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Get a beach body with boot camp fitness

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Blast calories with boot camp

What’s better than a boot camp workout? One you can do on the beach, which adds resistance and makes muscles work even harder. We’re spilling summer toning secrets from our recent beach boot camp “fitcation” at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Yes, we’re still sore.
Get bikini-ready

Woman working out on beach

Say 'yes' to sand

Make a note: Fatigue from a workout in the sand is going to happen quicker (something we can attest to) because it is more strenuous, so it’s important to monitor your body to avoid injury.

“Whether it is doing jumping jacks, push-ups or running on the beach, the sand does wonders for the butt and legs,” says personal trainer Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, who runs the beach boot camp at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on a prime stretch of private beach outside the hotel. “The uneven surface and softness increases the use of the muscles in ways that do not happen on a hard surface,” he explains.

Best ways to blast calories on the beach

The best way to burn more calories on the beach is to combine strength training and cardio in one workout. Weinstein suggests alternating upper- and lower-body toning with intermittent cardio drills and calisthenics. Short-distance interval runs (50 yards to 200 yards) of four to 10 reps significantly boost the calorie burn of your overall workout, he explains. Burpees, mountain climbers, walking lunges and other exercises that get you heart rate up can have a similar calorie-burn increase when done with multiple sets.

Weinstein had us sweating with multiple sets of squats, lunges, jumping jacks and resistance band exercises combined with short bursts of running. “Multiple short-distance sprints of 50 to 100 yards five to 10 times will work wonders not only for the cardio, but the legs, butt and core muscles will get an awesome workout, too” he explains.

Incorporating boot camp moves into daily life

Laurel House, personal trainer, NASM weight loss specialist, and author of QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet is also an advocate of boot camp workouts, whether done on the beach, at the gym or in your own home. She shares a few of her favorite moves (which can be done on the sand or anywhere) with SheKnows. Get into beach-worthy shape with what she calls Daily 100s: 100 seconds or 100 reps of one exercise whenever you have time throughout the day. House shares some of her favorite boot camp moves below.

Plank

Get into push-up position with back straight and your butt down. Hold for as long as you can, working up to one minute.

Plank:

Single-leg plank

Get into position as above, but lift one leg off the ground (without raising your torso) and hold.

Single leg plank:

Lunges

Standing with feet hip-width apart, step out on one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Ensure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toe.

Lunges:

Jumping mountain climber

Starting in push-up position, bring your right knee in toward your chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing your left foot in and the right foot back. Repeat.

Jumping mountain climber:

Seated dips

Sit on a sturdy bench or chair with hands on the edge of the seat and legs out in front of you. Slide your butt off the seat and extend your arms. Slowly bend your elbows to 90 degrees and then lift yourself back up.

Seated dips:

“Boot camp-style moves are some of the best Daily 100 exercises because they are often the first thing that come to mind: You're in your office, you have three minutes before your meeting, so you slip off your stilettos and do 100 jumping jacks,” says House. “In other words, break a boot camp workout down to individual exercises and slip them into your day as Daily 100s.”

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