult with your physio before using a Bosu ball, particularly if you’re in early stage rehab. Be safe out there kids.
Bosu balls can be really useful when incorporated as part of a dynamic warm up. The unstable surface causes perturbation and requires ‘activation’ of primary and (crucially) stabilising muscles to improve motor control during your main lift.
Performing bodyweight push ups or squats on a Bosu for example, could form part of a solid warm up protocol for heavy bench and squat sessions.
Please, please…..don’t be that person in the gym who barbell squats on a Bosu.
It looks ridiculous, and more importantly, is completely ineffective when it comes to developing your ability to generate maximum FORCE.
Newton’s Third Law applies. It is literally impossible for you to push into an unstable surface with maximal force. Therefore, you are unable to access those all-important higher threshold motor units responsible for the high velocity, high force contractions that are so important in surfing (or any other sport).
If you can’t access them, you can’t train them.
So there you have it, my take on balance training for surfing.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Like what you see? Take a look at our FREE Mobility Manual For Surfers PDF.
THE FREE SURFING MOBILITY MANUAL
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