If you’re beach-bound over Labor Day weekend (lucky you!), pack this beach bootcamp workout with you. Exercising on the beach isn’t only fun, it’s also a great way to challenge your body.
“Sand provides an uneven and shifting surface which makes working out on it more challenging,” says Dru Barrios, wellness coach and owner of Ladera Fitness in Laguna Beach, Calif., who designed the following workout. “Your body has to work harder to balance, and as a result, you burn more calories and give that entire body, especially the core, a great workout.” There’s also less impact on your joints when you do running and jumping in the sand versus hard surfaces, so you’re less prone to injury.
To begin, set up two markers on the beach, spaced about 30 to 40 feet apart. Or use landmarks like lifeguard stands. (Try to stick to the hard sand near the water.) Also, keep a water bottle handy. Do a 5-minute walk or jog on the beach to warm up. Then complete the following circuit up to two times, following the modifications if necessary. When you’re done, take a 5-minute stroll to cool down.
1) Walking lunges — 30 seconds
Start at one marker, feet together, hands on hips. Step right foot about two feet forward and lower until right thigh is almost parallel with ground. (Make sure right knee doesn’t jut past toes; if so, step feet wider.) Step left foot next to right and repeat with left leg. Continue alternating until you reach second marker. If time allows, turn around and repeat.
2) Plyo lunges — 30 seconds
Assume lunge position, right leg forward, left leg back, legs about two feet apart. Lower body toward ground until right thigh is almost parallel to ground. Jump up and switch legs mid-air so left leg is now forward, right leg back. Continue repeating. (Modified: Rather than jumping, do alternating lunges, stepping one leg back at a time.)
3) Jog — 30 seconds
Jog back and forth between your markers.
4) Box sprints — 30 seconds
Start at one marker and sprint to second marker. Face first marker and shuffle right 8 times. Turn so you’re facing second marker and jog backward to first marker. Facing second marker, shuffle right 8 times. Repeat as many times as you can.
5) Squats — 30 seconds
Stand in place, feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Lower body toward ground, keeping knees behind toes, until thighs are almost parallel to ground. Release to start and repeat.
6) Squat thrusts — 30 seconds
Stand with hands by sides. Drop to ground in crouched position, hands on ground. Hop feet behind you until body’s in plank, one long line from toe to head. Hop feet back to hands. Stand and repeat. (Modified: Step one foot back at a time to plank position, then feet back to hands, roll to standing.)