The Beach Workout for a Hotter Body

Use sand-based workouts for a fitter beach body this summer.

Woman Stretching on Beach
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Is there a beach vacation on your calendar? If you’re lucky enough to have time near the sand and surf this season, you’ll have a unique opportunity to boost your fitness performance. It turns out that sand is a fantastic athletic tool.

Beach workout benefits

Experts are finding that sand-based training provides unique challenges that can help you improve core strength, functional balance, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. A study published in the International Journal of Sports and Physical Therapy found that plyometric training on sand can improve your ability to perform power moves, and may even help reduce post-workout muscle soreness. And another study published in the The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that training on an unstable surface, like sand, can help to boost core strength.

But the best thing about training on the beach is “the gorgeousness of being outside,” says Gerry Haeger. “When you’re on vacation, you don’t want to be inside…you just don’t.” Haeger and Bruce Camp are top group fitness trainers at Life Time Fitness. Each year they run the Haeger Beach Bootcamp, a week-long, sand-based boot camp at surfside destinations like Puerto Vallarta, Isla Mujeres, or Puerto Morelos. They say that training in the sand can be humbling because you can’t prepare for it.

“People think that they’re fit when they’re in their own gym at home," says Camp. “But this workout really tests your athleticism. You have to overcome heat, wind, soft sand, hard sand, water, and waves.” And Haeger adds that a beach workout pushes you to develop strong balance skills. “Working out on the sand is like doing every single exercise on a Bosu ball.”