Differences in joint ranges of motion in competitive and recreational surfers

James Furness, Wayne A Hing, Rodney R Pope, Michael Climstein

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Question: What is known about the actual and optimal range of motion in a surfing population? Design: Cross-sectional study of competitive and recreational surfers. 
Participants: 35 male surfers were evaluated; 16 competitive surfers, ranked in the top 100 in the world and 19 classed as recreational surfers (mean ages of 26 and 27 years respectively). 
Outcome measures: Standardised clinical tools (inclinometers, cervical ROM brace, tape measure) and methods were used to determine ROM in spine, shoulder, hip and ankle. Independent t tests were used to determine differences between competitive and recreational surfers. 
Results: Competitive surfers had significantly greater thoracic rotation (64º versus 56º; p = 0.01), lumbar extension (37cm versus 33cm; p = 0.01), hip internal rotation (30º versus 24º; p = 0.03) and ankle dorsiflexion (17cm versus 13cm; p < 0.001). No differences existed between shoulder and cervical ROM or thoracic ROM in the sagittal plane. 
Conclusion: Significantly greater ROM in thoracic rotation, lumbar extension, hip IR and ankle DF are attributes of competitive surfers.
Key Practice Points:•A profile of ROM in both a recreational and competitive cohort has been provided which can be used as a guideline for rehabilitation or to potentially enhance performance. •Competitive surfers clearly show greater joint ROM in several regions. The significance of these findings is yet to be determined from a performance and injury prevention perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015: Connect - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20156 Oct 2015
Conference number: 2015


ConferenceThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleAPA
CityGold Coast
Internet address


Cite this

Furness, J., Hing, W. A., Pope, R. R., & Climstein, M. (2015). Differences in joint ranges of motion in competitive and recreational surfers. 50-50. Abstract from The Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia.