Showing up on the beach looking like a million bucks is cool, but working out on the beach will earn you an extra million in terms of health, mood, and shape. Beach exercises are a great way to spice up sunbathing sessions, tone your muscles, have fun, and burn more calories compared to classic workouts on a flat, firm surface. Here are top five drills to try out the next time you hit the sand.
#1 Sand Lunges
An excellent workout for core strength and lower body toning, sand lunges engage abs, glutes, and leg muscles and improve stability, coordination, and muscle strength.
To do a sand lunge, step with your left or right foot forward, drop the back knee (it should be brushing the sand, not sinking into it) while keeping the front foot aligned with the knee. Push up through the front foot to lift the back foot off the sand and step the back foot forward to assume the starting position for the next lunge. Do 6-10 reps on each side.
#2 Sand Dune Sprints
Sprinting is the ultimate all-body workout, but when you’re doing it on sand, the calorie burn, muscle activation, and overall fitness results get even more impressive.
Running across sand dunes will strengthen your leg and glute muscles, activate the joints, and improve flexibility, strength, and coordination. When dashing over sand, try to keep your knees and ankles aligned to prevent accidental sprains and falls which often occur on shifty surfaces.
#3 Beach Volleyball
Apart from making you look like a suntanned beau or belle, beach volleyball will help you build strong and lean muscles, increase lung capacity, and get your heart rate on a steady track.
A strenuous workout that engages all muscle groups, beach volleyball will boost your flexibility, endurance, speed, coordination, and strength, and it will also allow you to weigh your power against the opposing team. Be careful when playing volleyball on sand, though: falls, trips, and injuries can happen during short sprints, jumps, and dives for the ball.
#4 The Beach Crawl
Sneaking up on unwary prey may not exactly be something you do every day, but crawling over sand definitely is a cool exercise to try out if you want to strengthen hamstrings and glutes.
To do the beach crawl, get down on the sand and assume the plank position. Keeping your limb movements in check, slowly crawl forward or to the side for 60-90 seconds. Take a short break and shake out your arms and legs, then repeat 3-5 more times. If you’re in good shape, you can try crawling backwards, but be careful about foot placement to avoid injury.
#5 Run, Run, Skip
Running and jumping across sand is tough, but it builds stronger muscles and improves all-body agility, coordination, and lung capacity.
To do the exercise, take two running steps across dry sand, then jump as if skipping an obstacle. Do the exercise for 60-90 seconds, then do the beach crawl to return to the starting position. Repeat the drill as many times as you want; if you’re not in your peak shape, 4-6 reps will be quite enough.
Don’t just laze around the sand looking gorgeous: pack light and comfy fitness clothes, head to the beach, and include one or more of these exercises in your sun-soaking sessions – you’ll be doing your body and mind a huge favor.