What better way to spend a warm summer’s day than at the beach? Sand, sun, and surf melt away stress and create the ultimate in environmental relaxation. They can also add elements that make for a fun and challenging workout!
If you’re like me, you look for any reason to go to the beach. If you don’t already have one, here are three:
1. You need to do a workout.
2. It’s a beautiful day.
3. It’s free.
And if that’s not enough, sweating in the sand also gives you more return on investment!
Why we each need a beach
Let’s pretend for a second that you’re unaware of stunning coastlines, clean air, and natural environmental beauty, and that you don’t mind breathing in the recycled air, hearing the ridiculously obnoxious noises, and fighting for the small spaces that gyms have to offer.
Sand training offers less muscle and joint soreness, greater capacity for cardiovascular fitness, enhanced agility and power potential, and improved weight-loss potential. In short, it offers you better results for time spent. Period. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s about?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about the journey and appreciating the struggles that lead to success, but there’s nothing wrong with getting to your destination a little sooner. Let your first destination be the beach.
The Beach Body Circuit Workout
Complete a five-minute warm-up before starting this workout. For the workout, perform four rounds with as little rest as possible in between, and be sure to cool down and stretch soon after. And if you’re a beach volleyball player like me, check out the variations in the “Beach Volleyball Workout Tips” sidebar.
Duck Walk and Squat (14 repetitions)
Target: quadriceps, glutes, calves, core
- Begin in a low squat position with your weight in your toes, knees wide, and arms in front of you for balance.
- As you stand, pivot your body to the right, and take a step forward with your left leg.
- Immediately after reaching a full standing position, as you plant on the ball of your left foot, sink back down into a low squat.
- Pivot your body to your left as you stand, and step forward with your right leg.
- Immediately after planting on the ball of your right foot and reaching a full standing position, sink back down into a low squat.
- Continue this pattern.
Sweat, replenish, repeat
I don’t know about you, but on a warm summer day I sweat early, often, and always. In fact, if I’m not sweating, that’s cause for concern. Our bodies can produce 1 to 2 L of sweat per hour during summer exercise. The composition of this sweat includes amino acids, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, and, you guessed it, water. Because the human body prefers homeostasis (a state of balance in which the body usually operates), we need to replace the materials we’ve sweated out.
If you’re aiming for a short workout (around an hour), water is enough, but if you plan to sweat on the beach for two hours or more—or even a full day (you’ve committed yourself to a beach volleyball tournament, for example)—you’ll need to replenish some of the other particulates you’ve lost.
This can come from liquids such as amino acids, ketogenic beverages, sports drinks, and coconut water, or it can come in the form of hydrating foods, including various melons, berries, and grapes. The added benefit of supplementing your hydration practices with hydrating foods is that foods come with naturally balanced vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients such as polysaccharides to give you an energy boost.
If you have any questions about hydration aids that can help boost energy too, talk to a nutrition and supplements expert and visit your local nutrition store.
Supplement your beach workout
- protein powder—for muscle repair
- branched chain amino acids (BCAA)—for muscle support and possible reduced soreness
- multivitamin—micronutrient insurance for recovery
Komodo Dragon Crawl/ Crab Walk (100 ft/30 m)
Target: triceps, chest, shoulders, glutes, back
Komodo Dragon Crawl
- Begin in a wide push-up position, with both feet and legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Now bend both your elbows and your knees so that your chest and hips come closer to the sand.
- Reach your left hand as far out in front of you as you can, and at the same time, bring your right knee as far forward as you can (touching your right elbow, if possible).
- Maintaining the bend in your knees and elbows (keep your hips and chest close to the sand!) pull yourself forward with your right hand and push yourself forward with your left leg, reaching as far as you can in front with your left arm, and bring your right knee forward toward your right elbow.
- Continue this pattern for 100 ft (30 m).
After you have completed the 100 ft (30 m) Komodo Dragon Crawl, turn over and sit on the ground so that your back points in the direction you just came from.
Keeping your toes and fingers facing forward, lift your hips as high as you can off the ground, toward the sky, and walk on all fours, backward, 100 ft (30 m) to your starting line.
Beach volleyball workout tips
I’ve always maintained that the best way to keep fit is to play a sport. It just so happens that my favourite sport is beach volleyball. It’s a great way to have fun, be social, and stay fit. The sun, heat, sand, and wind can also make it pretty challenging!
Whenever we think about training for a sport, we want to consider what sport-specific movements are involved. For instance, in beach volleyball, there’s a lot of jumping, there’s diving and getting up out of the sand, and there’s a lot of lunging. There’s also a component that requires quick reflexes and powerful movements.
Because I’m a forward thinker, the Beach Body Circuit Workout I’ve designed for you can easily be manipulated to become more sport-specific to beach volleyball.
Duck Walk and Squat
Make this a squat that turns into a jump, keeping foot-to-sand contact time as minimal as possible.
Komodo Dragon Crawl
Do this motion on the spot (no forward motion), each time jumping your whole body in the air to change arm and leg positions.
Reverse Lunge to Push-Up Walk-Outs
Do a lunge and then immediately jump and land, lunging with the other foot forward, again limiting contact time with the sand.
Beach volleyball is all about jumping power and quickness, and these exercises are sure to give you a boost!
Reverse Lunge to Push-Up Walk-Outs (6 repetitions/leg)
Target: quadriceps, shoulders, chest, glutes, hamstrings, triceps, and core
- Begin by standing with feet together, hands out in front of you.
- Take a big step back with your right leg, contacting the sand with your right foot.
- While keeping most of your weight focused in your left foot, drop your right knee down to lightly touch the sand.
- Stand back up, bringing your right foot forward to starting position, but don’t allow it to touch the ground.
- Immediately bend your left knee, and bring your hands down to touch the ground.
- Keeping your right foot in the air, walk your upper body out into push-up position.
- Complete 1 push-up, and then walk your hands toward your feet. Still without touching your right foot to the sand, stand up to starting position.
- Complete 6 on this leg, then 6 more on the other.