Joakim Noah Trained With a Big-Wave Surfer in the Offseason

by December 10, 2012
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In addition to introducing yoga to his training regimen, which was suggested to him by Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (his hook shot instructor), Joakim Noah learned from an expert on the waves. The Chicago Bulls center — currently averaging career highs in points (13.7), assists (4.2) and steals (1.4) — believes the water-based workouts have done wonders for his stamina and strength. Per the Daily Herald: “After Saturday’s victory over New York, Noah is averaging just less than 40 minutes per game, second in the NBA behind Luol Deng. One tactic Noah learned was yoga, an idea given to him by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Noah says he does yoga on off-days, and it helps him with recovery. He also discovered the strange world of underwater workouts. Through some friends, Noah hooked up with legendary big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and spent some time in Southern California learning his methods. ‘I would say I learned just as much about recovery from him as anybody,’ Noah said after playing 44 minutes and the entire second half against the Knicks. ‘The way he trains for what he does is unbelievable. I consider him like a mentor.’ Hamilton doesn’t compete in surfing, necessarily. He trains mostly so he can survive the world’s largest walls of water. ‘He surfs 60-, 70-foot giants,’ Noah said. ‘You fall, you could die. Talk about mental toughness. When you have a 60-foot monster, you can be under (water) for two or three minutes, so you have to train for that. He’ll use weights and do like jumps underwater. He can do like 10 jumps. I can do like three. It’s unbelievable, just for your lung capacity and stuff like that. It really helped me doing these pool workouts.’ Noah wasn’t sure what was in store for the basketball season, but that lung work has paid off. His previous career high was 32.8 minutes per contest in 2010-11, and he made it through just 48 games that year because of a thumb injury.”