Surfing: Dry Land Training

Surfer Riley Coon, Photograph by Ginger Coon

Photo: Surfer Riley Coon, Photograph by Ginger Coon

The following dry land training workout will train the muscles involved in the most common maneuvers in surfing:

Paddling – while lying in prone position (upper, middle, and lower back)

Carving – trunk rotation with leg balance and control (obliques, quads, hips)

Standing up – explosive pushup to standing position (chest, core, legs)

This circuit calls for very short rest periods between moves to keep your heart rate in an aerobic state for the entire workout. Perform each exercise as recommended in the progression below. After you have completed one set of every exercise, take a one minute rest. Repeat the circuit three times.

Equipment needed: Perfect Pushup and Perfect Pullup

Move 1: Pushup + Burpee

How: Using the Perfect Pushup, perform a regular position pushup then drive feet up under chest in one motion. Rise to standing position keeping Perfect Pushups in hands. Squat and lower handles back to ground, shift weight onto hands, and then jump feet back to full extension. This is 1 rep.

Muscles targeted: chest, shoulders, arms, core, abs, quads, hip flexors

Reps: 10–12

Move 2: The 21

How: Perform a superset of regular pullups (if modification needed, do Australians or standing rows), Australian pullups and standing rows, with no rest between exercises.

Muscles targeted: back, biceps, shoulders, core

Reps: 7 pullups, 7 Australians, 7 standing rows

Move 3: Negative pushup with Superman

How: Using the Perfect Pushup, start at the top of a pushup. Slowly lower chest to ground. Keeping pushup handles in hand, activate back muscles to lift chest off ground, and sweep arms back alongside body. From there, bring arms to forward in an arching motion so handles are in front of your face (mimicking a paddling motion). Replace handles back under shoulders and push up to start position.

Muscles targeted: upper/​lower back, shoulders, chest

Reps: 12–15

Move 4: Assisted single leg squat

How: Bring Perfect Pullup bar down to hip level. Holding onto the bar for assistance, raise one leg in front as you lower yourself down with the other. Squat so your thigh forms a 90° angle with the ground.

Muscles targeted: quads, hamstrings

Reps: 15 per leg

Move 5: Staggered pushup

How: Using the Perfect Pushup, place hands in a staggered position (left handle one handle length behind right). Perform 5–6 pushups focusing work on one arm at a time, then switch stagger position and repeat.

Muscles targeted: chest, core, deltoids, obliques

Reps: 5–6 per arm



    More from:

    Alden Mills

    Alden Mills, creator of the Perfect Pushup, is CEO of Perfect Fitness, based in CA. Massachusetts born, Alden went to the Naval Academy where he went on to become a Navy SEAL. After retiring in 2000, he earned his MBA at Carnegie Mellon. As a SEAL Team TWO Platoon Commander, his platoon was chosen for a study to determine why SEALs suffered unusually high injury rates during their careers. After learning injuries were linked to their training methods (age-old body building drills), SEAL trainers switched to Functional Training. Alden learned firsthand the value of optimal exercise routines. Bottom line: if people can take control of their body, they can be more successful in everything they do. Mills turned this belief into a top fitness brand and revolutionized American fitness. His ultimate mission is to inspire everyone to pursue their own dreams. For more from Alden, check out and his Military Fitness Center archive.