A 5 Step Routine for a Great Beach Workout
If the warm summer days mean you’re spending more time at the beach than at the gym, don’t worry, exercise and fun at the beach are not mutually exclusive! Lazing around in the sand with a cool beer is certainly tempting, but how about squeezing in a quick workout before you enjoy that R&R.
First things first, whenever you’re exercising in the sun remember these rules: use adequate sun protection, stay hydrated, stick to beach rules and stay in sight of lifeguards. The latter is especially important if you’re working out at the beach as you can quickly become tired in the water when you’ve already been pushing your body.
Without further ado, here is a 5 step routine for a great beach workout:
1. Sand Lunges
Aim to cover a 40-yard stretch of sand by doing basic lunges but with the added difficulty of balancing on and pushing against the sand.
Start by standing with your hands on your hips, feet shoulder-width apart, then take a normal stride and bend your forward leg at a 90-degree angle. This should cause your back leg to also end up at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your core muscles (canister) engaged and your hips in line with your shoulders as you then step forward with your back leg. Repeat for 40-yards then turn and repeat until back to base.
2. Water Jog
After working up a sweat by doing sand lunges, wade into the water until you’re waist-deep. Jog parallel to the shore for 40 yards, the jog back out of the water and sprint back to base.
3. Shoulder Push-Ups
Now that your legs are burning from all that water jogging, give them a brief break while you work your upper body.
To do a shoulder push-up simply bend down as if you’re picking something up from the sand and spread your hands hip-width apart with your feet together so you form a tripod. Do a push-up and try to touch your nose to the sand. Do two sets of 5 reps to start and try to build to three sets of 10 reps over the summer.
4. Dune Treadmill
Sand running offers a great workout, without the expensive gym membership fee! Running on sand is also easier on the joints, but is harder work, so it burns more calories and is a great way to tone the lower body. Moist, firm sand is best – and don’t forget to wear good running shoes! Find a decent sized sand dune and run up and down it for 5 minutes, alternating between a sprint and a jog every other ascent to help improve your anaerobic fitness.
OK, so this one is pretty obvious, but you’ll be thankful for it after all that jogging and running up the sand dunes. Pick a couple of shoreline markers that are about 40 yards apart and head into the water until you’re at a good swimming depth. Swim back and forth between your markers, doing a breaststroke, butterfly or backstroke – whatever works for you! Just 5-10 minutes of swimming is excellent cardio that works all your major muscle groups while keeping you cool.
If you find it hard to motivate yourself to work out alone, it should be pretty easy to convince a friend to head to the beach (just make sure to tell them you’ll be exercising!).
Bonus Idea: Beach Volleyball
Consider signing up for beach volleyball. This a fantastic way to stay active in summer while making new friends and getting your fill of vitamin D. Head down to your nearest beach on the weekend and see if there’s a tournament or game going on and ask someone how you can get involved. Or, check online for local groups that have a regular indoor volleyball practice and see if they’re inclined to turn the beach into their gym for the summer!