5 Workouts That Are Better On The Beach
Nothing beats the vast views, fresh air, and wave sounds of a beach workout. Training on an unstable surface like sand:
- Improves endurance
- Employs a wider variety of muscle groups
- Increases joint mobility
- Works the core muscles
- Forces attention to balance and stabilization
We have five fun, sweaty, and challenging activities to prove why beach workouts are better.
- Beach volleyball
It’s a Top Gun summer, and what does that bring to mind? Volleyball. It’s time to pack up the net, grab a few friends and head to the beach – or if you want to add spiking and diving to your routine, join a beach volleyball league. Start with a 10-minute beach run and a stretch routine to warm up quads, hips, shoulders, triceps, hamstrings, and inner thighs.
Warm Up Stretches:
- Kneeling hip and quad stretch
- Cross-body shoulder stretch
- Wide stance inner thigh stretch
- Resistance band routine
A resistance band routine is an excellent option for the beach because it’s one lightweight, small piece of highly versatile equipment that works the entire body. Try these seven exercises for 2-minutes each.
- Single leg kickbacks – Put the band around your ankles, and stand with legs hip-width apart. Stabilize your upper body, which may require you to lean slightly forward. Step left leg back, touching the sand, bring back to middle and repeat for 1-minute, then do the right side. Feel the glute burn.
- Pop-squat – Wrap the band around both ankles, and stand with legs hip-width apart. Jump legs out wide, squatting down, touching the sand alternating between left hand and right hand.
- Banded squat with pulse – Put the band around both legs above the knees. Squat down pulsing, 1, 2, 3 and then return to standing.
- Side-step squat – Put the band around your ankles, standing hip-width apart. Stepping out to the side with your left leg, squat down. Return to the middle—step and squat with your right leg.
- Banded curtsy lunge – Wrapping the band around your legs, above the knees, alternating with left and right leg, stepping behind into a curtsy.
- Single-arm pulldown – Holding the band like you would a bow and arrow. Start with your left arm straight out in front of you, angled up high about level with your forehead. Pull back with your right arm working your back muscles. Repeat for 1-minute, then switch arms.
- Plank with foot tap – Wrap the band around your ankles and get into plank position. Hold plank as long as you can, tapping out with your left foot and then right foot. You can also do plank from your knees, stabilizing with the same bent knee, extend the left leg out and touch toes to ground, come back to centre and repeat for 1-minute. Switch to the right leg.
- Cardio, by land or sea
Head out for a long walk or run on the beach. If this is new to you, start slowly, acclimating to the conditions. You may want to wear shoes first to help with stabilization before warming up to bare feet. Walking and running on the beach provides a much softer landing than pavement; it requires more energy, burns more calories, and strengthens smaller muscle groups because of the unstable surface. Walking in the water can also be a great workout because of the added resistance. Mind the terrain and be safe. Water walking is particularly effective for rehabilitation because of the buoyancy and gentleness on your joints.
- Sunrise yoga
The salty ocean air contains negative ions, which help your body absorb oxygen easier so you can deeply breathe in the fresh ocean air to clean out your lungs, relax your chest muscles and boost your energy. An early morning yoga class filled with sun salutations and tree and warrior poses requires more attention to balance while having the sand act as an extra cushion and support. Do an online search for ‘morning yoga poses for beginners’ or sign-up for a group class to connect with others and nature as you breathe with the waves.
- Bodyweight workout
Bodyweight exercises elevate your heart rate while your body weight and gravity help you build muscle. A bonus for the beach is that it doesn’t require heavy weights or kettlebells, bring a mat or towel with you, and you have everything you need.
Walking lunges – Stand with your feet hip-width apart, take a step forward with your right foot and then slowly bend both knees until your left knee is just above the sand. Stand back up, step forward with your left foot and bend both knees until your right knee is just above the sand.
Farmer walks – This is an exercise to add in if you’re at the beach with the kids – borrow their buckets for a quick cardiovascular workout. Fill the buckets with water and take a walk down the beach. Add some jumping jacks, jump squats or plyometric exercises for a heart-racing boost.
Shoulder tap planks – Assume the plank position. Alternate your hands tapping to the opposite shoulder. Keep going for as long as you can.
Monkey bar pull-ups – Hit the beach playground for some monkey bar pull-ups, side-to-side swinging, or hand walks. Some beaches have adult bars so take advantage to improve your upper body and grip strength.
Side plank star – This one targets the arms, shoulders, and core. Begin in a side plank position with the right arm straight below the right shoulder and legs long with feet stacked. Reach your top arm and leg up and hold, squeezing abdominals. Hold as long as you can and switch sides.
Push-ups – The classic push-up from the knees or toes is made more challenging by the softness and instability of the sand. Push yourself to the limit.
The best part about working out on the beach is immediately running into the water for a refreshing cool down. Get your sweat-on at the beach this summer – vitamin D, fresh air, and endorphins is a powerful combination.