A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that running on sand requires 1.6 times more energy than running on a hard surface. What’s more, Austrian researchers have found that running and jumping on sand is safer for your knees and ankles. Both results are because sand “absorbs” much of the impact of each of your strides.
“You have to work harder no matter what the exercise is because the sand is completely unstable,” says Dan Ownes, owner of HyperFit training in Wall, New Jersey, near the Jersey Shore. “That tests your stabilizer muscles, your balance, and simply makes each workout harder and more effective.”
Try this total-body beach workout—created by Ownes—each morning of your upcoming vacation. Not only will you work your muscles in new and effective ways, but that calorie-laden frozen margarita will taste far better if you earn it first.
The Total-Body Beachfront Workout
Instructions: Start with some light jogging and side-to-side shuffles. Then, do each of the following exercises in the order shown. Repeat as a circuit up to 3 times, resting as needed (after all, you’re on vacation). When finished, go for a long, relaxing run down the beach.
Traveling Lunge Walk
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg, and then descend into a lunge until your knee is bent 90 degrees. From that position, push yourself up, then step forward with your left leg, repeating the process so that you’re “walking” forward each rep.
Reps: 10 each leg
Assume a pushup position, with your body completely straight. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the ground. As you do, bring your right knee up towards your right elbow. Reverse the move. That’s one rep. Repeat, this time bringing your left knee to your left elbow.
Reps: 10 each side
Sit on your butt, with your feet flat on the floor and hands flat on the ground behind you. Now, lift your butt so that you’re holding yourself up by your legs and arms. Then, simply “walk.”
Reps: 20 yards forward, 20 backward
Single Leg RDL with T Rotation
Stand on your right leg, your knee partially bent, with your left foot off the ground and slightly behind you. Your arms should be directly out from your sides and parallel with the ground. Push your hips back and lower your torso towards the sand, keeping your back straight. Stop when your back begins to bend, then rotate your torso so that your right hand descends towards the sand, and your left ascends toward the sky. Reverse the move. Do all your reps then repeat on your left leg.
Reps: 10 each leg
This one’s easy. Simply run as fast as you possibly can.
Rep: 30 yards