Fit For Surf: HIIT For A Better Take Off

The Take Off is essential for surfing. If you can’t do it right, you will rarely get a wave. That is why I present a workout, with which you can effectively train the needed muscle groups and their interaction. You should note that a Take Off on land is different as an actual take-off on the water. However, it will help you to get better when you train the muscles that you need for your Take Off on dry land.

The Take Off is a complex motion sequence. First you need to powerfully push up yourself up from your board, which is not so easy, after the rapid paddling for the wave. An optimal body tension is important. You’ll need upper body and core strength. Then you have to jump explosively, but controlled on your board. You have to be quick here and twist your hips. At least for a stable stand on the board you’ll need lower body strength as well.

I created a HIIT – Workout to improve your Take Off and selected the following exercises to HI(I)T all of those muscle groups. (What was HIIT again? Read here)

Take Off HIIT – The Exercises

Make sure you perform the exercises as accurately as possible. Make controlled movements and listen to your body. P.S.: It will take a little while to load the pics.

Push up:

The push up is strengthen your chest and shoulder muscles. It will help you to push up powerfully from your board.


  • Start in a plank-position
    • keep your core stable, your body should form a straight line
  • Slowly bend your arms until the chest almost touches the floor
    • Keep your elbows close to your body
  • Push yourself back to the starting position


Squats strengthen your entire lower body – perfect for the strong and stable stand base you need.


  • Start in a shoulder wide stance, your feet are slightly turned out
    • Your weight is on the heels
  • Lower your butt down to the back and go slowly into a squat, just as deep that you can hold the position by your own power
    • Torso and back remain upright and straight, your knees go outside
  • Press yourself powerful and explosive from the heels back into the starting position
    • Push your hip forwards and tense your butt

Knee to elbow:

Knee-to-elbow is an exercise for a strong core and flexibility in your hips.


  • Start in Plank position
    • your core is stable
  • Now move your right knee to your left elbow
    • Twist to the side but make sure you are still stable in your upper body
  • Go back to the starting position
  • Repeat now with your left knee to the right elbow

High Jumps with turn:

High Jumps with a turn will provide you the power to jump on your board and they’ll also increase your condition and your explosiveness. By the turn you simulate the movement of twisting yourself while doing a Take Off.


  •  Start in an upright standing position
  • Jump now with both legs and pull up your knees while turning about 90 ° to the right
    • Knees outward, while landing roll on gently on your toes and foot pads
  • Repeat the exercise now turning to the left

Down-Dog Push Up to Up-Dog Flow

This exercise will strengthen your shoulder girdle and stretch your back. Perform it possibly in one fluid motion.


  • Start in downward facing dog
    • Your body forms an inverted “V”. The feet are hip width apart
    • Drag the tailbone upwards while your heels pressing down
    • Let your head hang loose, shoulders and neck are relaxed
  • Make a push up from this position
  • Shift yourself forward into plank
  • Bend your arms until your chest touches the floor
  • Head, shoulders and your chest lift slowly from the ground into upward facing dog
    • in one fluid motion lift the whole body. Push from your hands to the back foot until your arms are fully straighten
  • Push yourself back into starting position

Push up – Take Off

Now we put it all together, this exercise prepares you perfectly for the Take Off on the water.


  • Start with a Push Up
  • Push legs and arms explosively up and rotate your hip (actually do your Take Off)
  • Go back into Plank
  • Repeat the exercise to the other side

Take Off HIIT – The Workout

These six exercises you will do in an interval of 50/10 – that means 50 seconds pushing hard and 10 seconds rest. In the App Store, there are many HIIT- or Tabata timer, where you can set the intervals.

If you one round is enough for you, just stop here. However, two or three rounds would be perfect. This will give you a short but challenging and highly effective training, which will make you fit and prepare you for your Take Off on the water.

Please let me know how you liked this training and leave me a feedback. Do not hesitate to ask your questions, if you have some.



Fit For Surf: Surfer’s HIIT – The Basics

You know already that HIIT is absolutely awesome. If not, read here quickly. Before we start with the first workout, I would like to explain you some of the basics a few exercises which will show up in nearly every workout.

  • Plank
  • Push up
  • Sit ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Cardio exercises


The plank is a static exercise that will strengthen your core muscles. Without stable core muscles you wouldn’t be able to take off nor maneuver on your board, because they are the foundation for all movements. In the plank you train your balance and stabilize the shoulder belt by the holding the position.

Plank: How to

  • Start in all-fours position and place your hands directly under your shoulders, your arms are straight
  • Stretch back the legs, straighten the spine and stand on your feet.
    • Legs, pelvis and torso form a straight line
  • Tense your core muscles and gently pull the belly button towards your spine
    • Your butt is tensed and stays low
  • Hold the position
    • breathe calmly

Fit for surf Plank 1

Push up:

While doing push ups almost every muscle of the body is strengthened chest muscles, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, body, even the buttocks. All muscles, you also need for surfing. By doing push ups you will take off more powerfully and increase your paddle power. In addition you train your sense of balance, your coordination skills and your agility.

Push up: How to

  • Start in the plank position (1)
    • Hold your core stable, your body should form a straight line
  • Slowly bend your arms until the chest almost touches the floor (2)
    • Keep your elbows close to your body, inhale
  • Push yourself back to the starting position (1)
    • Exhale

push up

Sit ups:

Sit ups are probably the most famous abdominal exercise. In the classic version, they strengthen especially the upper and middle abdominal muscles. Through numerous variations you can also take more muscles.

Sit ups: How to

  • Start lying on your back, place your feet in about 90 degrees on the mat and let the knees drop outside while your feet touches each other (1)
    • Avoid a hollow back, place it as flat as possible on the floor
  • Stretch your arm to the back
    • Upper arms beneath your ears, shoulders pull down
  • Lift your upper body upwards, slowly and without momentum (2)
    • Remember to tense your core all the time, lift until your torso is perpendicular to the floor. Exhale
  • Briefly touch the floor in the final position. (3)
    • Keep your head always as an extension of the spine
  • Bring your upper body gently back to the floor without releasing the tense in your core (1)
    • Inhale



Squats are great, because they train the entire lower body like no other exercise. You exercise the thigh muscles, the buttocks, lower back and hip flexors. Depending on the execution and intensity also abdominal, back and calf muscles are strengthened. The mobility of ankle, knee and hip is encouraged by this exercise.

Squats: How to

  • Start in a shoulder wide stance, your feet are slightly turned out. (1)
    • The weight is on your heels
  • Lower your butt down to the back and go slowly into a squat, just as deep that you can hold the position by your own power (2)
    • Torso and back remain upright and straight, your knees go outside
  • Press yourself powerful and explosive from the heels back into the starting position (1)
    • Push your hip forwards and tense your butt



Lunges, in addition to squats, are also an effective exercises for legs and butt. They also contribute to the development of balance and coordination and the stability of the torso. They involve many joints, such as knee, hip and ankle.

Lunges: How to

  • Start in a hip wide stance (1)
  • Take a large step forwards
    • Note that the direction of movement is downward, not forward
  • In the final position your front knee is directly over your ankle. The back leg forms a right angle, the heel leaves the ground. (2, 3)
    • Keep your upper body straight
  • Push up forcefully from the heel of the front leg to get back to the starting position (1)


Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are a combination of the plank and alternating jumps. They are great to train the muscular endurance and the explosive strength. Also, your muscles have to work really hard on this complex exercise. Abdominal and lower back muscles provide the necessary stabilization during the jumps, chest muscles and the triceps keep the upper body in a static position and legs and buttocks are responsible for the execution of the jumps.

Mountain Climbers: How to

  • Start in the plank position (1)
    • Arms directly under your shoulders, activate your core
  • Bend one leg and place it under your hip (2)
    • Your body remains straight, the butt remains deeply
  • Change legs dynamicly through jumping (3)
    • Head, neck and shoulders should move only minimally during this exercise
  • Keep alternating legs continualy (2,3)
    • Keep your hips stable. Avoid to swing to the left or right



Burpees are an effective full body exercise and real allrounders! They exercise you enormously, train the whole body and strengthen your muscles in legs, buttocks, torso, hip flexors, back, shoulder, chest as well as your cardiovascular system. A burpee is a combination of four exercises: Squat, Plank, Push up and straight jump, which are each exhausting by themselves. By combining the exercises not only your strength will increase, but also your endurance and also your coordination is trained.

Burpees: How to

  • Start in a standing position
  • Make a deep squat and touch the floor with your hands (1)
    • Remember a straight back
  • Jump back into plank position your arms are straight (2)
    • Stay stable in your core, don’t let the hips sag
  • Make a push up (3)
    • Elbows close to your body
  • Jump to the front, back into the squat (4)
  • Jump up powerfully (5)
    • Jump high! A small hop is not enough


Cardio exercises:

Your training is only balanced and even more exhausting if you add a few sweaty cardio exercises.

Here are some examples:

  • Butt Kickers
    • Standing position, bring your heels quickly alternating to your butt
  • High Knees
    • Standing position, bend your knees waist high quickly alternating
  • Jumping Jacks
    • Open and close the legs while jumping, clap your arms together above your head when your legs are opened, touch your thighs when your legs are closed
  • Powerjumps/Tuckjumps
    • Hipwide standing position, squat slightly and jump as high as you can while tucking your knees under your body
  • Starjumps
    • Standing position, feet closed. Jump high and spread your arms and legs in the air. Close again before landing
  • Lateral Jumps
    • Jump laterally over an imaginary barrier. Pendle back and forth rapidly

Now you are well prepared for the first workout, which is coming soon on this blog. In it we will modify these basics and approach the exercises even more to surfing. Until then:

stay stoked and hang loose