With their laid-back beach vibes, surfers might not seem the type for grueling fitness routines.
But that’s hardly the case for Miguel Tudela, one of the athletes who competed in the Volcom Pipe Pro on the North Shore of Oahu this month. Sitting down with Men’s Health shortly after competing and advancing in his 30-minute qualifying heat, Tudela took us through the total-body workout that helps prevent injury as he surfs those 20-foot waves.
The pro surfer works out in his home country of Peru with a program known as Gymnika, which works to ensure that each and every muscle is at peak performance to protect the body from injury. “It involves getting your spine straight,” he said of his key conditioning techniques. “When your back is straight, it helps you build your muscles easier.”
Tudela’s Core Circuit
For each move in his core circuit, Tudela runs through three sets of 10-15 reps, three or four days a week.
The first step is a back twist to stretch out your body and get your spine aligned. To do so, simply lay down with your lower back firmly planted on the ground. Next, lift up your knees and fill your lungs with air. Then, twist your lower body from side to side as deeply as you can without feeling a strain.
Next, lift your feet so they’re parallel to the ground and do 10-15 crunches with crossed feet, keeping your lower back as flat as possible. Recross your feet and do another 10-15. That’s one set.
Next, Tudela moves into a reverse crunch to work his lower abs. He explained that it’s key to keep your body in control as you lift up and lower back down to work each and every angle of your core.
Tudela then goes on to a capoeira-style move to work his entire body. Start off on all fours, then come up on your toes and cross your leg through the other side. Do the same on the other side until you’re in a crab walk position. Continue to rotate around in a circle, taking things slow and steady, until you’ve rotated 10-15 full times.
Tudela finishes off with micro-movements meant to target smaller muscle groups. To complete this exercise, sit on your behind and lift your arms and legs in the air. Then, slowly and delicately pulse your opposite arm and leg. Keep the movements small and tight.
By Stacey Leasca