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Building The Perfect Beach Workout Is Easier Than You Think

by Kristin Bugden - June 28, 2021

It's the summer of wellness and we're all ready to refresh our daily routines. Our new Lively series will highlight all things hydration to help you live a fuller, more vibrant life with every sip. 

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Headed to the beach this summer, but still want to get a workout in? If you're looking to mix up your workout routine, it's a great place to break a sweat — the unevenness of the sand makes it more challenging for your body to stabilize, so you'll really have to put in the work as you move through various exercises.

The views combined with the relaxing sound of the crashing waves and smell of the ocean breeze make for a pretty good cooldown, too. We tapped two trainers for their top bodyweight movement suggestions (and other tips) for hitting the beach for a workout, so read on and get inspired to try something new — oh, and don't forget that SPF!

Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.

Bodyweight Beach Workout

Try this circuit created by Eve Cuccaro, personal trainer at Crunch Fitness on 23rd Street in New York City.

How to do it: Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest between movements. Repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times.

Squat Jump
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge at the hips to push your butt back. Lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Jump up and land softly back down into a squat.

Lunge Jump
Start in a standard forward lunge (split-stance position with one leg forward and the other back). Ensure your torso is upright and brace your core, push yourself off the ground, switch the position of your legs while airborne, and land in a lunge with the alternate leg now at the front.  

Prisoner Squat
Start in a squat. Place arms behind your head. From here, lower down onto each knee, one at a time. Next, return to hold by placing each foot on the ground to stand up. 

Plank Jack
Begin in plank position with shoulders over wrists and your body in a straight line (make sure your feet are placed together). Jump legs wide and then bring them back together,  similar to the motion of a jumping jack.

Push-Up
Start in a high plank position, with shoulders stacked directly over wrists. Bend elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Keeping your core engaged and hips in line with the rest of your body, exhale, and push back up to the starting position. Repeat. 

Plank-Up
Start in a high plank position with hands stacked directly under shoulders and body in a straight line from head to toe. From here, brace core and lower yourself from your hands onto forearms, one at a time. Press one hand into the ground then the other to return to starting position. Repeat. 

Russian Twist
Start seated on the floor, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your spine long and core braced, slightly lean back and lift your feet a few inches off the floor. Slowly twist your torso from left to right.

V-Up
Lie face-up on the floor with legs and arms extended straight. In one movement, lift your upper body and legs to bring them together, making a "V." Slowly lower back down to starting position. Repeat.

Mountain Climber
Start in a high plank. Brace core and bring right knee to your chest as left leg remains extended back. In one smooth motion, switch legs, and speed up as you continue to alternate legs. 

Burpee Tuck Jump
Begin standing. Bend down, place your hands on the floor and jump back into a high plank. Complete a push-up by bending elbows and lowering your chest to the ground, then return to high plank. Jump your feet toward hands and in one motion jump up and explode both legs upward toward your chest. Land softly and repeat. 


Just looking to add a few moves to your beachside walk or run? Here are a few other potential exercises you can try, courtesy of Dillon Kelleher, a personal trainer with RightFit.

Walking Lunge
Step forward with your right leg and bend the knee so that you’re parallel to the ground in a lunge position. Keeping your right leg where it is, move your left leg into the forward position and place into a lunge. Repeat, "walking" forward as you lunge, keeping chest up. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.  

Bear Plank to Pike
Start in kneeling plank, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Lift knees so they are hovering 1–2 inches off the sand and hold. 

To make the move more challenging, transition into a pike by exhaling and lifting your hips so that your body forms an upside down V. Take a few breaths and then sink back into bear plank on an exhale while maintaining core engagement. Repeat the sequence, or work on either of the positions isometrically.

Kneeling Spinal CARs 
Start in a kneeling position. Inhale and perform a side bend to your left. Sink a little deeper into the side bend, exhale, and on the next inhale, you'll want to reach or circle backward toward the back-left (then back-middle, back-right, fold side-right, front-right, front-forward, front-left), ultimately returning to side-left where you started. This completes the circle. Repeat on the other side. 

What Equipment Do I Need For Beach Workouts?

While these bodyweight workouts are certainly effective for the beach, both trainers note you can also look to incorporate equipment. 

"The perfect equipment to bring to the beach might include options like resistance bands, ankle weights, a jump rope, and dumbbells," says Cuccaro. 

Another tip from Kelleher: "Any equipment you bring will be a game changer — it all depends on what you have and what you're in the mood to do, but I'd suggest making it easy on yourself and not getting too complicated as you'll have to lug it back and forth to the car or public transit."

He also suggests bringing along a small towel to mop up any sweat, especially for near the eyes.

Remember: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Water is one thing you certainly don't want to skimp out on while training oceanside.

"Exercising in humid environments is going to dehydrate you much faster than working out in an air-conditioned gym," advises Cuccaro, adding that you'll want to bring along a large water bottle and take frequent sips.

In addition to staying well hydrated, Kelleher says you may want to keep an eye on the heat index, adjust your workouts to to avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

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