Picture yourself standing on the warm, sun-kissed sands of your favorite beach this summer. The light sea breeze teases your hair as the rhythm of the crashing waves syncs with your inner peace. You’re not just there to soak up the sun and enjoy the view; you’re there for a purpose – to take your fitness regime to the next level. Welcome to the idea of a beach workout – an innovative, fun, and challenging way to stay fit while enjoying the great outdoors. In this post we’ll explore 6 beach workout ideas that you can try this summer. These workouts are designed to be engaging and effective, harnessing the natural resistance of sand and water to boost your strength, endurance, and agility. Let’s get started.
What Are The Benefits Of Beach Workout?
The uneven surface of the sand makes your muscles work harder than they would on a firm surface. This is particularly true for the foot and ankle muscles, which are often neglected during gym workouts. You’re not just building strength – you’re also enhancing stability, which can have a positive impact on all aspects of your physical performance (1).
Boosts Mental Health
There’s something inherently soothing about the beach – the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand, the sight of the horizon. This environment can help lower stress levels and boost mood. Plus, exercise itself is known to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters (4). This means that a beach workout isn’t just good for your body; it’s also beneficial for your mind.
Improves Balance And Control
Sand is an unstable surface that constantly shifts under your weight. This forces your body to engage its core and stabilizer muscles to maintain balance. Over time, this can lead to improved balance, strength, and functional movement, which can be beneficial in everyday activities and other sports (1).
Increases Calorie Burn
Sand provides resistance, which means your body has to work harder with each step or movement. This can increase the intensity of your workout and the number of calories you burn. It’s a great way to boost your metabolism and accelerate your weight loss or fitness goals.
Activates More Muscle Groups
Working out on the sand requires maintaining balance and power through movements. This leads to a more comprehensive workout, engaging everything from your major muscle groups to your smaller stabilizer muscles.
Stabilizes Lower Extremity Joints
The softness of the sand reduces the impact of exercises on your joints, which could reduce the risk of injury when compared to higher impact forces and promote long-term joint health (7). This makes beach workouts a great option for people of all fitness levels, including those with existing joint issues and those recovering from injury.
Enhances Athletic Performance
Training on sand can improve speed, agility, and explosive power, leading to enhanced athletic performance. The increased resistance and instability of sand can push your body to adapt, leading to improvements in strength, endurance, and overall performance (2).
The soft, yielding surface of the sand absorbs more force than concrete or other hard surfaces, reducing the impact on your joints when you run or jump. This can result in less damage to the joints and connective tissues, reducing the risk of injuries and enabling you to train harder and more frequently (7).
Resistance Training with A View
With beach workouts, you’re not just getting an effective resistance training session; you’re also enjoying a beautiful view. This can make your workouts more enjoyable and motivating, helping you stick to your routine and reach your fitness goals.
Variety In Workouts
From running and swimming to yoga and bodyweight exercises, the beach offers endless possibilities for varied workouts. This can help prevent boredom and keep you motivated to continue your fitness journey.
Beaches often have a community feel, with people participating in various activities. This can provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, join group workouts, or even participate in beach sports, adding a social element to your fitness routine.
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What Exercises For A Beach Body?
A “beach body” is a term often used to describe a physique that people feel good about showcasing at the beach, typically during the summer months. This usually implies a toned and fit appearance, with visible muscle definition.
To achieve this, you’ll need to focus on exercises that target your major muscle groups and build strength, endurance, and stability. Here are some beach workout ideas for beach body:
1. HIIT Beach Workout
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to a type of workout that involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief, but active recovery periods (5). This type of workout is perfect for the beach because it can be adapted to any activity, such as running in the sand, jump squats, or burpees.
A sample HIIT beach workout could include:
- 1 minute of sprinting in the sand
- 20 jump squats
- 30 mountain climbers
- 10 burpees
- 1 minute of rest (jogging or walking)
- Repeat this sequence 3-5 times.
2. Beach Bodyweight Workout
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build strength and definition without the need for gym equipment. This type of workout is ideal for the beach as it requires no setup and can be done directly on the sand. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can gradually increase the intensity of the movements and add more reps.
An example beach bodyweight workout could include:
- Burpees: A full-body exercise that boosts cardio fitness and strength. Perform 20 reps.
- Mountain Climbers: A dynamic exercise that works the core and builds endurance. Perform 30 reps.
- Lunges: An effective lower-body exercise for toning the legs and glutes. Perform 10 reps per side.
- Pushups: This classic exercise tones the arms, chest, and shoulders. Perform 15 reps.
- Plank: A great exercise for engaging the core and building stability. Hold for 1 minute.
- Repeat this sequence 3-5 times.
3. Beach Yoga
Yoga is a great exercise for improving flexibility, balance, and coordination (8). Plus, it can be done anywhere – even on the beach! All you need is a flat surface and some space to move freely. Start with basic poses such as downward dog, cobra pose, and child’s pose.
As you become more comfortable with your practice, add in more challenging poses like warrior I, II, and III.Yoga on the beach can also help increase your mindfulness and reduce stress levels.
Take a few moments to appreciate the beauty of nature around you, listen to the sound of waves crashing in the background, and focus on your breathing. This will help you stay connected with your body and mind during your workout.
4. Beach Workout With Weights
Adding weights to your beach workouts is a great way to increase the intensity and challenge yourself further.
Lightweight dumbbells, kettlebells, and weight plates are all excellent beach workout equipment that can be used to perform exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bicep curls, and overhead presses. However, it’s important to use proper form when lifting weights to avoid injury.
Below is a sample full -body weight-training routine that you can do at the beach:
- Squats with dumbbells: 10 reps
- Lunges with kettlebells: 10 reps per side
- Pushups (with weight plate on back for advanced individuals): 10-15 reps
- Bent-over rows with dumbbells: 10 reps (each arm)
- Bicep curls with dumbbells: 10 reps (each arm)
- Overhead press with kettlebells or dumbbells: 10 reps
- Tricep extensions with weight plate: 15 reps
- Repeat this sequence 2-3 times.
5. Beach Running
Running on sand has a unique challenge compared to running on pavement or the treadmill. The uneven surface and increased resistance provide an excellent workout for your legs, while also helping to build stability and coordination.
To get the most out of your beach run, it’s best to start with a warm-up jog around the area, perform dynamic stretching exercises such as leg swings or toe touches, and then begin your run.
For an extra challenge you can add in sprints or hill sprints to your beach running routine. This will help increase your speed and stamina while also providing a great strength workout for your legs.
6. Beach Sports
Beach sports such as beach volleyball, football, and frisbee can provide an excellent workout while also being fun and social. These activities require you to move quickly and use a variety of muscles, which can result in improved athleticism and increased calorie burn.
Plus, playing beach sports with friends or family members is a great way to stay motivated and make exercise enjoyable.
Does A Beach Day Burn Calories?
Yes, a beach day can certainly help you burn calories. The amount of calories burned depends on the activities you engage in. Here are some examples:
Walking Or Running On Sand
Walking or running on sand burns more calories than doing the same activity on a hard surface (3). This is because your muscles need to work harder to move on the unstable and shifting sand.
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Playing Beach Games
Games like beach volleyball, frisbee, or soccer not only make your beach day fun but also serve as great workouts. These games require a lot of movement, which can burn a good number of calories.
Even leisure activities like building sandcastles can help you burn calories. While it’s not as intense as running or swimming, it still requires physical effort.
Kayaking Or Surfing
Water sports like kayaking or surfing can be great ways to burn calories. They require balance, strength, and endurance, all of which contribute to a higher calorie burn.
Tips For A Safe And Effective Beach Workout
To ensure that your beach workout goes smoothly and is safe, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Exercising on the beach, especially during the hotter months, can quickly lead to dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours or immediately after excessive sweating or swimming.
Warm Up And Cool Down
Just like any other workout, it’s important to warm up your body before starting and cool down afterwards. This can help prevent injuries and allow your body to adjust to the physical stress.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
While it might be tempting to go barefoot, proper footwear can provide necessary support and protection. If you prefer the barefoot experience, consider investing in shoes specifically designed for beach workouts.
Listen To Your Body
The unstable surface of the sand can be challenging, even for seasoned athletes. Pay attention to how your body feels and modify or stop exercises that cause pain or discomfort.
Mix It Up
Incorporating a variety of exercises can help ensure you’re working all muscle groups and keep your workouts interesting.
Read More: How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?
Practice Balance Training
The uneven surface of the beach is great for improving balance and stability. Incorporate exercises like lunges, single-leg deadlifts, or yoga poses into your routine.
Protect Your Eyes
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun, and to prevent squinting, which can lead to headaches.
Check The Tide
Be aware of the tide schedule. It’s generally easier to run on wet sand, which is usually available when the tide is low.
Respect The Environment
Remember to clean up after yourself. Leave no trace so that everyone can enjoy the beach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Being In The Ocean A Good Workout?
Yes, being in the ocean is indeed a good workout. Swimming in the ocean engages all major muscle groups and improves cardiovascular health. The natural resistance of the water strengthens and tones muscles, while its low impact nature is easy on the joints.
The unpredictable waves and currents enhance balance and core strength. Furthermore, the calorie-burning potential is significant due to the body working against the water’s resistance. Beyond physical benefits, the ocean can also provide stress relief and contribute to overall well-being.
What Muscles Does Running On The Beach Work?
Running on the beach targets several muscles more intensely than running on harder surfaces. The primary muscles worked are your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Because sand is an unstable surface, your body needs to work harder to maintain balance, which engages your core muscles.
Additionally, the softer surface means your feet and calves get a workout too as they adjust to the varying textures of the sand. This makes beach running a fantastic lower body and core workout, while also offering improved balance and proprioception.
Exercising at the beach can provide a great change of pace from your usual fitness routine. Not only is it an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate nature, but it also allows you to experiment with various exercises, build strength and muscle definition, and join in on social activities with other beachgoers. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving that beach body physique.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Basic principles regarding strength, flexibility, and stability exercises (2012, nih.gov)
- Effect of plyometric training on sand versus grass on muscle soreness and jumping and sprinting ability in soccer players (2008, nih.gov)
- Effects of Running on Sand vs. Stable Ground on Kinetics and Muscle Activities in Individuals With Over-Pronated Feet (2022, nih.gov)
- Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress (2022, mayoclinic.org)
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) (2021, harvard.edu)
- Health benefits of swimming (2022, healthdirect.gov.au)
- Sand training: a review of current research and practical applications (2014, nih.gov)
- Yoga – health benefits (2022, betterhealth.vic.gov.au)