Just because you’re heading to the beach for vacation doesn’t mean you have to slack off on your workouts. There are a plenty of ways to stay in shape on the sands. When you’re feeling the need to get your blood pumping give these simple beach-friendly exercises a try.
The simplest, and one of the most effective, exercises you can do on the beach is to run on the sand. In fact, running on sand forces your body to expend 1.6 times more energy than running on a hard surface. You’ll enjoy the warm ocean breeze and burn more calories than usual in the process. It’s a win-win.
The surfer get-up is just what it sounds like; you’re mimicking the motion surfers make when they rise on their board just before catching a wave. Start on the ground in the plank position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your stomach touching the sand. From there, thrust yourself upward into a squatting position, much as you would if you were out in the water on your board. Return to the original position and then alternate the leg in which you lead with while you stand.
The Beach Crawl
This is one of the easiest exercises you can do to really batter your hamstrings and glutes. Start in the planking position, then crawl your way forward on your hands and feet for 30 seconds. To vary it up, move backwards or to the side every so often. Make sure you perform this one on dry, soft sand to help destabilize your grip.
It’s hard enough running along soft sand, but if you really want a challenge just add water into the mix. Start out near the edge of the sand, inland, than run in a large circle that takes you toward and into the ocean. Run waist-deep in the water in one giant loop then back up through the wet and dry sand to your starting point. You’re running in a giant circle here. The point is to add resistance as you go. You’ll wear yourself out with this one quickly.
Yes, this exercise is essentially skipping through the sand. The only difference is that you want to propel yourself with each skip as high into the air as you safely can. The sand will provide added resistance, as well as a softer landing than a hard floor. They’re a great alternative to an elliptical and help strengthen your glutes.
Beach Chair Pull
Start this one by standing in front of a lounge chair, knees slightly bent to allow you to reach down and behind to crab the bottom of the chair. Then, with a tight grip, run forward and drag the chair through the sand behind you. This is a great way to help build your shoulder muscles. If you have a partner you can take turns going back and forth to give yourself a break, or work in beach crawls between each of your turns.
Lunges are one of the best leg exercises you can do and throwing in the beach only adds to the challenge and effectiveness of the move. Step forward with one foot, keeping your knee above your ankle. Your back knee should brush the sand. Push up through the front foot and use your back foot to step into the second lunge. The sand is likely at an incline, so you’ll be forced to use more muscles to stabilize your body. For an even more effective version, wade into the water at roughly knee-level and do your lunges there.
Swimming has been shown time and time again to be one of the best overall workouts for your body because it forces you to utilize nearly every muscle you have. Throw in a little ocean current and the swimming becomes a tad harder, but even more effective at more calories and helping to build and tone muscle. Make sure you choose a time when the current isn’t going to topple you over or pull your out to sea.