What better way to get in shape than on the beach? Sun, sea, sand and fresh air – what’s not the love? The beach makes a perfect outdoor gym where you can achieve a total-body workout that includes cardio, toning and strength training. Exercising in the sand adds another (different) type of resistance that your body probably isn’t used to. Plus, both your anaerobic and aerobic systems are challenged, meaning you are working on both strength and cardio endurance at the same time.
A few additional benefits of a beach workout include:
- Exposure to fresh air and sunshine
- Exposure to sunlight triggers vitamin D production
- Change of pace from your normal workout routine
- More challenging than your normal workout routine
- Sand workouts are low impact and less stressful on joints
- You burn more calories due to added resistance from sand exercises
- Encourages balance through uneven sand surface
- Works core muscles
Safety tips: Watch for patches or slants in the sand, and sharp objects (shells, glass etc.). Always check the sand, start slow, wear sunscreen and have water readily available. Also be sure to hydrate a few hours before working out.
Try either, or both, of these workouts to burn fat all while catching some rays.
*Start each of these workouts with a light dynamic warm up: jumping jacks, arm circles, walking high knees, squats, butt kicks).
HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are great to do in the sand. A HIIT workout is typically done in rounds, so complete one set of each exercise, then rest (this makes one round). Aim for a minimum of three rounds and maximum of five rounds.
Jump squats: Begin in squat position (i.e. sitting in a chair); explosively jump straight up using the power of your arms and keeping core tight. Land on balls of feet first then heels with back straight to starting position. 15-20 reps
Mountain climbers: Start in a push-up position keeping core tight and hips low; bring right knee into chest then quickly switch to left knee; continue switching knees. 15-20 reps
Push-ups: 15 reps
Long jumps: Start in a squat position; swinging arms back, propel body forward, jumping as far as you can. Jump out 5 times, then back 5 times
Crab crawl: Sit in the sand with hands behind you under your shoulders, then raise hips as high as you can. Begin walking backward keeping hips raised. Crawl about 10 paces up and back
Ab burn: Begin in crunch position, knees bent and hands flat behind your head. Crunch toward the sky for 10 reps, then immediately switch to bicycle twist (twisting opposite knee to opposite elbow) for 10 reps.
Rest 30-45 seconds and repeat 3-5 rounds.
A Tabata workout is a form of a HIIT workout, but instead of reps you do each exercise hard for 20 seconds and 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds.
Begin in a plank position with tummy touching the sand and hands under shoulders. Next, push up from the ground quickly and jump up to a squatting position with right leg in front of the left (make believe you are balancing on a surf board). Return to plank position and repeat with left leg in front.
Begin with feet shoulder width apart and chest up. Start exercise by jumping to the right with a slight bend in the knee and in the same motion, reach down to the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Repeat on the other side, continuing back and forth movement.
Start with one leg in front of the other in a lunge position so knees are both at 90-degree angles. Using your quads and core, jump straight up, switching your legs in mid-air. Land with opposite leg forward, repeat for 20 seconds.
Start off in plank position with hands directly under your shoulders. Next, while maintaining a plank, take two steps to the right then perform a push-up. Move back to the left two steps, then push-up. Repeat process.
Before you head down to the shore, pack your bag with these beach workout essentials: