Total Gym Exercises That Help With Surfing

Total Gym Surfing Exercises

The warmer weather is here and for many of us near open waters, that means it’s time to hit the beach!

The beach is a great place to relax and recharge. Reading, napping, good conversation with family and friends; these are all healthy options. The beach is also a great place for physical activities; from paddleball to Frisbee in the sand, to swimming and surfing in the water.

More on surfing

Surfing is a great full-body activity that really challenges your coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility, and overall body control and stability. Because it does test so many fitness-related qualities, cross training with the Total Gym is a smart idea to prepare and strengthen the body to help prevent injuries and give you the best chance for success.

Full body activity

What muscles are involved in surfing? In short, all of them. Let’s look at all the movements and muscles involved:

  • Carrying the board to the water utilizes the arms, shoulders, back, and core stabilizing muscles
  • Paddling out to the surf utilizes the arms, shoulders, back, and core
  • “Catching a wave” utilizes arms, shoulders, chest, core, legs, and glutes
  • Popping up onto the board and balancing your body utilizes the entire body, especially your legs, glutes, core, back, and shoulders.

With the above in mind, our Total Gym surfing workout should include full-body compound movements as well.

The workout

Here’s a look at a strength training circuit on the Total Gym that surfers can do to help best prepare their bodies for the next time they hit the beach.

Equipment needs:

1. Total Gym

2. Dumbbells (*optional)

Surfer Circuit Workout

1. Isometric Lunge Hold (with front foot on the board) + Bicep curls – 6 reps/side

2. Pushup + Rollout – 8 reps

3. 1-Arm Pullup – 6 reps/side

4. Tricep Kickbacks – 15 reps

5. Torso Rotations – 15 reps/side

This is a circuit workout, so complete the first movement, then move on to the second movement, then the third, etc. Once you complete all five exercises, go back and complete the first movement to begin set #2. Depending on your fitness level, you could start with 2-3 sets and then work up to 5-6. Time yourself every time you complete the circuit so you can challenge yourself and track your progress.

Doug Balzarini

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a personal trainer, strength coach, international presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He also owns a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance MMA Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. He has also worked at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego and, most recently, spent a year in Saudi Arabia where he designed and created programming for a new state-of-the-art facility. Visit or for more information.

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