Beach workouts have graced the pages of popular men’s and women’s fitness magazines for decades. And it’s no wonder — the beach is not only a fun atmosphere with beautiful surroundings, but its elements also offer a unique medium that can challenge your muscles in ways that a flat gym surface just can’t match.

 

Sand jogging

Sand provides both an uneven surface and natural resistance for beach workouts. When combined with jogging, sand significantly increases the aerobic intensity, which increases the number of calories burned. Sand jogging also has greater impact on the muscles than jogging on a flat track or treadmill. For a more intense beach workout, try alternating between sprints and jogging.

 

If you have difficulty running or jogging, don’t use that as an excuse not to use the sand to your advantage. Even walking through the dry sand can provide a great aerobic workout.

 

Water jogging

Like sand, water creates resistance for your muscles, which increases both the intensity and strength building benefits of jogging plus offers support for your joints. Wade out until you’re about waist deep in the water and start a jogging movement. For more comfort while performing this exercise, wear water shoes to protect against rocks or other objects that can hurt your feet.

 

Crawling planks

When looking for beach workouts for your core, do a crawling plank. Get down into a plank position and slowly crawl across the sand on your hands and feet. The shifting sand helps activate your core, glutes and hamstrings as your body works to stabilize itself. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try moving backwards as well.

 

Water sit-ups and push-ups

The slope of the beach going into the water can create an inclined or declined surface, depending on which direction you’re facing. Use this slope for push-ups or sit-ups to increase the intensity of your beach exercises. Or, you can switch directions on the incline to simplify the beach exercises during the workout. However, make sure you are somewhat aware of how close you are to the water. A little wave might be refreshing, but getting hit with a large one can be a safety issue if you’re not expecting it.

 

Walking lunges

Find a target point on the beach, such as a lifeguard chair or flag, and make a straight line of lunges toward your target. Dip low enough so that your back knee brushes the sand and maintain proper form throughout the dip and rise. To change up the workout, work your way toward the target on the wet sand, then lunge through dry sand on your way back.

 

Don’t limit yourself to just the movements above when designing a beach workout, as almost any exercise works in the sand. The beach allows you to use the instability of the sand to your advantage for all of your favorite exercise movements and circuits. So, change things up and hit the sand for a little fun and sweat this summer.