Just thought I'd share this as I'm pretty stoked about it.... I've been kiting since the beginning of the sport, seen it all:) I've had injuries, broken bones, tendons, etc. I am turning 50 next year & over the last few my balance between kitesurfing & working has led me to a lot of time where I've had minimal exercise. Thus my non-kiting workouts have become increasingly critical so that I can still rip without getting tendonitis, or any other problems.
I recently had some carpal tunnel problems due to non-kiting activities. I have found that lap swimming dramatically increased my upper body strength without worsening my carpal tunnel problems in my arms. Bizzare but it works. I started to swim 1600 yards daily after I found it didn't worsen things. After a few weeks I just grew stronger & stronger. I kited a few times since & I was amazed by how much easier it was to kite, how much less of a kiting hangover I had in terms of soreness. Really stoked on that. I've done weights forever, all kinds of other stuff but IMHO swimming is the best low-impact sport you can do to prep for kitesurfing?!?!?!?!?!?
Triple bonus for 1) Low Impact 2) Thermogenic (because your body is trying to head the pool to 98.6 degrees F) and 3) A valuable lifesaving skill for engaging in high-risk watersports.
I've found pilates to be the real difference maker for me, though. I have a really bad disc injury at L5/S1 and opted not to get surgery; core strengthening and balance exercises have made hydrofoiling noticeably easier.
You’ll be happy to know it’s not just your opinion. Swimming really is the best for targeting all your muscle groups and avoiding injury. There’s a very good reason why both humans and non-humans do physiotherapy in swimming pools. My lab has spent most of his outdoors swimming and looks a lot better than most of his brethren.
I’m also a big fan of Pilates and can especially recommend looking into classes that focus on core stretch exercises (think hips, psoas muscle, lower back etc.). They really work your core and believe me you will sweat like crazy. 1 hour of Pilates classes 3 times a week for 3 months can change your life. And if you want to incorporate some meditative excersises nothing beats yoga. I've heard yoga described as "martial art against yourself" and that is a pretty fair description, in my view.
For strength I recommend a simple home gym with a proper pull-up bar (one you actually bolt to wall/ceiling), 2-3 kettle bells, gymnastics rings and a mat for floor excersises. Gymnastics rings are the Swiss Army knife of home gym setups and you can easily do with just those if you want to keep it simple.
Last edited by SaltWaterDog on Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
+ 1 here on the Pilates. I also have major L5 disc issues and took up reformer pilates (2-3 times per week) about 3 years ago. It has made a huge difference to my kitesurfing - can stay out for 2-3 hours instead of 1-2 and feel fine afterwards - helps especially for the foiling. Haven't tried swimming in any big way, but no doubt that is highly effectively, anything that works the core is good.
I have found that due to being able to be out on the water 3 times more often due to me taking up hydrofoiling, i needed to take up some sort of serious regular exercise to build my core strength and samina along with general suppleness, not to mention loosing a bit of weight.
After 13 months of regular 4-5 gym sessions/week of non stop 90 mins sweaty hard and fast gym work, low impact high burn exercises, which leave me temporarily exhausted but smiling, then followed by as many lengths of the swimming pool as i can manage has really changed my life.
weight loss and general fitness has shown just how beneficial this daily lifestyle has helped my foiling, a 5 hour session is now a joy on the days that allow it, instead of a 90 min session as before.
I am 64 in a few weeks, and feel 20 years younger, but once you get into a routine of going to the gym and pool early morning before breakfast the afternoon sessions on the water feel fantastic.
it has amazed me how much fitter you need to be to really get the best out of foilboarding, you cant get away with being lazy.