Why every surfer should know what the six degrees of freedom are.
The body is able to move in the following directions…. forward/backward (surge), up/down (heave), left/right (sway) in three perpendicular axis, combined with changes in orientation through rotation about three perpendicular axes, often termed pitch, yaw and roll
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
You see in Surfing…and life, we move in really really complex ways; which involve more than one of the degrees of freedom at any one time.
Unfortunately most fitness and health programs do not take into account the six degrees of freedom when developing programs to suit specific activities. Functional training has been a buzzword for a while now, and I think it’s about time someone called it for the bullshit it is. Because by definition functional training would be practicing the “actual” thing that you are training for. Emulating a specific part of what you do and isolating it, is just that, Isolating and specification.
So, once you get into your mind that the only functional training there is for surfing is…You guessed it surfing. Then everything else you do should be focused on training the body to move in as many different degrees of freedom as possible, either at the same time or in a sequence. Because this will engage the body in complex movement patterns, build strength, and also improve your general movements abilities.
This not only involves your fitness and strength program. It can be applied to your surfing warm up, your stretches for surfing activities, and any other routines or programs you have for your physical health and fitness.
There is also some really sound science on applied movement neurology, which feeds into the importance of developing movements and programs that are inclusive of the six degrees of freedom. But more on that in another blog.
For now, all you should understand is that if you want to improve your surfing…. and who doesn’t. Apart from surfing as much as humanly possible, any physical training you do should be based around developing your bodies movement capabilities in the six degrees of freedom.
As a bonus present for you I have included a little six degrees of freedom movement for you to have some fun with.
I am giving you this little gift as I have been so quiet on the blogs this year….