Hit the Surf With Beach Workouts

It's that time of year when we all flock to the beaches. There's nothing better than hanging out by the ocean, enjoying the sun, the surf and taking it easy. Believe it or not, this place we generally look to for a little relaxation can also be great place for a fun, calorie-burning and heart-pumping workout.

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I've been teaching boot camp classes for 15 years now and love to take my clients at least once a month for an enjoyable little Gut Check "Hit the Surf" Workout. It breaks it up for me and makes it interesting and exciting for them. You may be asking yourself, "How can a boot camp-style workout be fun?"? Here's how:

Getting Started

There are a few things you want to do before you get started. If you are going to go into the water, make sure you know how to swim. I would highly recommend bringing a friend or two just in case. You never know when you'll get a cramp or get caught in a riptide. There's safety in numbers.

Be sure to use sunscreen. The rays are powerful at the beach. We wear regular workout gear with running shoes, shorts, shirt and cap. Bring plenty of drinking water and possibly a towel to rinse off with afterwards. Lastly, I would recommend getting there early to avoid the noon rush.

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Beach Runs

Even though it's warm at the beach, it's still important to properly warm-up your muscles and your body. Try starting with a half-mile run, followed by some shuffles, lunges and calisthenics. Now it's time to have some fun. If you've ever watched the movie Chariots of Fire you saw the young men running parallel to the beach at the water's edge. I loved the movie and enjoy doing the same thing.

Go out into the water until it's a little less than knee deep. Now you're going to try to stay at about this depth and run parallel to the beach while in the water. I would recommend beginning with 40-yard to 100-meter dashes. The added resistance from the water really challenges your muscles and your lungs while giving a great workout. Try four to six repeats at various distances or shoot for 30 to 60 seconds.

Piggy Back Rides

If you get a friend to join your workout, you can have fun with piggy back races. Jump up on your partner's back and you're off. Try to make it as far out into the waves as you can. When a wave knocks you off your feet, you're turn is done. Head back to shore and switch positions with your partner. The goal is to see who can make it the farthest without getting knocked over. This one is truly fun but challenging, too.

Sand Workouts

Of course you've got to get a little sandy too. Here's what you do;
  • Drop down for 60 seconds of timed regular push-ups
  • Flip over for 60 second sit-ups
  • 45 seconds wide push-ups
  • 45 seconds elbows-to-knees crunches
  • 30 seconds diamond push-ups
  • 30 seconds fingers-to-toes crunches (legs bent up at
    90 degrees)
  • Finish it off with a couple sets of 25 three-count arm
    haulers and flutters kick

You should look like the Sand Man at about this point.

Hit the Surf

Now for the grand finale. Many times during our hour and half workout, I yell "Hit the Surf" and everyone runs into the water and plops down until their head is under, then immediately springs back onto their feet and runs to shore. You will be amazed how exhausting this is, real leg and lung burner.

More: 18 Water Workouts to Splash Your Way Slim

Put It All Together

So here's the deal:
  • ???Put your water bottle about 20 to 30 feet away from the
    waves. This is your starting and transition point. Ready? Now
    "Hit the Surf!"
  • Back out to your water bottle/marker--30 mountain climbers
  • "Hit the Surf"
  • 25 push-ups
  • "Hit the Surf"
  • 20 speed skaters
  • "Hit the Surf"
  • ???15 starbursts
  • "Hit the Surf"
  • 10 burpees
  • DONE!
  • 5 to 10 minute cool down
  • 5 to 10 minute stretching

Now that you've got a great workout in, it's time to kick back and really enjoy the sun, sand and surf but this time on your back. Have fun!

More: 15-Minute Beach Workout

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