Beach Boot Camp Exercises

Add variety and intensity to your regular fitness routine with a beach workout. Exercising on the sand challenges your body, especially your core, due to the unstable and uneven surface. “Your body has to work harder to balance, and as a result, you burn more calories,” says Dru Barrios, wellness coach and owner of Ladera Fitness in Laguna Beach, California. The soft surface means less impact on the joints and less chance of injury.

Step Up/ Push Up/ Dip Combo

This combination of exercises works the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, chest, shoulders and triceps as well as gives you a cardiovascular workout. Find a stable surface approximately 18 inches high. A picnic bench, park bench or stairs work well. Begin by stepping up with the right foot on to the center of the bench followed by the left foot, and immediately stepping back off the bench, leading with the right foot followed by the left. Continue for 20 step-ups, then switch and lead with the left foot for 20 step-ups.

After completing one set of step-ups, begin push-ups. Set hands on the bench wider than your shoulders and at chest height. Walk your feet back into a push-up position and complete 20 push-ups. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs pulled in.

Finish with 20 dips. With your back against the bench, place your hands shoulder width apart on the top of the bench, with fingers pointing down. Walk your feet out so the weight remains in your hands, shoulders over your wrists. The further away your place your feet, the harder the dip. Keep your chest lifted and your back close to the bench as you dip by bending your elbows. Repeat this sequence three times.

Push-Up Sprints

This cardiovascular exercise works the muscles of the shoulders and chest. Find an unpopulated and level surface either on the wet sand or dry. The shifting nature of the dry sand makes it more of a challenge. Set the distance you want to sprint by placing a cone or marker at either end. Begin at one side in a high plank position, hands at chest height, slightly wider than the shoulders, and perform a push up. As you rise to the top of the push up, spring up forcefully and sprint to the second cone. Repeat completing one push up at each side and sprinting between the two cones.

The Dunk

This combination of high intensity plyometric exercises works the full body, including the cardiovascular system. Start near the edge of the water, in the wet packed sand, and perform 30 jumping jacks. Sprint into the water, submerge your entire body and immediately sprint out of the water, back to where you started. Next do 20 tuck jumps by jumping up and touching your knees to your hands in a tuck position. Sprint back into the water, dunk and sprint back out. Finish with 30 mountain climbers, then sprint back into the water, dunk and sprint out. To complete a mountain climber start in a high plank position and alternately bring feet in and out towards your hands like running. Repeat this sequence to fatigue. For more intensity, sprint further from the waters edge after each dunk.

About this Author

Sue Doucette started writing in 2004 and was published in ÔÇťAmerican Fitness” magazine in 2009. She is an A.C.E. certified fitness instructor and Yoga Alliance-registered yoga teacher with more than 17 years of teaching experience. Doucette holds certifications in BodyPump and SilverSneakers and has a Bachelor of Science in fashion merchandising. She graduated from Philadelphia University.