The enjoyment I get out of wave sailing is one reason I’ve put so much attention in to it but the other reason I focused on it so much was due to injury when I was younger. Flat-landing a double when I was 17 and injuring my foot, I allowed this injury to mess with my head and due to sub-optimal management I didn’t have the confidence to jump at the top level again for almost 2 seasons. It was during this time that I almost solely focused on pure wave riding. It wasn’t until I ruptured my ankle syndesmosis and needed surgery in 2013 that I really put a rehabilitation and management plan together that gave me confidence to push my boundaries again in all aspects of my sailing. At this point I was in my final year of Physiotherapy studies as well so I began to develop ideas as to how I needed to train in order to get the most out of my windsurfing. Going to the gym isn’t something I particularly enjoy but I do enjoy exercise and the confidence I get out of knowing that my body is switched on. What is important for me though is that whatever land-based training I’m doing has carry-over and is functional for my windsurfing. I don’t see the point in doing a bench press to improve my wave riding, instead I focus on mixing land-based exercise with my on the water training to facilitate the progression of my wave sailing and reduce the risk of injury to my lower limbs (touch wood).
One of the major muscle groups I work on developing for my lower limb (and upper limb) stability is my gluteals (bum). A strong bum is the key factor to having optimal biomechanics, which is a fancy term for stability and correct movement patterns. In regards to wavesailing, a strong ‘hiney’ is going to give you the stability you need through your lower limbs to generate as much power and speed as possible through your turns. Squats, single leg sit-to-stand and bridging are three basic exercises that I work on to strengthen my gluteals, quadriceps and hamstrings. This is one small component of my land-based training and is an area that I need to continue working on strengthening, however these exercises or the aim of these exercises may not be appropriate for all of you.