Sweat, Sand, and Sun

Beach Photo

I absolutely love the beach (who doesn’t?) but my ability to sit quietly in the sun runs out after a solid 25 minutes.  Other than an occasional 3pm nap, I am all about activities by the water.  This beach workout is quick and fun, but is also great for toning and is by no means easy (the instability of the sand means your muscles have to engage more).  I modeled it after some of my favorite exercises from plyometric-focused gym classes.  All exercises are done in the sand, so just make sure you clear the area of rocks or shells.

1) Calf Raises in 2nd Position (aka relevés): Place your feet a little closer than hip width apart, feet turned out (so your toes are pointing out to your sides as opposed to facing forward). Raise your heels up so you are balancing on your toes, then lower yourself back to flat feet on the sand.  Repeat 20 times.  Place your hands on your hips or out to your sides to help you balance.

2) Sand Jumps:  Build up a mound of sand, but make sure the area around your mound is still flat.  You’ll be jumping over this mound so no need to help yourself sprain your ankle.  Height of the mound is up to you, just make sure you can clear both the height and width.  Start feet slightly apart on one side of your mound, knees bent.  Jump up and over, pushing off of both legs simultaneously, and then landing on both legs simultaneously (a two-footed jump).  If you’re feeling brave/coordinated, jump backwards in the same fashion.  If not, turn around and repeat in the other direction.  That’s one.  Repeat 10 times (or 20 jumps in total).

3) Inverted Walking Push-Ups:  Get into a push-up position with your feet raised on your previously made mound of sand (you might need to add to it/pack the sand in tightly).  Walk your hands two ‘steps’ to the right and do a push-up, then walk them two ‘steps’ to the left and do a push-up.  That’s one. Repeat, you guessed it, 10 times.

4) Side-Kicks in the Sand: Start on your hands and knees.  Pick your right leg up to the side with your knee still bent, so that your thighs look like a right angle (and you maybe look a little like a dog peeing, sorry).  Bending your left elbow, lower your body slightly to the left while you kick your right leg out (simply by unbending your knee).  Bring your leg back in and lower down to the sand.  Repeat 10 times on each side.  Tip: It’s important to only bend your left arm here and not simply bend at the waist.  A modification would be to just to do leg raises out to the side.

5) Towel Ab Rotations: Sit in the sand with your arms extended over your head, holding your towel.  Hands shoulder width apart, legs together.  Pick your knees up off the sand, keeping them together, so that your feet are off the ground and your body is in a V shape with your knees bent (I guess that’s more like 3/4 of a W).  Rotate your body, slowly dropping your knees to the right, making your legs parallel to the ground.  At the same time, lower your arms to your left side, still fully extended, keeping yourself balanced.  Come back to center and repeat on the opposite side.  Do 10 full sets (or 20 twists).

Do one exercise after the other, with 30 second breaks in between.  Rest 2 minutes after you’ve finished and do the whole set again.  If you feel up to it, repeat for a 3rd time!  Then it’s time to jump in the water to get rid of any sand, followed by a nice nap.


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