Indo Board Workouts For Surfers
The Indo Board has been a popular training device amongst surfers since it appeared over a decade ago. The reason so many surfers have found Indo Board training to be beneficial is the board's ability to strengthen the muscles used in surfing in a lifelike manner. Balance training allows for a broad workout where many of the smaller peripheral muscles in the legs and core that are utilized for stability. This translates well into surfing where a fine tuned balance during explosive moves is a must. By performing a few key strength exercises on the unstable surface of the board, a surfer can prepare themselves for tackling maneuvers in the water.
Here are a few workouts that can be done on an Indo Board that I have found beneficial to my surfing.
Indo Board Exercises
1. Push Ups
The great thing about doing a push up on an Indo Board is the close resemblance to popping up. This exercise will not only strengthen your pecs but it will work on some of the smaller muscle groups in your arms and shoulders that you use every time you catch a wave. There have been many days where after a long session I still had energy to paddle but was catching so many waves I couldn't pop up quickly anymore. By including Indo Board push ups in your regular workout routine, you will help ensure you can last longer in the water.
To do an Indo Board push up start by assuming a regular push up position. Grip the board like you would to pop up, whether that is on the rails or with your hands flat on the deck. If you spread your legs further apart, it will be easier to balance. As you get better you can bring your legs closer together. A great workout is a pyramid where you do sets of 10, 15, 20, 25, 20, 15 and 10, taking 30 seconds to rest between each set.
When doing the push ups, go down to a 90* angle and make sure to hold a steady pace. An ideal rate is 2 seconds on the up and 4 on the down. Be careful, because if you push it too far, your board might slide out one direction, leaving you to fall face first into the roller.
These are a great maneuver for all surfers because it fine tunes your ability to get low and generate power with your legs. Your bottom turn requires you to compress and drive which uses the same muscles as a squat. By doing these on an Indo board you will make sure you are applying power evenly which will ensure you are riding your surfboard on the sweet spot.
To do an Indo Board Squat, place your arms out in front of you. As you lower yourself make sure you are loading your larger muscle groups first. To do this, start by bending at the hips, pushing your butt backwards rather than your knees forward. If you do the reverse, you will be putting more strain on your knees. A good way to check if you are doing it right is to make sure your knees never go farther forward than your toes. You can do a similar rep pyramid as with the push ups, doing 10, 15, 20, 25, 20, 15 and 10, taking 30 seconds to a minute to rest between each set.
3. Cross Step
This one is great for longboarders. By cross stepping on the deck of the Indo Board, you will strengthen your heel toe response, allowing you to steer the board with more control while walking.
To do this maneuver you will want to rotate the roller so that it is parallel with the deck. You can do this by either starting in that position, or by starting in the normal position and doing a 90* twist.
Because this is a new position on the Indo Board, you might want to spend some time just standing so you are familiar with the feel of it. Aligning the board this way is a lot more dangerous, if you loose your balance the roller can shoot forward sending you backwards towards the ground. Make sure there isn't anything near you that you wouldn't want to hit your head on.
Once you are ready to start walking, the first step is to stand in place on one foot. Once you can balance on just one foot, walking will be easy. Keep in mind that the board won't slide back under you as you walk like a longboard does so you have to stay directly above your feet as you walk to keep your balance.
This one is for longboarders too. While the cross step can help work on your heel toe balance, this maneuver will work on your knee & hip bend for when your dangling toes.
To start, slide one direction so that your foot is almost directly above the roller. Next, take a bold step with the other foot and as you do rotate 90* so you are facing to the side. You might need to take a few little steps to get your toes all the way off the Indo Board. As you do, lean back so you can center your weight above the deck.
Depending on what deck you have, you might not be able to go as far as in this picture. I am riding an advanced deck with a rocker so I can go all the way to the tip.
Whether this one really applies to surfing is a bit of a stretch, but its fun to do, so it made the cut. The movement isn't quite like any surfing maneuver because you are pivoting from between your feet rather than off of one of them, but it will help shortboarders with their timing when performing snaps, lip hits and reverses.
The main reason I feel there is benefit is the flow between your arms, legs and head. Like with any turning move in the water, you need to set up with your arms. Once they are moving you can follow with your legs and then adjust your perspective as you shift your head. You will find that if you rotate your upper body into place you legs will follow, which is exactly what you want to do when surfing.
The Indo Board is a great training device for surfers. Not only does it offer balance training, but it can be used to help with strength and technique training. If you don't already have an Indo Board but would like to buy one, you can do so from the Indo Board Online Store