How to Get in Shape for Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing fitness is an important consideration for every rider, no matter their level. While anyone can learn to kitesurf, preparing your body for this endurance-based sport will not only ensure that you are physically able to face the sometimes-tough conditions encountered while kitesurfing, but you can enjoy a session out on the waves for as long as possible! Whether you’re a budding beginner or an experienced professional, we’ve provided some basic info and exercises to help you get in shape for kitesurfing:
While you will use several of your upper body muscles while kitesurfing, your deltoids (the muscles in your shoulders) are the ones that will feel the effects the most. Consequently, it is vital to build up strength in these muscles to ensure you can make the right movements and remain stable while out on the waves. Your upper chest and back muscles will also be required, so these should be a focus area too when training! Here is just one exercise you can do to improve your upper body strength:
How: Lie flat on your back on the floor/bench underneath a weightlifting bar. Once in position, keep your body as straight as possible and place your hands above your head at an equal distance apart on the bar. Then, pull yourself up using your arm and back muscles, holding yourself at the top for a split second and pushing yourself back down on release.
Why: As well as stimulating your core muscles, inverted pull-ups will also help increase the strength in your biceps, chest and back, all of which are vital to helping you maintain a good position to ensure an enjoyable and lengthy ride!
As a sport, kitesurfing is all about learning how to move your body under dynamic force. As such, it is vital to build up your core strength as much as possible so that you remain stable and upright during your ride. While out on the waves, it is likely that at some point the wind will pull your kite in the opposite direction, meaning you must possess the strength to pull it back and remain on course in the direction you want to go. This exercise will help you gain that strength:
How: Lie on your back with your legs bent upwards at a 90-degree angle so that your knees are directly in line with your hips. Then, place your fingertips on each side of your head and lift your head, neck and shoulders above the floor. Once you are in position, twist your torso to the left while simultaneously lifting your left leg until your knee touches your right forearm. Keep your right leg as straight as possible. After completing the process, repeat on your right side.
Why: The separate elements of a bicycle crunch work each of your abdominal muscles independently, making it a fantastic exercise for those looking to increase their core strength to ensure they can take control of their kite on those particularly blustery days.
While physical strength will undoubtedly enhance your kitesurfing ability, a good level of cardiovascular fitness is arguably more important. This is because, during a session on the waves, you’ll be working a multitude of muscles which will each require high levels of oxygen to function effectively. As such, it is essential that both your heart and lungs can oxygenate your body quickly as otherwise, your energy levels will quickly run low and you will soon begin to tire. While swimming and running are both great exercises for cardio, this exercise is easy to build into a fuller regime:
How: From a standing position, drop down into a low squat with your hands on the floor. Then, using your arms as support, kick your feet and legs backwards into a press-up. Hold your body there for a second or two before pulling back into your low squat position and leaping upwards with your arms extended above your head to return to your standing position.
Why: Not only will burpees enable you to improve your cardiovascular fitness levels by working your respiratory system, but they will also help to stimulate several other muscles in your body including your arms, chest, abs and quads, making them a great all-rounder for kitesurfing fitness!
These are just a few exercises that will help you get in shape for kitesurfing, and there are plenty more to try once you have mastered some of the basics. If you’d like some more advice on how to get fit for kitesurfing or have any other questions that you’d like answered, get in touch with a friendly member of our team who will be happy to help. Otherwise, why not browse our awesome product range today? Whether you’re in need of a kitesurfing bag, twin tip kiteboard, or a brand-new wetsuit, here at F-One UK, we’re sure to have what you’re looking for!