beach workout moves

These Exercises will Turn Your Trip to the Beach into a Full Body Workout

With the start of summer comes cold ice cream treats and refreshing summer rosés. With these inevitable indulgences, it’s important to take the time to stick your overall health and wellness plan. To avoid staying inside and only working out in a gym, it’s fun to switch things up and take the workout outside. Since most city dwellers plan vacations or frequent weekend trips to the beach, what better way to fit in a workout than during your time under the sun on the sand with your friends?

The beach can provide challenging conditions to help you push yourself to the next level thanks to the natural resistance of the sand and the heat of the open air. Just be sure to protect your body by finding a flat surface area on the sand (uneven footing can cause injury), and by staying hydrated, while wearing plenty of sunscreen.

With that in mind, hit the shore with your friends and get your workout on!

Group Workouts

Beach Volleyball

The go-to game in any beach movie— volleyball is an exciting way to bring everyone together. It’s the all-around competitive group game that is the epitome of a summertime activity. Teams can include everyone and the games can last as long as you choose. Playing beach volleyball isn’t just a social game, it can also be a workout. While you play, you will be working your legs, core and arms. No matter how you pick teams, get outside in the summer sun.

photo via unsplash

Spike Ball

This game of skill requires major hand eye coordination. But, it is a portable game that adapts seamlessly for the beach. This game uses 4 players that are split up into 2 teams. Find the basic rules here… While playing the game you may not notice it’s tiring, but this game is good at getting your heart rate up from running around.

photo via the manual


This is for the dog owners. Taking your dog to the beach can be a rewarding experience, if your dog is trained. Just bringing along a frisbee can be an entertaining toy for both you and your dog. Running around on the beach and in the water will add an extra element of difficulty to your usual run. Use this game for a cardio workout next time you are at the beach.

photo via unsplash


However, there are some days you can’t manage to bring a group together to go to the beach. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss your opportunity to workout. Check out these individual workout moves that are ideal for a beach setting.

Individual Workouts

Curtsy Lunges

Skip the regular, old lunge for this (polite) variation that works to tone and firm your glutes, as well as the inner and outer thighs.

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Begin to alternate crossing one leg behind the other (like a curtsy), making sure your knees are at a 90° angle as you move from one side to the other. Keep your core tight and the weight in the heel of the foot as your repeat from side to side.

photo via popsugar

High Knees

This one is a bit more self-explanatory and incorporates a high-intensity component by raising the heart-rate with the quick movements of your legs.
First, be sure you’re on a flat, hard surface of the sand for this exercise. Begin with a jog in place lifting your knees high (while at a 90° angle) so that they are reaching up to the height of your chest. Increase the speed and height as you go and keep your core tight without leaning back or arching the back.

photo via popsugar

Towel Hops

Put your beach towel to good use and roll it up into a thick, long line (or lay it flat for a more challenging variation). Start by standing parallel to one side of the towel and with your feet together, hop back and forth over the towel quickly so that your feet never plant on the ground. Try to jump as high as possible, clearing the towel each time. This will also raise your heart rate and will help build endurance as you go.

photo via popsugar

Dolphin Pushups

Fitting for the beach, this variation of the push-up engages the core and legs while achieving arm strength. Lay down your towel and begin in plank pose, keeping your arms parallel and your elbows shoulder-width apart. Staying on your forearms, lift your hips into a downward dog pose. Then, repeat by moving forward back into a plank position. Keep the core engaged, as well as the legs and arms.

photo via fitness with kat

Jackknife Abs

You’ll want to lie on your towel for this one as well. This full-body ab exercise tightens the core while engaging the arms and legs at the same time. Start by lying flat on your back with your arms stretched over your head. First, engage the core by pushing navel down. As you exhale fold your body by lifting your legs and your arms to meet each other above your core. Rely on your abs to do the hard work to avoid straining your neck or back. Repeat each exercise for three rounds of 12-15 repetitions. Rest for 20 seconds in between each round.

photo via health love

The beach provides a wide open space for many other activities. Grab a team of friends for a match in beach volleyball that is sure to spark some friendly competition, or start a workout on your own. No matter what activity works best for you, getting outside and being social is one of the best parts of summer.

Will you try these workout moves on the beach this summer?

About the Author

Meg is a NYC–based entrepreneur and editor, and she is co-founder and CEO of the healthy living and wellness app, Ellevate. She has a strong editorial background as a former editor for POPSUGAR and New York editor of DailyCandy. She’s always scouring the lifestyle marketplace to uncover the best new product, playlist, eatery, or wellness trend. Need to know what’s going on in the world of beauty, fitness, food, or fashion? Ask Meg.

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