Resistance Band Training Exercises for Surfers

If you’re a surfer, you’re aware that you need balance, strength, and flexibility. What better way to achieve all of those at once than with resistance band training!


– Contributing article


Resistance bands are rubbery, elastic bands that come in different sizes, textures, thicknesses, and lengths. They are used extensively in rehabilitation training and more people are beginning to use them in full-body workouts.


Advantages of training with resistance bands

Here are some advantages of adding resistance bands to your training routine:

  • Resistance bands are portable. Surfers travel a lot, so carrying lots of fitness items is often prohibitive. Resistance bands are lightweight and compact, which makes them a great addition to your travel pack and your yoga mat and a skipping rope.
  • They make dynamic stretches more effective. Dynamic stretches are stretches where you move while you stretch, and they are essential for building strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • Resistance bands are cheaper than the gym. A set of bands can cost as little as $25.99.
  • Their versatility allows you to train anywhere. Even if you live in a small space or a van, you can get a good workout. They don’t require much space, just a bit of creativity.
  • They enable you to work more areas of your body at once. With weights, you are only working on one particular muscle group. Resistance bands work the smaller stabilisation muscles all around the joint to keep the resistance band in place. Similar to pilates and other smaller movement focused exercises, you can get a great workout in a short space of time.

Do some dynamic stretches with resistance bands before hitting the water.



Top resistance band training exercises for surfers

Here are some top resistance training exercises for surfers. Do from 10 to 20 reps of each exercise, and repeat each exercise at least twice.


Banded squats

Banded squats work the Gluteus Medius, hip abductor, and quadriceps. You’ll need a hip band, a smaller circular band like Victorem’s hip circle.

Stand up straight, with feet hip-distance apart and the resistance band around your thighs. It should be just above your knees.

Widen your stance until the band is nice and tight, then do squats, keeping your back straight. Also, pay attention that your knees do not go further forward than your ankles.

Resistance band exercise


Banded hip flexor stretches

This exercise is excellent for hip joint stability and glute strength.

Wrap the resistance band around the bottom of your right foot. Get down on your mat or the floor. Lie face down with your right leg bent so that your foot is close to your glutes.

Now slowly straighten that leg as much as you are able, working against the band. Pause at the top of the movement. Bring your foot back slowly, then repeat.

Repeat this on the left side.

girl lying down resistance band training



Banded burpees

Burpees work your hamstrings, quads, calves, and pecs, triceps, and deltoids. 

Do burpees as you usually would, but loop the resistance band just above your ankles. Keep your stance wide enough to feel the tension in the band.

Each time you move, your outer leg muscles will be getting an extra workout!

Variation: Loop the resistance band around your forearms and keep your arms wide enough to feel the stretch during the push-ups.

Burpee exercises


Banded shoulder press

This exercise works your deltoids, triceps, and upper chest. You’ll need a long resistance band for this exercise. Stand with both feet hip-distance apart and on the resistance band. Hold the far side of the band in each hand.

Now bring your arms up and over your head into a shoulder press. Pause at the top of the movement. Exhale as you bring the band up. Return your hands to shoulder height, and repeat!



Banded pull-downs

Banded pull-downs work your latissimus dorsi muscle. Wrap or loop your resistance band around a pole, tree, or another stationary object. Kneel in front of it, holding both ends of the resistance band in your hands.

Now do pull-downs to bring your hands down to your chest, exhaling as you bring your arms down.

girl doing Pull down exercise



Banded front squats

Banded front squats work the gluteus medius, hip abductor, and quadriceps. Stand in the same position as the banded shoulder press, holding the band in the same way. This time you’re going to keep your hands on top of your shoulders, palms facing up. 

Do squats in this position, making sure the band stays around your feet and your palms. Exhale each time you straighten your knees. 

Shoulder exercises resistance band training



Banded bent-over rows

This exercise works your lower rhomboids. Stand in the same position, but this time holding both ends of the resistance band, one in each hand. Lean over so that you’re facing forward at an angle but with your back straight. Your knees are slightly bent.

Now pull up on the band with your hands as if you were making a rowing motion. Keep your legs and back in the same position.



Banded push-ups

Banded push-ups work your chest, shoulders, back, hips, and triceps. Wrap your resistance band around your upper back, holding onto each end. You should feel the band across your shoulder blades.

Now do push-ups as you normally would. The band will be very tight at the top, so pause there before coming back down slowly.

Resistance Band push ups



There you have it, a selection of resistance band exercises to build your surfing performance. Enjoy!

For more surf training ideas please see our whole section on surf training and progression.


We love hearing the stories of many women. This article was contributed and not written by a regular Still Stoked author. If you would like to contribute one of your own stories, please get in touch.


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