To perform sports on land is one thing. To perform them well is another. To perform sports on the water is a whole different level. Due to the buoyancy and instability, there is a greater risk of imbalance, which requires a good level of core strength, balance, and agility – to be able to shift your weight from one side to the other. To be able to move effortlessly across the waves takes a lot of technique and practice.

This article will not teach you how to wakeboard, waterski, paddle-board or windsurf, but it will help to strengthen and condition your body for waterspouts. The exercises I have chosen will improve balance, co-ordination, strength and core stability.

Bosu squats with plate
This challenges your balance. Option 1: Stand on the ground. This is for beginners who can practice the squat. Option 2: Stand on the BOSU and perform the squat. Option 3: Stand on the BOSU but use a weighted plate as extra resistance. Make sure you push through your heels and keep your chest up, back straight and bring your bum down to knee level. That is the best depth to avoid injury. You will find your legs will start to shake, but that’s ok, that’s the proprioceptors working which will strength your ligaments, tendons, and joints. With the plate, you can hold it close for the easy option or further away, arms extended for the harder option, which adds more emphasis to the core. Try for 10 reps x3-5 sets.

Stepper side steps
Place the stepper on the lowest setting on the ground. Start with one leg in the middle and the other outside. The idea here is to shift your body weight from side to side over the stepper. Speed is important. Option 1: This can just be a small tap, narrow to the step. Option 2: Try for a wider step, away from the step. When you do this exercise, the intensity is key so go fast to increase the heart rate. This will help your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories. Try for 30 seconds x3-5 sets.

Push up into mountain climber on medicine ball
This is a two in one combo move. First, balance your hands on the medicine ball, feet on the ground. Holding the plank position, back straight and core engaged. Then perform a push-up, so lower your chest to the medicine ball. When you come back up, perform a mountain climber, by bringing one leg across your body to opposite elbow. One push up, left and right mountain climber is one rep. Option 1: Perform this move without the medicine ball and on the floor. Option 2: Use the medicine ball. Try for 10 reps x3-5 sets.

Single leg deadlift to OH press with plate
Choose which leg you want to work first and balance on that leg. Then bend the front leg and elevate the back leg. This is the single leg deadlift. Option 1 is without the weighted plate. Option 2 is to hold the weighted plate in both hands. After the deadlift, reach the plate above your head into the Over Head Press: another compound move that works lots of muscles whilst focusing on balance and core strength. Try for 10 reps each leg x3-5 sets.

Each exercise should be performed with control and precision. For example, slow the movement down and feel the muscular contraction. Switching to the Central Nervous System will activate more muscle fibres, meaning the more fibres recruited will generate better stability and strength for the muscle.

Try these exercises for a set period of time and look to advance to more reps, more sets, and heavier weight. Then take to the waves to see how strong you have become! ■

Nicky Holland
Fitness Manager, Fitness First Motor City