Some people will avoid hitting the beach until they feel their bodies are in ideal shape. They are called girls. If you are looking to build your physique for the summer season, we say hit the beach right now and put in your work there. You cannot work on your (natural)tan inside the gym, so take it outside. It’s time to enjoy the improving weather and sculpt your body with the tools that nature provides. Spend your mornings at the beach with this workout, and your evenings will be filled with more relaxing company.
Honestly, how long can you running in place on a treadmill? You know your heart needs the work (and you belly needs the calorie burn) but cardio inside is…boring. When you run at the beach, though, the sights are much more aesthetically pleasing – sand, sun, waves, bikinis, etc. An added benefit of running on the sand is that it works your muscles harder. Sand, unlike concrete, gives way when you press against it to propel yourself forward. So, it requires more force to maintain your road speed on the beach. Because of this, avoid running in sand that is too soft; stay closer to the water line where the ground will be a little firmer. In addition to cardio, sand running improves strength in your leg muscles better than urban training. On your first beach run, take it easy until you know how you will react to the sand. Added bonus: free to use and you can run barefoot (on clean beaches at least).
Make it harder: Find a sand dune and sprint up it. Depending on steepness and softness of the sand, you’ll find you won’t need to run far before tiring yourself. Make a couple trips up the dune and then continue your run along the water line.
The nice part about sand is that it is not a sweat covered, hard gym floor. Rather, it is a soft surface, covered with cigarette butts and broken glass, but we focus on the soft. Take advantage of the sand’s properties with some explosive lower body exercises. The squat jump might look silly, but girls won’t laugh at the effect is has on your quads and glutes. To perform, stand with knees slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your core tight and back straight, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then jump as high as you can. Immediately flow into the next jump and repeat 6 to 8 times. You’ll appreciate the soft landing, until your legs are burning due to the power sapping property of sand we mentioned in the running discussion. Continue the leg torture with walking lunges. From a standing position, take a long stride forward and bend the front knee until thigh is parallel to the ground. Walk back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Make it harder: To amp up the jumps, land on only one leg, bending at the hips to balance for a second or two, then return to the starting position and repeat, landing on the opposite leg. For the lunges, instead of standing between strides, move forward with your head remaining at the same height, dragging your back leg and extending it ahead. Of course, maintain a tight core and straight back.
Remember when you were a kid and played war (pretend Nazi killing not the card game)? Well, the beach is an excellent place to crawl on your belly again. The SEAL crawl is essentially pulling yourself across the sand with your upper body only, ignoring the fact that your legs work. Yes, you will get sand in your clothing, though you won’t mind when you are jacked. Crawl for about 100 yards, or until someone reports a suspicious acting man on the beach. For a return to normalcy, move on to push-ups. To perform, draw a circle, twice as large as your hand, in the sand. In standard push-up position, lower your chest to the sand, keeping one hand in the circle. For the upward movement, press yourself up and to the side, lifting your body off the ground and landing your opposite hand in the circle. Repeat this side to side, explosive movement.
Make it harder: Perform each exercise in the water. The ocean will provide some resistance, but mostly it will just make you more badass for dealing with waves moving in and out, knocking your balancing and splashing your face.
When it is time to relax, watch into the ocean to literally cool your body off. Soak and experience the healing powers of the salt water. This also helps wash the sand from your shorts.