is kitesurfing a good workout

Is Kitesurfing a Good Workout? Your Question Answered!

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Is kitesurfing a good workout? A lot of people looking to enter the world of this extreme water sport wonder the amount of exercise they will gain from it. Also, can kitesurfing be a great alternative to your current workout routines?

On the one hand, you can kitesurf in a breeze without being a fit individual. But on the other hand, the sport provides you with a super intense workout based on some factors such as your level and wind conditions. It is a muscular sort of workout with a touch of aerobic, which considerably exercises your calves, quads, lower back, and core muscles.

For further significant details about the correlation between kitesurfing and workout, let’s delve into this specific post. 

Is kitesurfing a good workout?

It is a decent holistic exercise useful for your body and mind alike. Here, your workout is intense, particularly if you are surfing when water is choppier and the wind gets stronger. 

The sport is a seamless combination of the principles of muscle and aerobic workouts. With the tasks that you plan to ace while kiteboarding, it is as though you are investing quality time in a real gym.

1. How does it make you fitter?

As you begin kitesurfing, your entire body will get perks. It is an exhaustive workout that moves practically even your body’s smallest part. A couple of its advantages are:

  • Your body gets toned: Again, this activity is essentially a muscular sort of work ‘waking up’ your major muscles. What is more? Working your legs and arms is efficient as well.
  • The heart is healthier: Every single one of the moves you do when kiteboarding makes your heart stay pumping. The sport is legit a fantastic cardio exercise.
  • Boost the ability to concentrate and coordinate: Kitesurfing has to do with many engagements simultaneously, so your mind and body will get trained to become increasingly coordinated.
  • Enhance your reflexes and balance: Picture this: You are standing on a board playing with the waves and at the same time, involving yourself in numerous things being and about to happen to you. These will be among the firsts that you will be superior to. Likewise, you will become trained to quickly reach decisions about the best way of moving your body in the proper positions, particularly in challenging situations.
  • Better the immune system: Aside from increasing your endorphins, kitesurfing will help get rid of stress. What is more to ask for?

2. How many calories does this activity burn?

Indeed, it differs by person and depending upon the wind speed you are kiteboarding on.

Still want specifics? The good news is, researchers from France dived into the answer to the question! According to their findings, on average, the number of calories an individual will burn each hour surfing from twelve to fifteen knots (light wind) is around 750. 

Yet, again, similar to any workout, the specific fat burned has to do with your age, height, weight, and gender. Right below is the table demonstrating more particular calorie counts for females and males depending on average age and height:

100 kg(220 lbs)91 kg(200 lbs)82 kg(180 lbs)73 kg(160 lbs)64 kg(140 lbs)57 kg(125 lbs)
Men 1,3241,164 1,007 854 705 597
Women 1,5811,375 1,175 983 799 668
Calories Burned Kitesurfing(in reference to body weight for a one-hour light-wind* session)
* Calorie burn evaluated kitesurfing in wind speeds of twelve to fifteen knots.Calories based on persons at 35 years old and 162 cm (five feet nine inches) highIn reference to Metabolic Equivalent values from the specific research project, adapted leveraging the Harris and Benedict equation for estimated Resting Metabolic Rate.

As shown in the table above, females burn a bit more calories when kiteboarding compared to men. Also, keep in mind that in the strong conditions of wind and water, you will burn more fat. 

3. Does kitesurfing build muscle?

A kite surfer rides the waves
A kite surfer rides the waves

This activity excels at toning and building muscles. Thanks to it, your upper body and arms get stronger. That is because when you are balancing yourself, there are some tasks for you to rock. 

It is worth addressing that kitesurfing engages particularly plenty of muscles while you are carving upwind. Best yet, you can work your muscles super hard when exerting extra pull into the harness.

Still, on the other hand, please bear in mind, building muscle has a lot to do with whether and how much you ride upwind as well as your level. 

4. Muscles the sport works

This sport basically helps with your major muscles. These include:

  • Leg muscles
    • Calves
    • Hamstrings
    • Quads
  • Deeper core muscles
    • Multifidus (i.e., a muscle of the back’s deepest layer extending down the spine)
    • Transversus abdominis (i.e., muscles along the abdominal wall’s side)
  • Lower back muscles
  • Ab muscles

5. The correlation between your level and the workout got from kitesurfing

When picking up how to kiteboard, you continue to crunch the main muscles hard. That way allows you to position the kiteboard for any water start, and to remain balanced on the board, tweaking the stance and body inclination to the quantity of pull obtained from the kite. 

Plus, the likelihood is at times of water start, you push extra hard on the legs, usually more than necessary, resulting in unsuccessful start attempts.

In such times, you tend to make tension in the leg and main muscles.  For this reason, you likely feel at first that kiteboarding is a vigorous exercise. Understandably, you experience much soreness and fatigue continually after your session.

Novices likewise have neck soreness since they keep staring at their kite. When you are building up the muscle and ligament strength, there might be knee strain.

With that being said, when you improve over time, you start to gain control at the water start and acquire how to carve the board. This is when you begin relaxing more, enabling you to remove plenty of your muscle tension and soreness.

Generally speaking, when you ride longer and remain upwind more, you will transition to the workout stages related to your major muscles, quads, and glutes for making the surfboard stay edging.

6. Correlation between strong conditions and high-intensity workout

Young man kite boarder jumps over the sea at sunset

As mentioned earlier, the amount of workout you attain from a kiteboarding session has a significant connection with how the weather is while you are surfing.  

It is good to ride in the pleasant, steady wind on entirely flat water. And something like that is super easy.  As soon as they rock the technique. a surfer whose endurance is zero and belly is large and fat can ace it.

On the other hand, it is another story since you kitesurf in strong wind conditions. In this case, you need to keep pulling into the harness to make up for the pull from your kite. Same as doing crunches, you persistently change the main muscle tension in answer to wind lulls or gusts.

Not only abs, the hips, lumbar and deep major muscles are significantly involved while you are endeavoring to edge on the board in the windy condition. It is worth noting that a kiteboarding session at over 25 knots will be tiring. How can you not become worn out following such a strong and persistent pull?

Given those conditions, we suggest returning to the beach and chill out now and then. Doing so helps take a load off your quads and lower back. 

What is more? The workout you get has to do with how waves and water are. When kiteboarding in choppy water, you need to adjust your position and pressure on the board again and again. This way engages you in making movements similar to squats after any bump you cross.

Further, going across waves allows you to work harder on the legs and major muscles. From time to time, that requires you to jump, engaging a serious amount of cardio and muscle power.

Do you need to be strong to kitesurf?

To kitesurf, you do not have to be physically strong. Still, being reasonably fit is necessary. 

1.  How fit do you need to be to kitesurf?

Do you usually see muscled people do kiteboarding? Indeed, being brawny to be able to kiteboard is not a must. Even children can pick up how to play this sport and ride in the waves. In opposition to general opinion, the deciding factor of whether or not you can kitesurf is not your impressive fitness.

Almost always, it is the appropriate handling of your kite that allows you to engage in the extreme water sport. Just be sure you are adequately healthy and fit. And above all, being comfy in the water is necessary. 

At the end of the day, you will gain the muscles given the tension of pulling the kite’s harness and as long as you have perseverance.

2. How much weight do you have to do the activity?

Again, there is no weight limit. Regardless of their size and weight, kiteboarders appear to have fun kitesurfing.

Moreover, it is worth addressing that there are various board and kite sizes that should suit different weights, making kiteboarding way more accessible to anyone. 

And rather than rules on ideal weight, individuals, no matter what sizes and ages, can kitesurf when trained by a decent instructor and a good kite.

It is advisable to ask professional instructors for what sort of kite will be most suitable for your weight.

Kitesurf workout vs other activities

By reading through the above sections of the post, you have a better idea that kiteboarding works to provide you with an intense workout. That is particularly when you have sufficient wind and master the techniques to gain the desired amount of cardio and muscle work. 

The question now is, can it take the place of your regular gym workouts? Indeed, this has a part to do with the number of days of wind got each week at your surfing area and the amount of freedom you have to make the most of them.

Keeping up with your gym workout routine might be difficult at times of strong winds that you can surfboard a couple of days consecutively. This is understandable because your legs and abs may feel worn out to the point that you cannot do your regular pull-ups, squats, and then some.

Also, for those who become legit bored at the gym, you possibly want to kitesurf when the conditions are there.

With that being said, we do not recommend you play this sport in the place of your cardio and other usual workout training programs. Just do the two in parallel (when possible). 

A significant thing we need to address is cross-training for kiteboarding is crucial. For instance, you had better build up your knee ligaments, quads, and glutes, which may be pretty weak, to eliminate the hard pain for several days following each kiteboarding session. Riding on a strapless surfboard likewise does much good.

Plus, pay attention to your lower back. After overpowered kiting times, lumbar muscles likely become tired.  Avoid overdoing it; otherwise, you might wind up getting the spine joints to do the job of the hip and major muscles. The high possibility is, that leads to unpleasant spinal issues.

To present them, we suggest warming up and cooling down before and after any intense kiteboarding session, especially in  particularly in the stronger waves or wind. Do consider doing this, no matter how old and how physically strong you are, staying away from bad occurrences.

In general, the extreme water sport can legit be super-duper good for workout, yet it never hurts to be cautious. After all, you want to ensure this activity is a beneficial one for your body!

In a nutshell

Kitesurfing is enjoyable and engaging. As soon as you feel your kite’s pull, you will get addicted and you will not ever be the same. 

The chance is, you cannot get enough of watching wind forecast and the wind. That is not all; whenever you see a water body, you wonder, “Should I surf there?” And you are likely to ask yourself, “Is kitesurfing a good workout?” Indeed, aside from having fun with the waves, the air, and the wind, all under the blue sky, you will enjoy fantastic physical exercises

So, happy kitesurfing!

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