Best Beach Exercises

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Ever looked around beach communities, such as those of Myrtle Beach and thought, “Wow, these people look good!” Yup, us too. Their secret?

Sand and surf.

The natural resistance of working out on the beach and in the water is a fabulous lean muscle builder, not to mention a calorie incinerator. It works the body in a way not often replicated on the street or in a gym, and variety is the spice of both life and fitness. Want to get in on that hardbody action? Here are some great seaside ways to get buff.

1) Yoga. The ocean at sunrise is about as peaceful and majestic as it gets. What better way to watch the world wake up than doing it in Warrior 1? We love hitting the sand and running through some basics (build your own sequence here for strength, flexibility and sustained energy. Hit the beach early for minimal crowds and maximum zen, or check in with  Shanti Yoga for upcoming beach-held classes.

2) Running. Ever jog in sand? Not easy. But what it is, is easy on the joints. Lace up your sneakers, head for the hard-pack sand, and start moving. While beach running poses an added challenge (read: dialed-up calorie burn), it’s much gentler on knees and ankles than asphalt. Ocean breezes and a significant drop in humidity at water’s edge make running conditions delightfully comfortable. Morning at low tide is best for its lack of both heat and crowds.

3) Surfing/Paddleboarding. Interested in a good night’s sleep? Take a surfing or paddle boarding lesson. The crazy-good core workout and hours spent swimming in the sun will wipe you out (hopefully with minimal wipeouts). Balancing on a board requires sensational ab strength, not to mention the upper body juice necessary to hoist yourself up…over and over again. Add to that the perpetual squat of good board form and we’ve got ourselves one monster muscle-blasting workout. Wake us in time for the next lesson.

4) Plyometrics. Feel the burn without fancy equipment. Also known as jump training, plyometrics uses explosive movement to increase fitness. Try some of these moves to get your started. They’re made even more challenging on sand.

5) Stretches, crunches, planks. Getting a good workout doesn’t mean you have to cover a ton of ground. Park yourself on a towel and work your abs, stretch your limbs, and practice good plank form. See here, here,  and here for some ideas.

What about you? What are your favorite beach exercises? Let us know!

(posted 6/26/14)