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Ryan Huxley offers some advice on functional leg strength. Safe, challenging and effective for any surfer requiring some leg stability.

Batten down the hatches was about all north coast surfers could as Cyclone Oswald dished up 400mm of rainfall and 100 km/hour wind gusts in just 24 hours. Trees lay rebelliously strewn across intersections, flooded hinterland creek beds blocked roads, whilst a few crazed souls decided The Pass was worthy of a paddle.

My rationalisation leads me to believe these individuals are either noxiously addicted to their surf schedule, weekend warriors determined to tick the slide box, or perhaps chasing an ethereal state of enlightenment via oceanic wrath. Either that or I am thinking far too deeply about a basic surfers need to stay immersed.

I instead decided to immerse myself in an extended Yoga practice. Today I included challenging standing postures and balance exercises to improve my functional leg strength. Functional leg strength exercises are ones that require your core, buttock muscles, and general leg muscles to work together. Over time this then translates to greater power and stability on your board, and a reduced risk of lower back problems on land.

RELATED: Surf Fitness to Improve Your Surfing

Let’s examine a simple yet very challenging variation I include as a staple in my practice:
Outer Buttocks Strengthening in Standing

Step One

Step Three

Start in Standing Position. Engage your core and balance on your right leg. Bend your right knee to a 30-degree angle. Square the hips and lean your torso forward 45 degrees.

Reach your left leg behind you at a 45-degree angle from the hip. Hover the left foot off the floor.

Inhale bend the left knee, bring it forwards and straighten in front hovering the left foot off the floor. Move slowly with control!
Exhale bend the left knee bring it behind you to the starting position.

Repeat 20 times each leg.

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