How to Take Your Workout to the Beach (No Equipment Necessary!)
Beach season is in full swing. In the summer, most of us like to spend every spare second we have outside.
Interestingly, the beach is not only a great place to relax. It can offer scenic views and an ideal spot to get your workout done - no need to coop yourself up inside at the gym. Find new fitness inspiration, and take your workout to the beach this summer season.
Not sure where to start or what moves you should do? We are all about those options.
Below we outline 6 different exercises that conveniently work for 3 different workouts!
If you are new to exercise, make sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new fitness program. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sweat session.
If pain occurs at any point, stop the exercise. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong - listen to your body. If the pain continues, seek out medical attention or the advice of your family doctor.
First, let’s outline our 6 moves. For these exercises, there is no equipment necessary. All you need is yourself and a hint of motivation to get started. And of course, a beautiful sandy beach.
Move #1: The Sumo Squat
We know the squat is in almost every workout program out there. We know it can get boring. However, the squat is a compound exercise that works the big muscles of the legs, the core, and challenges your balance.
The sumo squat can reignite your love for the squat. It targets the inner part of the thighs more than the regular squat.
- Stand tall. Position your feet more than hip-width apart. Point your toes slightly outward.
- Bend your knees, and slowly lower your buttocks down and back. Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
- Push through your heels and come back up to the start position.
Challenge yourself: Fill an empty bag with sand for extra resistance. Or add a jump when you push back up through your heels.
Move #2: Pillar Planks
Like the squat, planks are hard to escape. Find your fitness inspiration with variety. Pillar planks are not your regular plank. The bonus here is that you can skip out on the push-ups. Pillar planks challenge your abdominals and your shoulders. It’s a 2-in-1.
- If you prefer, you can do this one on a towel or yoga mat. Begin face down, with your legs straight back.
- Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Push up into a full plank position (if this is difficult, drop your knees to the ground). Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and you should be up on your toes if you aren’t on your knees. Make sure to engage your core. Don’t allow the hips to slump down. Squeeze the big glute muscles in your buttocks to keep your torso and hips up.
- Slowly and gently drop one forearm down. Position your elbow under your shoulder and lay your palm face down.
- Slowly drop the opposite arm down so that you are in a full forearm plank. Both elbows should be directly under your shoulders, with your palms down.
- Hold for 2 counts.
- Place one hand under your shoulder, then the other. Push back up into a full plank.
- Continue to repeat this exercise, moving from a hand plank to a forearm plank. Alternate which side you go down and come up on. This will ensure both sides get an equal strengthening workout.
Challenge yourself: Place a sandbag on your back. It will create resistance and keep you from swaying side-to-side as you move through the exercise. Or alternate lifting one foot at a time during the movement. For example, you could lift your left foot off the ground, then go into a forearm plank, and then push back up again. Once you are back in a full plank, switch legs. Lift your right foot off the ground and repeat.
Move #3: Water Sprints
You are at the beach, so why not use your natural surroundings? The water provides resistance. Doing sprints into the water is a great workout for your lower body and gets your cardio in.
- Find a space in the water away from children or a lot of people.
- Draw a line in the sand for your starting point.
- Run into the water.
- Continue running until the water is almost at your waist.
- Turn around and run back to your sand line. That counts as one round.
Challenge yourself: Carry a sandbag or another object loaded down with sand. You can also try an easier version where you only run into the water up to your knees, or you can do sprints back and forth in the sand, minus the water resistance.
Move #4: Single Leg Deadlift Balance
The single leg deadlift balance works your glutes and core. Balance is an important aspect to practice at any age. As we age, our balance system weakens. A fall in our older years can lead to broken bones and a quick decline in overall health. Keep your systems strong early on so that you can still enjoy yourself later in life.
- Stand tall, with your feet slightly closer than hip-width apart.
- Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. At the same time, left one leg up and back.
- Continue to bend forward until you can touch your ankle or the sand with the opposite hand. Slightly bend your knee (don’t lock it!).
- Pause here for 3 counts
- Slowly begin to lower your leg and bring your torso back up to start.
- Repeat on the opposite leg.
Challenge yourself: Grab that handy makeshift sandbag, and hold it for a weight and resistance in both your hands. You can also challenge your balance further by holding Step 4 for longer than 3 counts. Try holding the position for 5 counts instead.
Move #5: Crab Crawl
You might feel silly with this one, but have fun with it. Draw some fitness inspiration from this exercise and set up races with your kids and family. Why not throw in some quality family time with your workout?
The crab crawl is a great exercise to work your triceps. It also strengthens your hamstrings, shoulders, and core. So, no matter how silly you feel walking like a crab around on the beach, know that you are doing something!
- Sit on your buttocks. Bend your knees and position your hands behind you with your palms down.
- Push into your heels and hands, and lift your hips and buttocks off the ground.
- Walk your right hand forward, then your left foot forward.
- Follow by moving your left hand forward, then your right foot forward.
- Go forward 6-8 strides, then repeat the same movement backward. This counts as one repetition.
Challenge yourself: After moving forward 6-8 strides, lift your left leg up and touch your foot with your right hand. Then, lift your right foot up and touch your foot with your left hand. Crab walk backward to the starting point, and repeat.
Move #6: Boat Hold
The boat hold is our active recovery move. You are working the abdominals, but holding a static position. This gives you time to breathe and rest during the HIIT style workouts below.
- Start sitting on your buttocks, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground in front of you.
- Lift your legs up. You can keep your legs slightly bent.
- Bring your arms straight in front of you. Keep your back straight and engage your core.
- Hold this position for 30-45 seconds.
Challenge yourself: For a more challenging move, straighten your legs and lean your torso back more. Feel your abdominals burn! If you don’t like staying still, alternate between bent knees and straight legs.
Your Beach Workouts for New Fitness Inspiration
We have 3 workouts! Alternate between them or choose the one you like the best. It is entirely up to you. The first 2 routines are full body workouts using all 6 moves. The third workout uses just sprints to get your heart pumping for more of a cardio focus. Let’s get started.
Workout #1: Full Body Beach Strengthening
Do each move in order10-12 times for 2-3 sets. Make sure to focus on slow movements. Slower movements are more effective for gaining strength and muscle.
To avoid getting bored with this workout, try mixing up the moves. For example, instead of doing the first move 10-12 times for 2-3 sets. Do all 6 moves, then repeat 2-3 times. Or go back and forth between the first 3, then do the next 3. Keep it interesting. Find your own fitness inspiration and learn to motivate yourself.
Workout #2: Beach HIIT
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This means you have periods of high intensity, where you give 110%. Then, you have active rest periods where you can catch your breath and bring your heart rate back down. Here is your beach HIIT workout:
- Move #3: Water Sprints - 30 seconds
- Move #1: Sumo Squat (add the jump if you can!) - 30 seconds
- Move #5: Crab Walk - 30 seconds
- Move #3: Water Sprints - 30 seconds
- Move #6: Boat Hold - 30-45 seconds
- Move #2: Pillar Planks - 30 seconds
- Move #4: Single Leg Deadlift Balance - 30 seconds
Do 3-5 rounds. The great thing about HIIT workouts is that the fat burning continues even after you have finished your workout session. Why? The intense activity pushes your body’s repair and restoration systems up a notch, meaning you burn more calories over the next 24 hours. It’s quick. It’s efficient. What do you have to lose?
Workout #3: Sprint Cardio
Cardio works the vital heart organ. Good heart health is crucial for longevity and overall good health. Heart disease accounts for 1 in 4 deaths in the United States. Keeping your heart in tip-top shape can thwart heart issues. That’s why our third and final workout is sprint cardio.
- Do 10 rounds of Move #3: Water Sprints. You don’t have to go as hard as you can, but keep your pace consistent.
- Next up is Move #5 Crab Walk. Do 5 rounds.
- Then, go back to the sprints. Alternate between the 2 for 15-30 minutes.
If you get bored or fatigued, try holding the boat pose in between the 2 other moves.
Rethink your beach days. Get out and get active! Find new fitness inspiration, no matter where you are outdoors this summer.
If structured workouts are not really your thing, there is an abundance of other activities you can try. There is swimming, yoga in the sand, stand-up paddle boarding, beach volleyball, surfing, soccer, touch-football, frisbee, and more! Find something you love. The important thing is to get moving!