No one wants to spend a beautiful, sunny day lifting weights or doing cardio indoors. So instead of heading to the gym, why not take your workout to the beach? Not only can you reward yourself by laying out and relaxing afterward, but the sand actually makes your workout harder, ensuring you blast extra fat and calories.
“Working out in the sand adds a ton of resistance to any exercise you’re doing,” DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia tells the Huffington Post.
Ready to hit the beach and work up a sweat? Here are five great routines that only require some sun and sand.
1. Try this 10-minute tone-up workout, per the Huffington Post. Make sure you bring two towels with you to the beach; you’ll set them up 20 yards apart from one another. Before you begin, warm up with 30 seconds of skipping, along with 30 seconds of walking lunges. Complete three rounds of the exercises below, making sure to rest 30 seconds between each round.
- Single-leg bounding: Drive the right knee up and leap off your left leg, pretending you are gliding through the air. Repeat on the other side, and try to get as high as possible.
- Plank drag: This is when your towels come into play. Start in a plank position with one towel under your toes. Drag your toes toward your hands by engaging your core, then walk your hands out again so you’re closer to the far towel (remember, they should be about 20 yards apart).
- Side shuffle: Shuffle laterally from one towel to the other, facing the same way as you go there and back.
- Inchworm push-ups: Hinge at the waist, bend down and walk your hands away from your feet so you’re in a plank position. Do one push-up, walk your feet toward your hands and repeat.
- Long jumps: Bend your knees and jump as far as you can toward the other towel. Continue jumping for the whole 30 seconds.
Just repeat two more times, and your workout’s complete!
2. Try this Body and Soul beach circuit, which works multiple muscles, giving you an all-over toning session.
- Begin with 10 walking lunges, followed by 10 sit-ups.
- Move back to doing 10 walking lunges, and follow with 10 push-ups this time.
- Do 10 deep squats, and finish this round by doing 10 sit-ups.
- Aim for 10 deep squats, followed by 10 push-ups.
Complete the circuit once. Rest for a minute, then repeat. Aim for three to five total rounds.
If you’d like to top the circuit off with a bit more cardio, incorporate beach sprints as well. Mark two lines in a flat section of soft sand, about 30 meters apart. Lie flat on your stomach behind one line, facing the other line. Place one hand on top of the other and, when you say “set,” touch your chin to your top hand. On “go,” explode up and forward, then sprint as fast as you can until you run through the other line. Walk back slowly, then repeat.
3. The next time you’re at the beach and have 15 minutes to spare, try this lower-body beach workout. Try to avoid the hard, compacted sand (it’s hard on your ankles), and opt for a softer, flat area instead.
- Shuttle run: Make three parallel lines in the sand, five yards apart. Straddle the middle line with your knees slightly bent and your arms bent so your hands are in front of your thighs. Move to your right and bend at the knees to touch the line with your right hand, then run to the left and touch the far left line with your left hand. Then return to the middle and continue until you’ve completed four runs to each side.
- Sand skip: Remember the days when you used to frolic on the beach? This is sort of like that, just a little bit harder. Skip forward so you’re jumping and landing on the same foot. Work on leaping as high as possible by driving your knee upward as you push off the ground with your opposite foot. Do five skips on each leg.
- Squat jump: Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and your fingers laced behind your head. Bend at the knees to lower yourself until your thighs are at least parallel to the sand, then jump up as high as you can. Sink directly into the next squat without pausing. Do a total of five repetitions.
- Jump and stick: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, hands beside your thighs. Jump straight up, then land on only one leg with your knees bent, your shoulders slightly forward, and your butt and hips back. Your hands can end up slightly out to your sides and in front of you for balance. Try to steady yourself for two seconds, then return to the starting position and jump again. Alternate the leg you land on and do four jumps on each leg.
4. Challenge yourself to a few of these beach moves, guaranteed to burn almost twice as many calories when done on the sand, according to Women’s Health.
- Beach crawl: Find some soft, dry sand and lower into a plank position. Then crawl forward on your hands and feet for 30 to 60 seconds.
- 10-20 drill: On a stretch of soft, dry sand near the water, take 10 quick running steps, followed by 20 slower running steps. Then jog back to the starting point on the hard, wet portion of the sand right along the water. Repeat two to three times.
- Beach chair pull: You’ll need a partner and a lounge chair for this one. Stand at the foot of a lounge chair with your back toward it and a partner standing about 25 yards away, facing you. Grab the bottom of the chair with both palms up, making sure your elbows are slightly bent. Then, run toward your partner as you drag the chair behind you. Jog back on hard sand while your partner takes her turn.
5. Daily Makeover recommends combining cardio with body weight exercises, which is proven to significantly increase your metabolism, especially when done on the beach. Repeat this circuit two to three times.
- Run for three to five minutes as quickly as you can, and then stop and perform 30 squats.
- Run three to five minutes as quickly as you can, and then do 30 burpees.
- You guessed it – start by running three to five minutes as quickly as you can, followed by 30 lunges.
- Run three to five minutes as fast as you can, followed by 30 high to low planks.
More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet: