T Nation

Surfing & Shoulders


Hey gang,

I've just gotten into surfing, and have the bug. My shoulders are taking a real beating, but at the moment I'm recovering pretty well & end up pain free within a day or so...

My question relates to an article I recently read on T-Nation by Paul Check regarding pattern overload which basically said not to exercise muscles which are already taxed heavily by the sport in question. With the goal of maintaining injury free shoulders, should I do any exercises whatsoever for them, or should I just maintain a good stretching program and give myself enough recovery?

Along the same lines, has anyone bought any of Paul's books and found them to be useful in overcoming any injuries or postural/excercise issues they have?



I picked up the following exercise from another thread on this forum. My shoulder is injured, but this is probably good prehab too. Makes the shoulders feel awesome, pumped and loose.


Nice... thanks... but wouldn't this movement tear away at the tendons or something when you go over the top?

I'm sure I've read stuff saying you shouldn't perform large range of motion exercises with shoulders... like pullovers for your chest for example when you go too low behind your head...


That is an assanine exercise for someone with bad shoulders, or good shoulders for that matter. He wants someone with a bad shoulder to intentionally hyper-extend? Not smart.


Try to take it easy for a while. Then use a good warm up next time you go surfin' (full range of motiion) and a good strech after. Use plenty of vitamins spec. vitamin C and enough good fats.

If you'r using compound movements I would not use too much shoulder excercises.


Then why does it make my bad shoulder feel better?


When you say your shoulders are taking a beating do you mean the muscle is sore or are you having pain in the shoulder joint? I like to surf as much as I can myself and have had some problems in the past with shoulder tendonitis due to surfing and some overuse in the gym. I'm guessing that you're a beginner at surfing so would bet that your paddling technique is quite efficient which can definitely lead to some joint discomfort. Often times you'll see beginner surfers using a stroke that's not smooth and inline with their body. It just takes practice. Head out on flat days and work on your stroke.

I haven't had any problems with surfing and working shoulders in the gym although I've been surfing a fairly long time. I would definitely advise some light rotator cuff work though as a preventative measure for shoulder problems such as tendonitis.


Thanks bgl & others... I had the same feeling about stressing the shoulder joint...

I think the pain is more muscular... but you know how it is with your shoulder... theres so many little muscles inserting all over the place it can be hard to tell. The fact that i'm recovering from the soreness of the day in 1 or 2 days also says to me its muscular... I can feel tender tissue on my delts (mainly rear) for example.

I think I'm really feeling it because I'll go out in to sets which are probably too big for me, but I still try to paddle out the back, I can't make it, but im too stubborn to give up... so I'm paddling my arse off constantly. Damn good fun though =)

bgl have you or other surfers found you've gained any hypertrophy from the high repetition motion of paddling?



Naaaa, it's basically just a good source of cardio. Take a look at the build of your average surfer that surfs regularly and you'd be pressing things if they went 150lbs.