When the sun shines bright and the waves are calling, the last thing you want to do is spend your workout time in a dank, sweaty gym. The good news is that Mother Nature has provided a perfect place to get in a full body workout with no membership required—the beach. Instead of dumbbells and treadmills, try out a few new methods of staying fit while working on your tan.
Chariots of Fire
There is simply no better way to strengthen multiple muscle groups and focus on weight loss than a quality long distance run. Running on a treadmill will work up a sweat, but the plastic and metal surface provides too much resistance, causing your feet to bounce up with each step, decreasing the effectiveness of the workout. Running on sand forces your legs to pick up your feet every single step of the way, which allows you to get a more effective workout in a fraction of the time.
Shallow Shuttle Run
Shallow water also provides a perfect tool for a simple beach workout. Find a spot where your feet are completely submerged in the water. Sprint for 10 seconds, slap the water with your hand, and sprint back to your starting point. Then slap the water again, turn and sprint for 20 seconds. Slap, return, slap, and sprint for 30 seconds. Do this in sets of 5, and feel the effort for the rest of your day as your legs work muscles that are rarely so engaged.
A strong core is the key to any successful weight lifting technique. Crashing waves provide an excellent opportunity to focus on core strength while providing a unique challenge. Simply walk out until the water is a little over waist-high. Then stand on one foot and try to remain completely still as the waves try to knock you over. Once you fall, switch to the other foot.
Using a similar principle, doing squats amidst the waves forces you to keep your core engaged throughout the entire squat rather than primarily using your legs. This allows you to do squats, which are very effective at working large leg muscle groups while still working on weight loss and core strength (and having a bit more fun in the process).
Full Body Lift
The full body pushup is a great all-purpose exercise that can be enhanced by adding shifting sand. This simple beach workout starts in a lying down position. Lift yourself into a pushup position, then kick your legs forward into a squat. Stand fully up, lift your hands above your head, and then reverse the process. Each movement should be explosive, which will make sticking the landing more difficult on dry sand. This will make every rep that much more difficult, increasing the effectiveness of the workout.
With a bit of ingenuity, you can reach a beach workout routine that gets you out in the sun and salt air and away from the fluorescent lights and sweaty equipment of your local gym. Head out to the beach and see how much you can accomplish in the waves and sand today!