"The Sandy 7" Beach Workout

The summer has finally arrived and many of us head down to our favorite beach town for a getaway weekend or lengthy family vacation.  The problem is we often leave our fitness programs behind at home when we need them the most! When you realize that your caloric intake can as much as triple during your stay at the beach with eating 3 meals a day at restaurants, you might want to second guess your decision to not exercise.  Those pounds you were so worried about losing leading up to swimsuit season can be packed back on during your vacation.

Here are 7 exercises that will be sure to keep you looking beach ready…and a bit sandy afterwards! Warm-up with some jumping jacks or a light jog for about 2-3 minutes. Perform 1-3 sets of the following exercises in a circuit format with minimal rest (but feel free to take as much rest as you need!)

  1. Shuttle Runs—Draw three marker lines in the sand five yards apart from each other. Straddle the middle line in a three-point stance. You can start by moving to the right or left direction. For example, at the start the person turns and runs five yards to the right side and touches the line with his right hand. He then runs 10 yards to his left and touches the far left line with his left hand, then finally turns and finishes by running back through the start/finish line (middle line). Depending on your fitness level, you may be able to repeat the shuttle run up to 3 times with a 10-30 second rest between each one.
  2. Push ups—traditional, modified with knees on the ground, triangle push-ups with pointer fingers and thumbs touching with hands on the ground, etc.  Perform as many as you can with a stable core (draw your abs towards your spine) until you reach fatigue.
  3. Prisoner Squats—Hands at your ears for prisoner position…spread your feet shoulder width apart and progress squat as far as you can while keeping your hips/knees aligned, keeping weight back and distributed on mid feet and heels flat. Perform 10-20 reps.
  4. Walking Lunges—With you hands on your hips, step forward, drop back knee a few inches from the sand and keep front knee over your front ankle so that both knees are close to 90 degree angles before returning to standing position and alternate between legs. Perform 10-15 reps with each leg.
  5. Bear Crawls—To do the bear crawl, drop onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, then rise up onto your feet. You can move forward, backward or sideways and you’ll work every major muscle group in the process. Start with 10 reps in any direction and feel free to increase the reps or vary the direction if needed in order to reach a fatigue response.
  6. Planks—Assume a push up position and hold the position as long as you can with a stable core to protect your lower back.  If this seems easy and you are ready to progress to the next level, lower your forearms onto the sand with your elbows under your shoulders and try holding this position with a stable core and flat back. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes to reach fatigue and do not hold your breath.
  7. Crab Walks—Get a feel for the exercise by sitting with your legs spread out in front of you about shoulder’s width apart and feet flat on the ground. Bring your arms behind you with your palms flat and gently raise your backside off the ground tightening your gluteus muscles. Practice holding this position until it feels comfortable then begin taking 10 step forwards and then backwards while in the crab position.