The Making of a Surf Body

The surfer is iconic—the lifestyle, the allure, the physique. Master these moves to up your game, on and off the board.

What is it about surfing that captivates us all? Sure the sand and sun help set the scene, but really, when it comes down to it, it’s all about that almost magical synergy of the body and the board working together to master the waves. LA-based Equinox yoga instructor Grant Mattos knows a thing or two about making that magic happen. As a former NFL player and competitor on reality show "Survivor," Mattos has learned no matter what the physical feat, true mastery comes from targeted training that strengthens the connection between the body and the brain.

“Rarely in life is your body ever standing still and in perfect balance, but in surfing that's obviously taken to the extreme, so I focus on moves that incorporate the entire body to get the nervous system firing quickly and efficiently so everything is working together to stabilize,” says Mattos. “So even the movements that are more upper body focused still integrate the legs and hips and engage the core.”

Watch Mattos’ moves on and off the board during his Malibu morning in the video above, then click through the slideshow below to get step-by-step instructions for each exercise. “I was introduced to this type of movement while training with Marv Marinovich during my football career at USC and in the NFL,” says Mattos. “With his ball work — and many other unorthodox exercises — my body awareness continued to grow, and as a result my athletic ability did too.”

Do 1 set of 10-20 reps (start with 3-5 if you’re new to this type of movement) before any water or land activity to get your system humming.

Video by Project Dstllry.