Aloha Windsurf Enthusiasts,
I’m so grateful of the kindness and feedback that every so often comes my way, as it is the greatest reward. My clients inspire me everyday with their dedication to their water sports and health. As a trainer who specializes in water sports performance and windsurfer myself, it’s pretty awesome to get emails like the one below written by my client, Mike Abrams of Pukalani, Maui. Mahalo Mike!
“To all those water sports men and women it may concern,
After my sailing sessions yesterday and today, I simply felt compelled to write this endorsement about Suzie’s training methods, that I have been blessed with for almost 5 years. I am the luckiest windsurfer on the planet to have found Suzie as my personal trainer. Every day, I find that I am performing moves and controlling my board and sail better than ever before. I am a very humble person, with I hope a low ego and no expectations of how I am going to sail with each session.
However, I can honestly let my fellow sailors know that I have improved, and sail with much more confidence and balance skills than ever before, no matter what the conditions seem to be. Like today, I sailed an hour and a half and never missed one jibe and yesterday sailed in overpowering conditions, and performed jibes on the outside (while most folks fell into the over choppy and gusty blown water) with total control.
I directly attribute these increased balance skills to Suzie’s training which includes not only balance training, but core strength training too, along with regular weight lifting. I can actually feel my legs lifting up from a squatted position (because of having to keep the board on the water in over powered conditions around the turns) towards windward to help keep my balance. Also, I can now jibe in light winds with much greater confidence because of Continue reading Balance and Strength Training Pays Off for Maui Windsurfer
|( All Rights Reserved 2011)Want to explode your paddling core strength? You got it. These exercises require that you understand how to engage your core muscles both before and during the entire set. You become the stabilizing factor as you perform these movements. Also, I’d like you to pay close attention to the tubing or TRX Rip Trainer cord so that it is always taut and under tension throughout the entire series. I call this “time under tension”. If you “let go” of this concept, or your core, you won’t benefit fully from this workout.
Training Note: It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.
|Equipment: TRX Rip Trainer, medium/heavy resistance tube
|Progression Variables: change the platform you are standing on or use a heavier tubing or cord
Exercise 1: Standing Core Dynamic Stabilization TRX Ripper/Tube Rotations
| Click on the photo for a larger view.
|In this photo, I’m using the new TRX Rip Trainer with the heavier cord.
Starting with your feet solidly on the ground about shoulder width apart, pointed straight ahead and with good posture, tie the cord to a secure object (Dave’s truck worked great!). Holding the TRX bar at shoulder width and just below the top of your shoulders, begin to engage your core by drawing in your abs and hold while making sure to breathe. Remember, safety loop! Don’t death grip the bar, but start far enough away from post with enough tension that will require you to stabilize the bar and your body. Rotate your body to the right while core engaged, then slowly return just before your start position (critical) and repeat.
|Progression 1: Stand on your BOSU or other unstable platform. (An INDO Board on top of a Gigante Disc works well too). Now do the same movements while on the BOSU. Wow…crazy!
|Progression 2: Secure a light, medium, or heavy gauge tubing to your secure object and perform the same movement as above, however, this time you’ll need to steady the tubing with your left arm locked. Gently clasp the tube with one hand, but do not grip too heavily. Place a bit of tension on the tube and begin the rotation. Remember “time under tension”. To increase challenge, step further out or hop on your BOSU or other unstable platform.To read the rest of my article and to see all my SUP Fitness Tips go to: http://www.naishsurfing.com/sup-fitness/dynamic-core/While visiting Maui, Suzie is available for private ftness training and beginner to advanced stand up paddling lessons. Contact her at 808-283-2121. Suzie is a professional Team Rider for Naish International.Get your TRX Rip Trainer here. The Rip Trainer will really help you build your core to explode that stroke!
UP your SUP Performance by Combining Upper Body Paddle Endurance with Balance and Core Training for Naish International
by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui and Naish Team SUP Rider
You can click here and go directly to the full article: http://www.naishsurfing.com/sup-fitness/
|Whether you’re new to the sport of stand up paddling or preparing for an exciting Maui Maliko downwinder, having upper body paddling endurance and excellent balance will get you through the deepest troughs, maybe help you pass a competitor or help you enter bigger waves and swells with extra confidence and success!I like to be as efficient as possible when training, so combining the two is perfect.The following exercise is just a sample of what you can do to get stronger, develop faster reflexes, increase the rapid firing of your finite muscles that stabilizes your larger muscles, improve your timed runs and possibly reduce fatigue and/or risk of overuse injuries.It’s well known that SUP requires the entire body to perform and respond in unison. You’re never isolating one muscle group at any given moment.As you paddle, your entire shoulder complex, upper/lower back, feet, ankles, knees, hips and core (everything excluding your extremities) are executing each short or long stroke in a smooth, connected motion. Conditions can and do change, so adding some balance work is also a huge plus. I totally can tell that when I balance train, my reactions are sharp and quick.Based on your current level of fitness, ease into some of these more advanced moves and change the variables accordingly. You can simply start with your own paddle or select one of the suggested weights. I usually start light and advance to heavy, to fatigue.
The Exercise: Balance/Weighted Paddle Stroke Repeats:
|Equipment: A weight: 4-10 lb medicine ball, 9-12 lb body bar or regular dumbbell
A balance platform: a small 12” inflatable disc or BOSU, INDO Board 24” Gigante inflatable disc, INDO Board or your own SUP
Caution: if using an SUP board on a Gigante, you may want to remove the fins.
To read the rest of the article and to see all the exercise photos of Suzie and her training go to: http://www.naishsurfing.com/sup-fitness/
Every month Suzie will provide Naish and their readers more helpful training tips for beginner to advanced stand up paddlers.
For more information or to book Suzie for an event, host a SUP Fitness Clinic or for private training/instruction e: email@example.com or got to:
To follow Suzie on Facebook:Suzie Trains Maui https://www.facebook.com/suzietrainsmaui
Uneven Push Ups
This is a very advanced exercise that targets the triceps, shoulders and chest!
“Don’t let your body burn out before the next set! “pushing up” to your feet requires chest and tricep strength. “
Difficulty Level: Advanced Strength
Muscle Group(s): Triceps, shoulder and chest. Great for core stability
Equipment: BOSU, or inflated disc
Progression: Raise one leg off the floor, have friend sit on back, or place feet on another BOSU
Preparation: Place one hand on the BOSU, one hand in push up position on floor.
Legs extended on floor, feet together.
From the start position, lower chest to ground, keep head down and in a nuetral position, and push up back to start position.
Push up with the strength of your entire shoulder girdle back to a straight-arm position.
Repeat movement sequence for recommended repetitions, switch.
NOTE: wider hand postion = more chest action, a narrower position = more tricep involvment
You’ll really feel this, so take it slow at first. Good luck! Tom Callan, surfer and SUP enthusiast makes it look easy!
Lisa deep in it!
Motivation. It is the most important aspect of any fitness regime and yet sometimes it is so difficult to find! There are lots of tricks to stay motivated. For me it’s all about doing something I like to do. Then it’s easy to stay active. I also change up my activity… a lot. Winter for me means snow. Lots of snow. I love to snowboard, ski, snowmobile and cross country ski. In summer I enjoy being on the water, at least when the wind is blowing. For the last few years I’ve been learning how to kite surf. Continuing to challenge myself with something new helps me stay motivated. Having a friend to play with is also a great way to stay motivated. Sometimes when the couch seems more appealing than your bike… it’s great to have a cheerleader to help you get moving. And when you have an abundance of energy you get to do the same for your friend.
I’ve always considered myself pretty fit but certainly recognize that there are some big gaps. And at 45 those gaps are getting deeper. 3 weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get invited to tagalong to a Suzie Cooney workout. I hadn’t previously worked with a personal trainer and the session I did was tailored for someone else… but I loved it and immediately booked myself and my husband in for our own sessions with her.
My idea that a personal trainer was akin to an army sergeant couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yet Suzie provides a perfect motivational force! And she is a force. Moving weights back and forth a few hundred times is not on her program which is good because it has never been on my program. I didn’t know you could do some much with an rubber band and a ball. Every training session is different and each session is filled with an incredible variety of exercises. It is never boring. Suzie works hard at tailoring your work out to address each individuals needs. After our sessions my husband and I always compare what we did… and of course.. who is better at what!
I wish that I could take Suzie with me when I am not on Maui because with her help my current fitness goals are getting closer and closer.
Lisa is an inspiring, charging woman. I enjoy training and working with Lisa for she goes to task and beyond with a fierce focus like I’ve never seen. She has broke records in the studio and takes pride in perfecting and executing all the exercises I put forth and eagerly accepts ANY challenge that I place before her.
For example, standing on a stability ball is no easy exercise. Then why don’t you add some dumb bells to the mix and some shoulder presses. Follow this by a grueling “weighted” session on the Vew Do Board, INDO Board and then finish off with a leg burning round of high performance land surfing on the Brett Lickle special SURF BALL trainer pictured here:
Besides her outer beauty, she is a walking, living example of health and fitness and I hope everyone who reads her story will step it up a notch. When you see her photos you know, this is an athlete! Lisa and I have much in common like fast motors, and fast action packed adventure. You can be sure Lisa will be charging on her snowmobile faster than ever with more body confidence and her training will help her in any condition that is demanding of her catlike, quick reactions. Also be sure to look up if you’re kiting or windsurfing on Maui, she could just be soaring over your head catching some big air. She’s also taken a quick learn to SUP and is already stepping into some tight step turns on her second day! She is real and she is mighty and I’m glad to know her.
Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui http//:www.suzietrainsmaui.com
photo by Simone Reddingius
Are you ready to basically free fall with a piece of fiberglass pushing back to you as the force of gravity is sucking you down? Sure, you’ve been paddling; you’ve got good core strength, but what about the legs? Will you still be standing, and do you have the power to recoil your body to pump for the speed you need into the next turn?
Gravity and surfing, water drag, board buoyancy and you, are all opposing forces that join you as you make your drop down the face of a small wave, or if you’re one of the few brave enough to step into the trough of JAWS. Being well- conditioned and strong, along with cat-like reactions can make you or break you.
Without getting too technical on the values of centripetal force, board speed, or if you’d like to learn what “C = gT/2LL” means, go to Leslie Brooks site and read more:
Getting Physical The Physics Behind Surfing, and read up on: C = Wave Speed g = Acceleration caused by gravity (9.8 Square meters per second) T =Wave Period L =Wave Length Test on Monday, so study!
Back to the “physical” aspect of what I do and know, I wanted to ask an expert! I had the pleasure of talking with Dave Kalama , big wave surfer here on Maui on the subject that fascinates me; how the g –force effects of gravity as you drop down the face of a wave and how you need your body, especially your legs to hold your line as gravity is pulling you down. He helped described to me the importance of training for leg strength for exactly this.
Dave Kalama Copyright: ©D.Wong
He said, “When you’re surfing down the face of a wave all muscles need to be firing at once. The slow twitch and fast twitch muscles must both engage.” As a trainer, I get this. An example of slow twitch muscles that tend to be smaller in size, slower to fatigue and if we get scientific, increases oxygen delivery, vs. fast twitch, larger muscles and quicker to fatigue and basically are considered the power house muscles of your body.
Slow twitch muscles also include stabilizing muscles. Think of endurance, running a marathon, swimming laps vs. a power lifter will have fast twitch muscles to utilize for big bouts of serious lifting. Here I’m talking about quick, explosive reps, but only lasting a few seconds. For this, think of glutes and quads.
He agreed that most people spend a great deal of time on core and upper body training; but reemphasized the need to spend even more time increasing your leg strength.
For example, Dave does a minimum of 200 leg lunges, max 400 to 500 consecutive. Then a few sets of leg dips and some quick paced step and jump lunges followed by jump squats. Plus running up the sand hill backwards really warms him up. He trains a great deal in soft sand and is a firm believer that your toes, feet and ankles play a key role for board and rail control.
Dave explained it like this, “One can have board and rail control, but then you need to call upon power to take advantage of the control. Then there is board speed. To get speed, you need to take advantage of the control and power. You’ll need to have powerful legs to pump the board to increase your speed. It’s all connected.”
Dave says, “If I had to pick any part of the body I’d train for surfing, it’d be legs over upper body. If you have bird legs it won’t do you much good.”
This makes good sense to me. I’ve seen Dave do some serious training here on Maui and it’s very inspiring. He also added that cycling is key to add to your training routine to help increase your power on big days.
Adding leg work to your routine seems easy enough, but its how you make the exercises extra challenging that be the ticket. There are lots of variables or things you can do to get those legs pumped up to help increase board speed.
Traditional squats, leg press and extension machines are great, but also add some plyometrics to the mix. Plyometrics is a term to describe the type of training that is explosive for speed and power. For example, I think of dropping down a wave I think of “Drop Jumping”. This exercise requires you to drop to the ground from a box or raised platform then immediately jumping up. I’d recommend starting on a platform that is not too high at first. Start with a 2 foot (24 inch) sturdy box, or simply standing on the ground and doing what I call tuck jumps. You can change the “variable” by changing the speed of the movement. Also, jumping over and object like a bench, cones or a log at the beach or park:
Here are some basic explosive 2 legged hops. Remember soft landings, not flat footed. Use your body to propel you up:
Plyometric training can be worked into circuit training or can be as simple as skipping, hopping or bounding. Keep in mind this type of training is pretty intense and requires one to have a pretty decent base of leg strength, knee stabilization and hip stabilization, and no known orthopedic challenges.
I will line up 2 BOSUs in a row and have my clients use their own body’s inertia to hop up with two legs together as high as they can, land on the BOSU and then on to the next BOSU. To make it more interesting, I may fire an 8lb medicine ball at them to catch in mid air to test their reaction.
BOSU Jumps: Forwards and Laterals
A sample plyometric routine might look like this:
Drop Jumps: 5-10 medium intensity Rest: 45-60 seconds
Single Leg Step up to Bench with Dumb Bells: 10 -12 each leg
Single leg lunges with dumbbells. I’m using 20lb each.
2 legged hops from Standing Position over bench, cone or other object: 10-12
Lateral or Forward 2 legged hop up to BOSU or across 10-12
Repeat 2-3 times. To increase intensity, reduce rest period, add more weight, increase drop box/bench height.
Or, take one of these exercises and work it into your regular training routines.
Pre Conditioning: As mentioned earlier, this type of training, requires a solid base of strength training, supportive athletic shoes and should be performed on padded surfaces such as grass or the beach, or in a padded area to absorb some of the shock.
Proper active or dynamic stretching should also be performed before your routine and of course the proper cool down to follow. I’d allow 2-3 days for recovery in-between a plyometric session.
To recap, surfing is the ultimate sport that demands so much of the body and if you want to be good, go deep and drive into the next turn, you better have the legs to do it. This type of training is also excellent for stand up paddling small and big waves!
Cycling, plyometrics, soft sand running, lots of lunges, weight training is a great way to be ready for the action.
You can check out a few more of my “surf fit tips at: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/surf-sup-windsurf-conditioning-training-tips/
Thanks again Dave for adding to the topic! I hope you found this helpful and informative. We’ve just touched upon the very simple aspects of leg training for surfing here. If you want more information or want to train with me personally, let’s do it!
I encourage to you to share your experiences, tips and big wave adventures with us. Also, to learn more about Dave Kalama go to: http://www.davidkalama.com/
Also stay tuned for my SUP/Fitness Adventure clinic in Costa Rica next year.
Aloha and see you on the water! Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui
Suzie is wearing the Olukai Kia’i’ Trainer http://www.olukai.com/Product_WomensMakai_Kia’i%20Trainer_20127-3049.aspx
All photos and jewelry by Simone Reddingius. Check out more of her work at:
Check out ATHLETA’s sporty cap, “Morning Run”
To see Naish’s new line for 2011 go to: http://www.naishsurfing.com
Quick Reactions and Good Balance Can Make a Better Stand Up Paddler by Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui
Whether you surf the big waves of Maui’s North Shore or touring the beautiful channels and waterways of Jupiter, Florida, or on Lake Tahoe, it’s known that if you have good balance and can respond quickly to changing water conditions or obstacles that can come in your path; better chances for a more enjoyable SUP session.
Time and time again I’ve had to call upon some of the tiniest muscles, to fire fast and respond to get me out of trouble or to dodge a turtle on the same wave! I’ve also encountered large pieces of floating debris, strange breaking waves, or other people in my line that I had to have quick reaction times and good balance for recovery to get my footing back.
As a trainer and water sports enthusiast, I’ve always encouraged the importance of trying to mimic similar conditions in your workout program on land. You can keep it really simple or add some fun equipment too.
To me, balance training is like brain training. Without getting too technical, it’s like adding a few more wires to our brain or panels so you’re ready for anything. One technical term I will use is called neuromuscular training. The definition simply means selecting specific exercises that are very specific to increase one’s performance, and trigger the appropriate actions to allow your nervous system to operate and perform functionally at its maximal level.
Your eyes, core, and all of the muscles connected to your central nervous system have an important role to quickly gather information, route it to the right department and fire away. Ever had the feeling like you’re moving in slow motion while during a serious wipe out? I have. It’s the strangest feeling. I’m not sure I’m fond of it and I try really hard to have cat like reactions and excellent balance to avoid that.
Stand up paddling, as simple as it looks does in fact require a little balance when you’re beginning and as you advance. When you’re learning, you’re so busy turning the paddle in the right direction, looking at the horizon and more than likely, gripping the deck with every single muscle in your foot, leading to early fatigue.
Once you’re up and gliding there’s not much to it. But, as you step into your first wave or go down in the size of your board, you may discover you need a little better balance or to retrain your brain to learn again.
Next time you’re in the gym or in your own home gym, start practicing a couple balance techniques to keep your brain and muscles fine tuned.
Equipment: The BOSU, INDO Board, my KIALOA paddle and an 8lb medicine ball or 12 -15lb body bar.
These are advanced moves, so start out slowly and progress safely:
1. BOSU, dome side down with paddle, medicine ball or body bar:
I’ve actually taken a bit of sand paper to roughen up the plastic side of my BOSUs to aid in traction, or have sand on my feet! I recommend barefoot so you can really get the feel of the movements of the BOSU. Step on safely, feet parallel to the plug, posture nice and tall, relaxed looking ahead. Take your paddle, medicine ball or body bar and start to paddle 2 strokes each side. Switch off to mix it up. As you move your arms out and to the side, notice how sensitive the BOSU becomes. I like to try and go to fatigue or until my legs scream!
2. INDO Board on top of dome of BOSU: see photo up topPlace the INDO Board itself on top of the dome of the BOSU. I like to have a little less board off the back to I can really pretend I’m heading down the line. Or if you’re more comfortable to start, place the INDO board so it’s nicely balanced in the center. Change it up. You can place your feet side by side as if you’re cruising and do it that way, or if you’re charging some waves, assume the surf stance.
This time you’ll notice the added extra burn to your back carving leg at the same time looking ahead where you want to go, down the line.
Good balance for stand up paddling is key and important for many things we do in life. Next time you’re on the water, try paddling on one foot, or simply standing on one foot. In the gym, try kneeling on a stability ball for extra fun. Be sure to hang onto a sturdy object at first. Add more air to the stability ball to make it more challenging and fun.
Any questions about these exercises or to learn more, feel free to email me at Suzie@SuzieTrainsMaui.comor check out www.suzietrainsmaui.com and www.standuppaddlingfitness.com
Glide with good posture, react fast and paddle hard!
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
Suzie is a Pro Team SUP Rider for Naish International. Check out her profile here! Follow Suzie on Face Book: http://www.facebook.com/suzietrainsmaui
Suzie is wearing shorts from Athleta click here.
Hi, I recently posted the intermediate version of this, but wanted to take you outside to show you the advanced version! These push ups will promote better surfing endurance and shoulder, chest and tricep strength for quick action. Often times, if you are out of surf shape, your arms burn out fast. It’s a real bummer when the surf is pump’n and your not! Even if you don’t surf, give these a try and you really be challenged. These are probably my most favorite exercises. Have fun! Suzie
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Muscle Group(s): Triceps, shoulder and chest, core. Challenges the upper body and core while increasing strength and endurance, and mimics board movement on the water.
Equipment: Indo Board, Inflatable disk, BOSU
Progression: Raise one leg off the ground, or place feet on a BOSU dome or another inflated disc.
Preparation: Assume the push up position. If you are a beginner, you can bend your knees. Make sure the disc is centered underneath the Indo Board. NOTE: If the disc is over inflated it will be much harder, than if it’s softer. Also, by bringing your hands closer together, you will target the triceps and chest more. Wider positon, more shoulder girdle involvement.
Extend legs behind you, either on ground, another disc or as pictured, the BOSU.
Movement: From the start position, lower your chest to the Indo Board and then press up into the push up. Make sure your neck is neutral and bum lowered. Push up with the strength of your entire shoulder girdle back to a straight-arm position. You may also hold and make this a core plank exercise. Hold in this position 15-30 seconds.
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you! Baithing suit, Posh Pua.
Follow Suzie on Face Book: http://www.facebook.com/suzietrainsmaui
Balance to Burn More Calories and Get Stronger, Toned Legs, for Stand UP Paddling and Surfing!
Michelle getting ready for a session at Honolua Bay!
Want to burn more calories and immediately improve your performance? Step up and hang loose! Having good balance helps you perform better, get stronger, and reduce the occurrence of injuries.
Each training session, I incorporate balance training, whether my clients surf, stand up paddle, windsurf or just want to walk on the beach with more confidence. I always say, “water is an unstable element; always moving… so is your board as you carve your turns..recruit more fine motor muscles from your hips, knees and ankles and watch what happens.”
Balance training is a wonderful way to cross-train not only your body, but your brain gets quite a workout too! Your brain has to learn fast; how to fire all the muscles in the right order, and to keep you from falling off your board!
The technical term for this type of training is called neuromuscular and reactive training. This method of training definitely increases and enhances one’s performance, for it requires the ability of the muscles to exert maximal force output in the fastest amount of time! Your body is forced to stabilize and react as the central nervous system determines or sets the speed of this reaction.
There are endless exercises one can perform on different types of unstable platforms. I have over 10 or more pieces of equipment that allow me to change it up for my clients; depending upon one’s level of fitness and balance skills.
One of my favorites is the INDO (www.indoboard.com) It’s fast and you can do all kinds of tricks on it. I’d recommend starting on the sand or grass to slow it down if you are a beginner. The harder the surface, the faster! I also place the INDO board itself on top of a inflatable soft disc. Here, you can perform squats, push-ups, and many more exercises! If you are an advanced client, I’ll have them do bicep curls while balancing on the INDO board.
You can also perform single leg squats on a piece of a dense half-foam roll. Another great balance exercise that really targets your core is to balance on your knees on a stability ball! Starts first by being near a sturdy object.
What’s more, I like to use a piece of equipment called the BOSU, which stands for “both sides up.” It’s revolutionized fitness training and is really awesome. Simply standing on one leg is hard enough. Start with shoes first so your arch doesn’t burn, then as you get stronger, try it barefoot.
For my really advanced clients, like Tony Colletta, our N. shore lifeguard, pulling land 360s, as he rips on my custom built Kazuma surfboard that moves wildly on Brett Lickel’s Surf Ball. This is toe grabbing, hear-stopping fun!
My clients swear that they noticed an immediate difference on the water. Balance training burns more calories, tones your legs, works your core and trains the brain to react quickly.
See you on the water!
Stayed tuned for more articles to keep you fit on and off the water!