Exercising on the Beach

Exercising on the Beach

Exercising on the beach is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, unless you live near the coast, it is not something you normally get to do, which always adds a bit of spice to any training session. Secondly the conditions offer a huge change from just performing in the gym or pounding the pavement. Lastly training on sand is considerably harder and provides for a much more strenuous session than say performing a conditioning session on grass or on tarmac or other hard surfaces.

In truth you don't need to do a lot to become very tired. Especially performing exercises like shuttles. The turning and back peddling really takes it out of you anywhere but it’s a killer on sand. Another very demanding exercise is “down and ups” (i.e. getting yourself from a prone position, on and off the deck, as quickly as you can).

What’s also great about the beach is the different variations in terms of available surfaces.  You can run on the harder sand nearer the water’s edge, and then move it up a number of levels by running higher up the beach in the much softer sand. You can also run in the shallows and then move into slightly deeper water for some high stepping.

I personally like doing a combination of swimming; sprints on the wet harder sand and then some shuttles combined with some “down and ups” in the sand.

The key is to pace yourself when working on the sand. If you’re staying for a period, set yourself increasing exercise targets and goals each day. If nothing else, you’ll be glad to get back to the wooden floor of the gym!

When exercising on holiday change is as good as a rest – use different muscle groups and use the space!

People often use holiday as an excuse not to train, which I find a bit odd especially when you can train anywhere with anything. You don't need a fancy gym to get some good work done.

No matter where you are, it’s always a good thing at the outset to get out explore. So start off   running to discover your new found destination from street level. You can always perform some street Olympics as you jog along. Every time you come to a bench or every three benches for example, you have to perform 20 bodyweight squats. Alternatively, another trick is at the end of every song or alternate songs you’re listening to; perform 10 press-ups and 10 sit-ups, then carry on running. If you like to run in silence, then simply set yourself some other benchmark to break to undertake some exercises.

You can’t beat a bit of actual sea action on holiday. Find a flat, stone free, sandy part in which you can jog up and down at the same depth. Ideally you want a length of about 25 metres. The depth of water will obviously determine the degree of difficult for the exercises. Experiment in various depths but remember if it all feels a bit too easy, you’re probably not going to get a great benefit.

Start off with a high knees jog along the full 25 metres length. Then just jog back normally to your start point. Then perform 50 body weight squats, and 25 single leg squats. Then undertake some hamstring kicks and pull backs - 25 for each leg.

Add in some upper body lateral raises [use your palms to push the water down, then the backs of your hands and arms to pull up]. If you’re super keen add in chest expansions and compression - 40 of those. To finish, after every full set of exercises, you swim back down the 25m length and repeat the rep as above.

We have covered working out on the beach, but don’t forget the hotel pool! When it is quiet you can do some hypoxic work, which is the posh term for underwater swimming.

One exercise is to swim a width under-water. Pull yourself out of the water and then perform 10 press ups. Then get back in, swim back to the other side underwater, pull yourself out and perform another exercise like 10 squats. Repeat this 10 times. You could always trying doing this length ways but I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you have perfected the art of breathing underwater!

– Entry was posted on April 30th, 2015 by James Haskell

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