Spring Break Beach Workout Ideas

Aly Walansky
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Sometimes it’s really hard to get ourselves to the gym. A good workout can be found anywhere, though. Next time you are enjoying some time in the sun, take the opportunity to incorporate a great workout. It’ll be fun, and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time.

When working out at the beach, use the environment you have at your disposal. “The sand, steady incline and ocean all provide unstable training surfaces that help enhance stability in your body,” says Chasen O. Hasen, a fitness instructor at Laniwai spa in Hawaii at the Aulani Resort on O’ahu. Basic exercises done in the sand are challenging enough, so always start slow and increase the intensity as you go. Due to the heat and humidity, the exercise duration can be shorter and the intensity can be lower.

Dig in the Sand
Digging in the sand is also great: It works your core and upper body. “The longer the shovel and the wetter the sand, the better. Once you fill up a few buckets with sand try doing some upright or bent-over rows to work your lats, shoulders, and biceps,” says celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet.

Water Burpee
The water is a wonderful place to have a total-body workout without the impact. “Did you know you can actually do burpees in the water? Next time you’re at the beach, try it! Wade into the ocean until you are about at rib-level with the water. Engaging your abdominal muscles, bring your knees up toward your chest. Next, engage your glute muslces and push your feet out behind you while you thrust your upper body forward and out, keeping your head above the water. Hello, aqua plank! Bring your knees back in toward your chest and come back to standing. Repeat. Water Burpee with no impact,” says Amber Brien, a New-York based Zumba instructor.

Criss-Cross Legs
A great lower body water exercise is sitting scissor legs.”Bring your legs up to about hip-level, straight out in front of you. Open together as wide as is comfortable, and close together. The water will provide resistance for both the inner and outer thighs while your abs work to keep your legs up. Keep your knees straight the whole time if you can,” says Brien.

Upper Body
There are many different upper body exercises that can be done in the water. Front and lateral raises, bicep curls, chest flys, rows, tricep kickbacks can all be effectively executed in the water. Remember, the water offers resistance and you are in charge of how challenging that resistance can be. “For maximum resistance, cup your hands with fingers together. For less resistance, open the hands, but keep fingers together. For little or no resistance, do “jazz hands”: fingers out wide. Always keep your knees soft, chest open and your abs engaged when performing upper body exercises,” says Brien.

Tricep Kickback
The water should be around rib or chest level. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, abs tight, bend forward slightly at the waist keeping your back flat and chest open. Elbows are close to your sides and bent to a 90 degree angle. Cup your hands. Squeeze your triceps and slowly push your hands toward the back against the water until your arms are straight. And come back to your starting position and repeat.

Leg Swings
Lauren Sesselmann, Olympic soccer medalist and star of the Fit As A Pro DVDs suggests using the side of the pool do leg swings. Take your right leg and swing it forward and backward for 10 reps, then switch to your left leg for 10 reps. Then, placing both hands on side of pool, take your right leg and swing side to side for 10 reps, then switch to the left leg for 10 reps. Repeat these four exercises for two to three sets. This is a great exercise for strengthening the hips.

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