By Jim Carpentier Stack.com
Taking a family vacation at the beach? No gym nearby or time to exercise?
Those are handy excuses for athletes who stop working out during the summer in favoir of enjoying the sun and surf. But the excuses won’t hold water with this beach workout.
A beach workout provides a refreshing change of scenery from the usual indoor weight room environment and standard gym exercise routines. You won’t miss any training time on vacation, and you’ll savor the ocean air and cooling breezes during your workouts. Plus, beach workouts are brutally tough!
Below are two quick and intense 15-minute beach workouts that can easily be scheduled during a vacation. Each workout is ideally suited for athletes. And here’s another great feature: no resistance equipment is required. These are full-body, bodyweight-only workouts. A timer is optional. A towel and water battle are required. The sand will do all the work.
- Seek an uncrowded area on the beach with plenty of space. It’s a good idea to work out in the early morning or early evening when beaches are generally less populated. Plus, most of the day can be spent relaxing or having fun with family or friends, in the water or on the sand.
- To avoid injury, make sure the sand is relatively smooth and free of sea shells, rocks and other objects.
- Perform workouts in your bare feet or wear sneakers. Sand is softer and better for the feet than hard turf, grass fields, pavement or hardwood courts.
- Perform a dynamic warm-up beforehand and finish with a cooldown.
- Rest for 15-30 seconds between exercises.
- Perform the workouts on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
- Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
Beach Workout 1
Crabwalks/Forward and Reverse Sprints
Crabwalks strengthen upper-body, lower-body and core muscles, and Sprints enhance speed and agility. The combination will increase your endurance.
How to: Place a long towel on the ground about 10-20 yards away from a landmark, such as a sand dune, life guard tower or the water. Crab walk horizontally across the towel, stand up and sprint to the landmark. Backpedal to the towel and repeat.
Explosive Push-Ups/Squat Thrusts
These are two excellent upper- and lower-body power exercises. When you perform them for high reps with minimal rest, your heart rate will skyrocket.
How to: Do Explosive Push-Ups (hands leave the sand on each rep) followed by 10 Squat Thrusts.
Sets/Reps: 2×10 each exercise. Rest for 10 seconds between sets.
Single-Leg Squat Hold/Single-Leg Hops
These moves will improve single-leg strength, agility and balance.
How to: Lower into a Single-Leg Squat on your left leg and hold for 30 seconds. Quickly hop laterally on your left leg 10 yards to the left. Stop, switch legs and hold a Single-Leg Squat on your right leg. Hop 10 yards to the right on your right leg. That’s one rep.
Sets/Reps: 2×1 each exercise. Rest for 10 seconds between sets.
This move, often found in yoga routines, improves core strength, especially in your lower back.
How to: Assume an all-fours position on the sand. Lift your left foot and right arm in line with your body and hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Do two sets to boost core strength and balance.
Beach Workout 2
Slow Push-Ups/Lateral Hand and Foot Walks
An upper-body and core-strengthening exercise combination.
How to: Assume push-up position with your hands on a towel. Slowly descend into a Push-Up over 10 seconds, and slowly press up over 5 seconds. Walk laterally on your hands and feet across a towel, and perform another Push-Up. That’s one rep.
Sets/Reps: 3×1, resting for 10 seconds between sets
Prone Pulls/Prone Plank/Forward and Reverse Crawls
This combination strengthens your arms, upper back and core muscles.
How to: Lie on your stomach on the sand. Firmly plant your toes and fingertips and pull your body forward a few inches. Repeat four times. Move into a Plank position and hold for 30-60 seconds. From there, pull your body forward for 5 yards, then push it back to the starting position.
Burpees improve conditioning, Cariocas enhance lateral speed and agility, and Single-Leg Squats improve balance and lower-body strength.
How to: Do 10 Burpees followed by Cariocas to the right for 20 yards. Then do 10 Single-Leg Squats on each leg, Cariocas for 20 yards to the left and finish with 10 Burpees. This is one rep.
Sets/Reps: 2×1, resting for 10 seconds between sets