The beach is like an all-natural fitness center — you have balance tools, water resistance and a wide variety of workout opportunities right at your fingertips. Next time you hit the sandy shores, turn your beach walk into a booty blasting workout with one of these three beach workout ideas.
If you’re comfortable in the surf and love spending your days playing in the waves, just make your water time a little more intentional. Water aerobics and swimming are both known as great workouts because you’re constantly working against the water’s resistance. When you add crashing waves to the mix? Your workout gets even harder. Spend 30 minutes or more jogging out into the ocean to meet the crashing waves. When a wave begins to crash against you, jump up and through the surf, tightening your core to help keep your body upright. Just don’t go too deep — stay at depths between mid-thigh and mid-torso. You’ll have the most success when you’re deep enough to feel the waves’ resistance while still maintaining ample foot traction on the sand.
For extra effect don’t rest between waves! Jog in place and use your arms to paddle through the water around you. For an even more difficult routine, carry a boogie board with you and hold it flat against your torso to increase your body’s surface area. When the waves crash, press the board straight out into the wave as you jump to get a killer upper body workout.
Sand is nature’s balance tool. When you place a foot or hand in the sand, the sand shifts under you and requires more muscular engagement to perform the intended movement. In fact, according to a 1998 study performed at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, walking in sand burns twice the number of calories as walking at the same pace on a hard surface. So go ahead and put the shifting sand to good use with a booty-busting sand circuit!
Run through this circuit four times on the driest sand you can find. Perform each exercise for a minute before progressing:
- Walking lunges: Keep your torso upright and straight as you walk back and forth across the sand while performing lunges.
- Crab walks: Balance on your hands and feet, your booty lifted and your belly pointing toward the sky. Walk yourself backward across the sand while maintaining your balance.
- Burpees: Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the sand in front of your feet. Jump your feet backward into a pushup position, your back straight. Perform a pushup, then hop your feet back to the starting position and explode up in a powerful jump, reaching toward the sky and landing in a standing position. Remember to use proper landing form, bending your knees slightly to reduce impact.
- Walk-out pushups: Start in a standing position, rolling your torso downward until you can place your hands in the sand. Slowly walk yourself out to a pushup position, perform a pushup, and reverse the movement, returning to standing.
- Lateral slides: Mark out a 20-foot area in the sand. Starting on the left side, hop your right foot laterally to the right and step your left foot over to meet it. Continue this hop-step movement across the 20-foot space before reversing the slide and returning to start.
Can’t perform a full pushup? No problem! Simply drop your knees to the sand when it’s time to do the exercise.
If exercising on sand is a calorie-blasting dream, and if high intensity interval training (HIIT) is also a calorie-blasting dream, then it only makes sense to combine the two routines into a single, body-toning workout. The best part about interval training is that you can easily adjust your routine to your current fitness level. If you’re a relative fitness newbie, try walking at a moderate pace on slightly damp sand for a minute, then speed walking as fast as you can for another minute, continuing to alternate between the two intensities for 20 to 30 minutes. If that’s too easy, take your workout to drier, looser sand or bump up the intensity by alternating between a walk and a jog or a jog and a run. The goal is to make sure you’re working at roughly 70 to 90 percent of your maximum effort during the high intensity intervals.
Not sure how to gauge intensity? During high intensity exercise you shouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation or talk in full sentences without stopping to take a breath.