Why Surfers have an Hourglass Figure?
How to gain and maintain and hourglass figure while surfing.
Have you ever wondered why surfers are in such great shape? Well, it is not because they have good balance and stand up on surfboards for hours and hours. Ask yourself what does the act of surfing consist of? There is of course riding the wave. If they are good they practice a lot of fancy maneuvers. Then there is sitting on the board, waiting to catch the perfect wave. These actions account for approximately 45% of the time an individual practices the sport. They spend another 5% of the time swimming to retrieve their board after and unsuccessful ride. The other 50% of the time surfers spend paddling out to position themselves to find a spot where they can sit and then catch that perfect wave.
It should be noted swimmers have this same hour glass figure but in the case of swimmers, there is a tendency to have extra large latissimus and broad shoulders. The lats and shoulders in the swimmer’s example are a tad disproportionate to the rest of the body. And although this disproportionally is not always the case swimmers do perform the same full range of motion that sculpts a slim and trim waistline as the surfer.
Therefore, it is in this act of paddling where the surfer gets most of the exercise. This action gives them the perfect shape so many of us are spending thousands of dollars and hours in the gym in search of. So look no further. Barring moving to a warm climate where you can go surfing three times a week for hours on end, here are a few tips on how you too can get rid of those unsightly love handles and obtain the same coveted figure surfers have.
The range of motion you need to duplicate is the full extension of the arms while stretching the body’s, back internal and external obliques; while at the same time stretching and exercising the external abdominal oblique in the front of the body. It is these sets of muscles that predominantly give the appearance of having love handles.
The reality is that most of us do not live in a warm climate by the water and even if we did most of us are not going to take up surfing or have the time to commit on a continuous and consistent basis to whip ourselves into shape.
So what are the alternatives to surfing that will give us the desired results? There are a number of full range of motion pieces of exercise equipment that can both be purchased and used in the home or for those of us who have gym memberships or can join a gym the equipment can readily be found there.
First, let’s look at the action we are trying to duplicate. It is the paddling motion. The surfer is face down on the board. Body is flat and arms are alternating periodically and rhythmically stretched out and extended in front of the body pulling back hands cupped in the water which creates a given amount of resistance.
Typically, what kind of home equipment can serve this purpose? A well known celebrity advertises a small compact piece of equipment called the Total Gym. It is easy to use, can fit even in the smallest apartment and can be configured to give the desired range of motion. The cost is moderate and can be purchased anywhere from $600.00 to $1500.00 new depending on the model. There is also rebuilt used equipment that can be purchased for less.
Another home model is the Bowflex Home Gym. These tend to be more bulky and more costly but they come equipped with the ability to give you many more configurations to duplicate the desired range of motion we are discussing.
If you are not one who is easily motivated to workout at home and prefers to use a public facility then there should be a number of pieces of equipment including those mentioned above that will help you perform the desired types of exercise.
In a public gym, you will more than likely be able to find a piece of equipment referred to as an incline pull. You are going to want to set your seat and the breast plate such that your arms are fully extended. You will not be able to pull your hand and arms down parallel with your body but try to pull the upper arms so they do come as close as possible.
There is also equipment that will give you variations on types of rowing motions. This action further allows the arms to be extended well out in front of the body. Then after full extension pull back with a given resistance.
The complication in the gym is the many choices. One good thing about public facilities is that most memberships come with a minimum amount of free instruction. With a good instructor, you can tell them what areas of the body you want to target and they will explain what equipment in the facility will best fit your program.
There are other pieces of equipment that are variations of the rowing machine and incline pull. Some are used by reaching straight ahead; some by reaching overhead from behind. Others are used by reaching overhead from in front. Remember whatever equipment you are using the main idea is to duplicate the surfers’ paddling motion. This is the exercise that is going to give you that highly sought after swimmer or surfers’ body.