Recreational running and the importance of being mobile, strong and powerful.

Recreational Running and the importance of being mobile, strong and powerful.

It’s very common for the majority of people who want to get involved in a sport to find a local club, join and crack straight on with performing said sport week in week out in the hope that they’ll get fitter, and better at that chosen sport. Whilst initially that might happen, at some point performance will plateau and unfortunately acute or chronic injury will most likely follow. The following blog discusses a common activity relative to the above paragraph.

Running is one of the most popular recreational activities largely due to the fact it is so accessible….essentially a starter pack consists of trainers, shorts and a t shirt, and relentless pavement pounding to achieve running fitness.

However, therein lies the problem, let’s say you fancied getting yourself fit for a local 10km run/race the most common place to start for most people would be to strap on their Asics and start pounding the streets. The aim of course would be to clock up loads of miles in the hope that cardiovascular adaptations and specific running fitness comes about. Whilst this method has some carry over, this is a one dimensional

approach that negates some very important factors in running performance, and as stated earlier in the blog injury will potentially follow.

We need to think about getting ‘good’ at running in an integrated way and approach it with several fitness components in mind. So by all means, implement a sensible running based programme but also pay attention to the following aspects of fitness.

The movement, strength, skill pyramid sums up what a good program for any sport should look like, and training for your local 10km run is no different.

  1. Move well and often and create athleticism in a controlled environment.
  2. Add strength to these movements you’ve got, create stability and a surplus of it. Train fast and develop power to further enhance your ability.
  3. Now you can get fancy with your body by performing your sport, safe in the knowledge that your frame can handle the demands placed on it.


Unless you’re a full-time athlete, chances are you will have a job of some sort and therefore spend much of your day sitting, driving or involved in other largely sedentary positions. This poses a problem as running and training for running requires coordination, skill, and varied athletic movements, not to mention force absorption and production and therefore a good dose of reactive strength , so going from chair to a 5 miler plus after work week in week out is only going to end in pain or injury.

If you are going to go about your training for running in a multi-faceted approach you will need to squat, hinge, push, pull, brace, carry, lunge, reach, accelerate, decelerate, jump land, hop…the list goes on.

Therefore a large part of your training should contain a big dose of movement quality. This can usually be plumbed in at the beginning of your training session (gym based) or your running session (road/track based), and therefore form part of your warm up. However, you must get into the habit of thinking way beyond the term warm up, as drilling key movement patterns are a necessity when implementing any training program. They are needed to open up movement pathways that have been lying dormant and by doing these drills you are further reducing your chance of injury.

Whenever we commence working with any sport/athlete these mobility/activation drills are custom designed to fit the athletes movement deficits which we would have discovered via a detailed movement screening early in their program design. However to get you started, here are some links to some useful and simple exercises and remember the bigger your movement toolbox the more likely your gross athleticism will improve.

Here are some links to some movement quality drills that we currently use with our runners:

  1. Ankles:
  2. Hips:
  3. Glutes and spine:
  4. Thoracic spine:
  5. Hamstring activation:
  6. Trunk activation:
  7. Single leg stability and hamstring mobility:

There are hundreds of movement quality drills to choose from but the above are a few that we currently use.

Strength: (the ability to generate or control force)

Ask most runners what sort of strength and power training they are currently doing and we often get two answers. A) why do I need to be strong to run? B) I don’t want to end up bulky. The answer to A) you need to be strong to run and the answer to B) if done correctly you will not end up bulky.

In a nutshell, getting yourself strong and powerful with running in mind will only enhance your capability and unlock athletic potential whilst reducing (massively) your chance of injury

RE or running economy as it’s known is a key performance indicator where running is concerned and with the use of appropriate ST (strength training) this can be improved by 2-8% with regards to distance athletes. Correctly programmed strength training will provide an overload to the neuromuscular system which is what’s needed to allow the  adaptations (increases) in strength. Motor unit recruitment, firing frequency, musculotendinous stiffness, and intra-muscular co-ordination will all adapt for the better when ST is performed with consistency (2-3 times per week).

Did you know that every time your foot hits the ground anywhere up to 2.5 times body weight has to be absorbed through each leg, and as you can imagine over the course of just one five miler, that’s a lot of load going through the lower limbs…..a rationale right there to be strong!

It’s also no secret that a huge performance enhancer for distance running is low body mass with regards to unwanted body fat. Essentially the lighter, yet stronger you are the more efficient your running will be and the more resilient you’ll be to the forces absorbed by the body each time the foot strikes the floor. Force production will also improve with strength gains and with increased ‘stiffness’ through your joints (musculotendinous junctions) your ability to react or bounce when you strike the ground will be enhanced.

It’s common to hear recreational runners mention the need for ‘core’ strength frequently. Whilst this might be true, the core is often misinterpreted as the ‘tummy’ area….well core to us means everything from just  above the knee to the neck. In truth, not just one area of the body needs to be strong to run, the entire kinetic chain requires robustness for all the reasons stated earlier….force absorption and production, reactivity, and force transfer from upper to lower to upper body. Leaking force due to week hips or a torso that moves incorrectly will add to inefficient running.

So with this in mind a ‘whole’ body approach needs to be applied when developing strength to run and it also needs to be appropriate for the individual involved. Please refrain from rocking up to your nearest gym and tackling back squats, deadlifts and bench presses without careful consideration about what will be appropriate for your ability and needs. This is where a good personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach can pay dividends with a systematic approach  utilising a ‘minimum dose ‘ method to training adaptations. In other words, create just enough stress each training session to bring about the desired effect further down the line…..think BIGGER PICTURE.

However to get you started, here are some links to some ‘beginner’ type exercises that are going to get the body tuned up with a view to being a more robust and efficient runner.

Below is an example of a ‘knee’ dominant session with some accessory and trunk work added on.




TRX Row:


Hip thrust:


Half kneeling landmine press:




Below is an example of a hip dominant training session with added accessory work.




Press up:


Split squat:


Facepull :


Half kneeling pallof press:

Power:( the maximum amount of force that can be produced in a short amount of time)

Power is definitely an element of training for running that needs to be addressed, but you can’t expect to be powerful without a foundation of strength and yes even endurance events require explosive strength. Explosive strength can actually increase by 20-50 % just through heavy resistance training alone, but to really get fast, you have to train fast….in other words, move your body or external load quickly for desired amount of sets and reps. Obviously a little more complicated than that but essentially, like strength training, power development has to be appropriate to the sport and individual involved, but in general we should look to ‘surf’ the curve (see graph above) and programme in aspects of training all the way along this curve (max strength to sprinting)

It’s also worth mentioning ‘reactive’ strength. Reactive strength when trained correctly allows the individual to tap into the stretch shortening cycle that we all possess to some degree. It’s our own ‘rubber band’ mechanism that allows us to absorb impact on ground contact (think jumping, running etc) like a spring, and then explode rapidly in the opposite direction (up or forwards). Train this element correctly and it will not only decrease your ground contact time, bearing in mind that the longer you spend on the ground the slower you’ll be, but it will also increase joint stiffness and therefore reduce your chance of injury.

Below is an example of some plyometric progressions that we would potentially use with anyone involved in running based activities, all the while enhancing the capability of the stretch shortening cycle (SSC)

Like any training though, plyo based interventions need careful thought and programming, with an extensive to intensive approach, definitely best performed under the watchful eye of a coach.


Any well thought out training program where a running event is the main goal and requires the body to go through increasing amounts of stress , will also require planned recovery. Most of us, unless we are full time athletes, work and have family/life commitments. Add in training stress and unless recovery is allowed for, the potential for ‘burn out’ is a real issue.


To improve, we have to employ a ‘progressive overload’ strategy, but to reap the rewards of adaptation the body has to be able to recover before more ‘stress’ is placed upon it. The diagram below is a visual example of the process that we should adhere to.

If training takes place too soon during restoration or supercompensation then the likelihood of added fatigue is high, and therefore the potential for reduced performance in the subsequent session.

Fatigue can show itself in several ways depending on the type of stress you are placing on the body.

Metabolic stress, tissue damage, neurological and psychological fatigue all play apart in the need to recover and therefore effective strategies need to be implemented.

Nutrition, massage, flexibility and mobility are great ways of looking after the body before training commences.

Nutrition, Rest (active/passive), and massage are some of the strategies that are effective post training.

Ongoing monitoring as well as a well designed program will go a long way to ensure that fatigue and burn out are a low risk.


If you’ve taken the time to read this blog, both of us at Cornwall High Performance appreciate your time.

More importantly though, we hope it sends a message and is a help if you plan on taking up running….or any sport for that matter.

The bottom line is, way too many recreational athletes are skipping (in our eyes) the most important part of any training program, and that’s building a surplus of movement, functional strength and power. We are constantly coming across runners and others that are injured….an injured athlete is not a happy athlete, and besides that, if performance can also be enhanced via correct training strategies….what’s not to like??

So next time you or anyone you know decides to train for a long distance event, or any other sport,  show them this blog, and then tell them to get in touch with Cornwall High Performance.


All the best


Rob and Sam






If you work within a field sports setting, you should know that speed is a vital component that helps bring about that all important win. Unfortunately though it is often trained the least and strength or skill work can often take precedence.
Time needs to be devoted to speed training and linear work initially should be the priority…yes, we understand field sports are multi-directional but the mechanics of linear speed are actually involved in change of direction too.

So, where should we start with speed training?
1. What are the key performance indicators of the sport in question and what do your team/athlete need to work on. Throwing in a bunch of 10m sprints with recovery or a max velocity run before your athletes learn acceleration/running mechanics probably won’t yield results on game day.
2. How much time do you have? If an 1/2 hr a week is all you have, make good use of it. Try not to re-invent the wheel in each session…break down movements and assess before re-building and looking at the big picture. Walk before you run!
3. Use coaching cues wisely….time and type are important to convey your message and different people need different cues. Don’t be a fridge…fridges make constant noise.
4.Key positions are paramount to achieve optimal running mechanics. Acceleration requires low heel recovery, big arm split, and a horizontal angle of torso…if we can’t do this rehearsed how can we employ this in the field of play. Top speed requires good trunk strength, cyclical leg action and foot strike under centre of mass…this is where your rehearsed march and skip drills pay dividends.
We currently work with field sports. Speed training is part of their weekly schedule, and although we are not attempting to turn them into out and out sprinters, we still need to apply the required technical models for linear speed.
If you want to get fast e mail today.

If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing!

The start place for all of our clientele is via an evaluation of certain movement patterns without load, (i.e. weight) and the reason is very simple….as well as movement efficiency, it allows us to assess two main qualities before training commences…MOBILITY and STABILITY. How can a trainer/coach expect anyone to squat , push, pull, lunge or hinge without a good dose of both these qualities? Every action, whether it be running, jumping, hitting or catching a ball, require stability, force production, and force absorption, and these actions are rarely done in isolated movements through the kinetic chain. A whole body sequence must take place, using multiple joints, in different planes of motion.

There are many different products available on the market these days outlining how the trainer or coach should structure these movement screenings. FMS (functional movement screening) is probably one of the more recognisable ones, and you can even gain a certification under the brand. Here at CHP we tend to lean towards Kelvin B Giles’s Physical Competence Assessment Manual, and the use of this manual allows us to optimise the process of screening for individual development.

KG 1

In this manual, there are over 55 different assessments that can be applied to your athletes covering bracing, pushing pulling, landing and jumping, triple flexion and extension competence and much more. We are not suggesting that all 55 assessments have to be used in a screening as this would take hours….so use your time wisely! Essentially though, a movement screening is about picking out the right drills to establish a starting point for progress, and if done right it should completely negate the excuse of creating a one size fits all approach to programming. We’d also like to point out that assessment shouldn’t just cease once the screening is complete…ALL training from here on in should involve constant monitoring. As Kelvin Giles states in the manual, TRAINING IS TESTING AND TESTING IS TRAINING.

Currently, most individuals we work with are quite often in the early stages of training and so we will apply a set number of tests to assess their movement with the opportunity to advance the screening as we go if a good level is reached early on. It is, of course, entirely up to you which battery of tests you use to establish a well rounded idea of your client’s movement capabilities, thus allowing you to formulate a strategy for effective training.

We like to keep things super simple and as informal as possible during assessments, it helps relax the individual in front of you, which often brings about truer results. That said, all tests have to be performed correctly, and they can often get butchered, bringing about incorrect results.

Below is a list and rationale of each assessment we use with most, obviously these can vary depending on who you have in front of you.



Static Posture:

A start point to see if there is anything glaringly obvious with posture. Typical findings may show some rounding of the shoulders, forward head posture, winged scapula, excessive anterior or posterior pelvic tilt, internally rotated femurs, supinated or pronated feet, and so on. Have in mind, many people have postural issues statically, but that doesn’t necessarily show up through movement, but information gathered her can help formulate a picture, and can be often referred back to further into training should problems arise.

Muscle length tests:

We generally look at pec major/minor, lats, upper and lower hamstrings, external rotators of the hip, tfl, quads and psoas major to see where restrictions are. This allows us to implement effective stretching, and or foam rolling advice, and if need be, manual soft tissue therapy.

Ankle Range:

The ability to dorsiflex at the ankle is super important, and if you want your athlete squatting, jumping, and landing this needs to be addressed with an ankle range test. The photo below gives you an idea on how to perform this simple test. Kelvin Giles’s assessment manual also offers a scoring system to follow as a way of recording for future reference. A good score achieved here is very helpful in terms of knee and hip dominant exercises.

KG 2

Shoulder lift off:

Good shoulder range is essential for progress in training with all push/pull and overhead lifts, and if throwing or striking actions are performed within sport, it’s paramount. Below is a picture of the test we use, taken from the manual by Kelvin. Anywhere between 15-20cm reach off the floor would be desirable.


Double leg squat with arms ahead:

The squat is an integral part of most training programs and the squat test really tells us quite a lot about movement efficiency. The range of abilities within this exercise from person to person can vary hugely, and a mechanically sound squat can be affected by several deficits up and down the body. Essentially though, we are looking for an upright posture, with head and chest up, heels in contact with the floor, thighs to at least parallel and the hips, knees and feet to be aligned i.e. no knee valgus, or turning/collapsing feet.

KG4    KG5

Reverse Deadlift:

This is definitely one of our benchmark tests, and if an individual can hinge at the hips this early on in the testing/training process without too much cuing from us, then we are at a good starting point to progress. Much like the squat, the hinge is often a ‘practice makes perfect’ exercise. A light broomstick is used for this test, and the individual moves from an upright position using a hip hinge to a just above knee position. Back must be flat, shoulders down and back, and heels on floor.

Forward lunge and return:

A unilateral movement efficiency test to establish if the individual has the ability to maintain trunk stability and to assess whether ankle, knee and hip alignment can be achieved. Like many of the tests, it shows us the ability to transfer from one leg to the other, an absolute necessity for good running mechanics.

KG6       KG7

Overhead squat:

This test allows us to see the ability to control upper and lower body simultaneously . Good hip, knee and ankle alignment with heels on the floor is optimal, a parallel or below thigh will score well. Upper body needs to have a chest up, stiff posture and arms holding stick need to be directly over mid foot.


We often add in some form of bracing and pushing and pulling to this battery of assessments, and depending on the results of the above tests and therefore the ability of your athlete or client to show a good level of mobility and stability, we will often look at jumping and landing quality. This is vital to assess the ability to produce and absorb force, again essential components needed in life and sport, but a separate blog will discuss this topic.

To sum up, what we have outlined here are some useful assessments to establish possible deficits in your client’s kinetic chain. The key to looking at the results though, is knowing what to do to correct these deficits. As with most things though, the more you do them, the more you learn, and by the re-enforcement of good coaching we are able to improve movement efficiency, and load a variety of movement patterns without the risk of injury. Above all, keep it simple, work with what you see, and remember, we are trainers/coaches and if you come across a problem you can’t solve, outsource or refer to someone who does, rather than pushing on in the hope that whatever you are doing ,works.

Enhance Performance, Reduce Injury!

Rob and Sam





Super charge your heart and lungs to paddle FASTER,HARDER and LONGER!

KELLY PADDLINGSurfing loads is one sure fire way to get you fit for the sport we all love, but depending on where you live, surfing loads isn’t an option. You may be a city dweller and only get to the coast on the weekend (or less frequently). Even if your local is a short jog down the road, mother nature doesn’t always comply. So instead of spending these non-surfing bouts at home watching garbage on TV, use the time wisely and get yourself properly conditioned.
We are passionate about the sport, and are fortunate enough to have several surfers training under our watchful eye. Here at Cornwall High Performance we’ve been using science backed conditioning methods for athletes that surf for some time now, and the results of following some very simple guidelines can be monumental not only to your paddling but your ability to recover and go again.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of how to program your conditioning, let’s take a look at some info on the demands of the sport.
Surfing is a sport characterised by bouts of intermittent exercise varying in intensities, and as we all know can vary in volume i.e. 20 minute heat to 2-5hrs during good wave practice sessions. If you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert you’ll know that upper body activity (paddling) represents the most time demanding activity during surfing, therefore a good base of aerobic fitness will be an important factor to consider in this sport. This however doesn’t mean you will need to do hours upon hours of pounding the treadmill to get your energy system bulletproof, in fact the work periods are fairly low, just enough to spark an adaptation by the body.
The conditioning protocol we use is simple, and is known as maximum aerobic speed (MAS). You will be required to test yourself on your desired piece of equipment (rower, treadmill, bike and pool) to give you a score for a 1500m distance, and this is then specific to you. We then overload the body, just by a small amount to produce an adaptation, and this how you get fitter, and it’s that simple! We have provided a 4 week programme that you can follow, this can be rinsed and repeated by simply re-testing yourself at the end of the 4 weeks to keep you working at the correct intensity and ensuring you are providing the body with enough overload to adapt and keep getting BETTER!
Enough of the science, let’s get into the details of how you can get your cardiovascular system firing on all cylinders. Once you’ve been through our warm up protocol…  (
You’re ready to test yourself on a modality of your choice, this can be swimming, rowing, running or even on a bike…the choice is yours. The distance you will do is 1500m, the reason?… this is long enough to be considered aerobic, so it’s a true test of your aerobic system. Once you have your score you will need to do some simple calculations:
For example:
Rower: 1500m
Time taken: 6mins 45 secs =387 seconds
To evaluate your Maximum aerobic speed: 1500/387 =3.8m/s (employ same calculation whichever modality you use)
Using a 30/30 protocol (see program table below) multiply 3.8m/s by 30 to set metres covered during work interval. In this case 114 metres.
Now that we have shown you how to calculate your maximum aerobic speed (MAS) we can show you how to effectively program your energy system training that is vital to keep you paddling(predominant activity in surfing).
We’ve put together a once a week MAS training programme based off the sums we showed you earlier in the blog.   Check it out…..

Week 1 (basic)


Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 (unload)
Row 114 m in 30 secs

Row easy for 30 secs

Repeat x 6 x 3

Allow 3 mins recovery between sets


Row 114 m in 30 secs

Row easy for 30 secs

Repeat x 7 x 3

Allow 3 mins recovery between sets


Row 114 m in 30 secs

Row easy for 30 secs

Repeat x 8 x 3

Allow 3 mins recovery between sets


Row 114 m in 30 secs

Row easy for 30 secs

Repeat x 4 x 3

Allow 2 mins recovery between sets


The above table is just one very simple yet effective system using added volume at the right intensity each week to bring about overload and an adaptation. Depending on your weekly commitments, there is also scope to allow another MAS session with less volume but slightly higher intensity. We plan to cover this in our next blog.
To conclude, yep we all love to surf, but when the weather, work etc is against us this method is super effective to tune up your cardiovascular system. What’s more it’s quick, specific to you and also negates the need for endless hours of cardio…lets save that for the sea!

Happy paddling,

Rob and Sam


What is Strength and Conditioning?


This is a topic that we’ve been meaning to discuss and get out in the open for some time now, but sometimes blogs are the last thing on your mind after a full day at work.

So, before we get to the meat and potatoes of what S&C is, we’d like to first discuss what it’s not.

  • S&C is not a mindless beasting or flogging of an individual in the hope that results and transfer of training will magically happen.
  • It is not a random selection of exercises thrown together to create a high energy expenditure, and a pool of sweat, resulting in mild annihilation.
  • It is not in any way dangerous.
  • S&C is not a program of constant maximal training loads, be it through resistance or speed.
  • It’s not a form of entertainment or circus trickery.
  • It is not a quick fix or fad that has entered the fitness industry to make a quick buck.
  • It is not something that can be administered without knowledge, and evidence based practice.
  • It is not the constant pursuit of hypertrophy and pure aesthetics.


Now that that we’ve cleared up what it’s not, it’s time to look at what it actually involves. We’ll start with a general look at S&C and then delve into the specifics as we go on.

Strength and Conditioning is the physical and physiological development of an individual, and the role of a good coach is to utilise appropriate exercises prescription to bring about the desired improvements in performance. It isn’t just about picking heavy stuff up and putting it down again, it involves a holistic approach and what is actually needed to improve the physical performance of the athlete or client. A worthy coach is responsible for bridging the gap between the theory of training and how training is applied, all being done with a long term plan in mind.

So, nailing S&C down we’ve listed some take home pointers which are a little more specific.

  • It is a well structured program underpinned by theory and application of effective training.
  • All areas(if needed) such as strength, power, speed, plyometrics, flexibility and mobility, aerobic conditioning could be considered when programming an individual.
  • If planning for a sport, this must be looked at in detail to obtain key performance indicators that the individual needs.
  • A Screening process is put in place to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • S&C should complement the lifestyle of the individual.
  • An effective S&C program should bulletproof athletes from the chance of injury.
  • It is a method of preparation to perform at ones best.
  • It is a completely safe activity.
  • S&C uses consistent monitoring to ensure progress is being made effectively.


To sum up, the Strength and Conditioning we offer is not solely for athletes as we currently work with a huge variety of clientele.  That said, the above outlines how we approach and work with any individual with any aspiration. Ultimately, a good coach with the right tools and a systematic approach will ensure their client or athlete will progress safely and appropriately. CHP like to keep things simple, yet effective and use a minimum dose protocol to allow all their clientele sustainable progress.

If you are looking to take on a coach/trainer get in touch today.

Thanks for reading, have a great day, team CHP.




Improve your movement, strength and power with this simple warm up routine!

Do you go in to the gym on your training days, bash out 10 minutes on the x trainer then follow that with some “rotator cuff” work and jump straight onto your working sets on the bench?
If so then you need to read on and discover how a proper warm up can revolutionise how you move, feel, but also how you’ll see further drastic improvements in your strength training programmes.
Here at CHP we like to use a RAMP warm up, not only is this warm up backed up by literature, but tons of athletes and clients alike feel, move and perform better by doing this type of warm up. Below we explain what’s involved in the RAMP warm up and chuck in a video to get you going tomorrow!
Raise Activate Mobilise Potentiate is what RAMP stands for, and it’s not uncommon for coaches to approach it in a sequenced approach. This is actually not necessary and we feel it’s far more productive to combine certainly the first three (RAM) into one solid movement series and bolt on the P at the end as a nice primer for the session ahead.
Why do we warm up?
The purpose of a warm up is to prepare the person mentally and physically for exercise. A well-structured warm up can increase muscle and core temperature as well as blood flow. The warm up should then have a positive effect on the following:
• reaction time
• strength and power
• muscle efficiency
• increased blood flow to active muscles
Now if the above isn’t a reason to drastically improve your first ten minutes in the gym then we don’t know what is! Multiply that by 2-3 per week, and add that up over a month and you’ve suddenly got over 2 hours of quality movement into your life….no brainer! Below we will outline a typical CHP RAMP warm up that you can utilise straight away…
• reach through x 8 es
• glute bridge with scapula slides x 8
• spider man with reach x 8es
• Banded SLDL x 10
• Inchworm ( with or without press up) x 6

• Flexion extension x 8
• Broad jump x 3 x 3
• KB swing x 6

Team CHP

Surfing in the UK…..Lifestyle or Performance?


It’s no secret that the top WSL guys are surfing at an exceedingly high level, consistently and with that, taking the sport from ‘lifestyle’ to ‘high performance’.

Surfing has gradually changed over the last decade with the introduction of land based training methods that are science based and delivered in some cases by accredited Strength and Conditioning Coaches. You only have to look at the Hurley High Performance Centre in Australia to see that the Ozzies are destined to produce more World Champions.

However, whether the aim is to produce Champions or not, this sport and it’s athletes should be provided with Strength and Conditioning support from an early age, and not just in Australia.

Cornwall High Performance are an independent and Accredited Strength and Conditioning outfit based in South West England. They work with a big range of clientele, and have a driving passion to provide the UK’S up and coming Surfing talent with S&C. Approximately 8 months ago the CHP team hooked up with Surf Solutions, another independent company in the South West run by Joel Gray, that looks after the technical side of the sport for the young groms.

Fast forward to January 2016 and the first of many S&C weekend workshops was delivered to 2 different sets of groms, aged 10-15 , who surf very well, but up until now haven’t had the opportunity to experience the ‘training’ side of becoming a high performance surfer. After all, at these tender ages, all you want to do is surf right?

The first workshop kicked off with a detailed look at the physical attributes needed for this sport, a must if effective gym based sessions are going to be successful, and at this age, these kids are already performing manoeuvres above the lip, indicating (in Dr. Jeremy Sheppard’s ,Hurley HPC, own words) that surfing is now a ‘jumping and landing’ sport. Now, if that isn’t a big enough rationale that this sport needs a tonne of strength, flexibility and power, we don’t know what is.

Of course, there are many other qualities that this sport needs, and that’s what we delved into over the next 4 hrs over the weekend with the groms from Surf Solutions. We looked into flexibility and mobility and the ‘shapes’ the body needs to create whilst performing various moves. Power was talked about, and types that were needed. The importance of using a warm up specific to the session plan(gym) and the session(surf). Energy system demands were discussed and how the athlete can expose themselves to improvements when they are not surfing. Agility training methods were discussed and why we need to use these modalities to improve reaction times.

All the above had a huge practical element of course, and it allowed these talented young athletes to learn through discussion but also apply what they had learnt.

All sessions started with a RAMP warm up, leading into agility games as a ‘primer’ for the first practical element of the workshops, which was agility itself. Surfing is a fast paced reactive sport, like many, and so this principle has to be trained to improve the athlete’s ability to act on external stimuli.

As mentioned earlier, surfing is a jumping and landing sport, and alongside this the body has to be able to produce and absorb force through flexion and extension patterns. Via the use of an altitude drop, the group’s ability to absorb force was analysed, as this needs to be checked to ensure mechanics are spot on before jumping progressions were used. Some plyometric, and explosive practical work was done too, and we looked at the rationale behind this so the groms could understand the mechanisms within the body that go to work when they are nailing that all important bottom turn top turn combo! To finish the workshops off, a light strength circuit was thrown at them to show them some typical movement patterns we need to get strong for surfing, which of course underpins everything from paddling out to gouging a round house cutty.

There is no question that performance in the water can be enhanced by appropriate training on land, and staying injury free is just as important. Effective programming is paramount for these young surfers and Cornwall High Performance are providing them with a platform to take their surfing and the sport in this country up to a level where it belongs.