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When it comes to location for taking on her fun and challenging workouts, it’s almost a guarantee Sarah Dorough will choose to hit the beach.
As a Level 10 gymnast and a certified fitness trainer and sports nutritionist, the Coastal Virginia resident is on a mission to spread some sunshine by helping us all to get stronger and more flexible. With a growing audience on Instagram, thanks to her positive vibes and infectious approach to working out, the competitive dancer and fitness model has the perfect summer workout for M&F readers.
“I believe that mobility work is something that could be implemented into general training for people all ages,” she says. “It is important to move your body in ways that you aren’t used to, which then increases your strength, range of motion, and also prevents injuries.”
This circuit is designed to be modified and repeated. “I chose these exercises because I love to challenge others to move their body!” says Dorough. “It is so important to push yourself and go for things you might not think you can do!
“You work up to it, and that’s how you grow. These moves can be performed by anyone at any level. If you need a bench to support you, got for it. If you need to support yourself in other ways, that’s fine too. You can also make this workout your own by changing up the the work-to-rest-ratio, or by increasing the reps you complete each time.”
As a personal trainer, Dorough is able to bring a little gymnastic flavor to her sessions. “I try to make every exercise have a purpose,” she says. “I love trying to create a flow in the workouts where you have to work the brain and body at the same time.
“Gymnastics and dance have taught me so much about how to use each muscle properly and effectively, gaining an awareness of the relationship between mind and muscle,” she says.
Performing circuits on the beach, aside from gaining all the benefits of being outside in the fresh air, also forces your body to deal with unfamiliar surfaces. “I love working out on the beach because the sand creates an unstable surface, making you engage your muscles for stabilization,” says Dorough. “It’s also my happy place!”
Try to perform each exercise for 1 minute, with 20 seconds rest before moving on to the next one.
With feet shoulder-width apart, lower into a squat, then jump forward using your heels. When you land, jump and turn 180 degrees, then repeat. This plyometric exercise will help to tone the glutes and thighs.
Depending on your level of fitness, you could challenge yourself with a one-handed variation like Sarah, or build up to it by supporting yourself and practicing with both hands. The mountain climber targets the obliques. Start from a pushup position. The right knee goes to the left elbow, and vice versa without twisting your torso. Try to keep your hips at the same level throughout the movement.
This is going to take some balance and coordination, but will work wonders for your hip mobility. Starting from a push up position, raise your right leg with toe to the sky. Bring your right knee to your right elbow while lowering yourself, then push up, lock your elbows, and raise your right leg again. Switch sides by lowering your right leg and lifting the left. Repeat the move on this opposite side. This is a great move to improve the mind and muscle connection, while stimulating the abs.
The star squat will activate your thighs, glutes, and hamstrings and is also great for tightening the core. Keep your toes under your knees, with both facing in the same direction for good support. Make a star as you leap and then return to the squat position. Bring both arms together towards your knees as you lower into the squat position, then raise your arms as you jump back up.
Followers of Sarah over on Instagram will know that the gymnast likes to throw in mental challenges when performing physical workouts. This challenge, from a plank position, is a great way to exercise the core without performing crunches. In fact, you are only really moving your elbows. See if you can follow along!
From a reverse bridge position, push through the heel and lift the opposite leg, squeezing the glutes in the leg that is supporting the rest of your body. If this move is too difficult at your current level, you can modify by using a bench to support your upper back. Don’t throw your head backward when performing the move, face forward and concentrate on your breathing.