Beach Workout: Oceanfront Obstacle Course

With summer breezing by, getting to the beach is probably on the top of your to-do list. So let’s soak up the sun and heat up your metabolism with this Oceanfront Obstacle Course Workout!

Warm Up

Take a 5-minute stroll down the beach and back again. Walk towards the water line for the best sand. Focus on articulating through your feet for the first two minutes, rolling out your shoulders for the next minute, and then exaggerating your stride and arm swing for the final two minutes.

Quicken your pace on the way back and aim to be moderately challenged by the time you reach your beach base camp.

Oceanfront Obstacle Course Workout

Water Walking

Begin at your beach towel and wade out until the water comes up to the top of your shins. Turn around, face the beach and walk (or run) as fast as you can back up to where you started (it’s more fun if your towel is further away). Then, face the ocean and run back until the water is up to your knees. Continue the loop 3 more times, going a little deeper each time to increase the intensity.

Be careful as you move from the water to the sand. Your heels will begin to sink into the sand and you may need to shorten up your stride or slow down as you approach your beach towel.

Wave Hopping

In the water, facing away from the beach, find a comfortable spot to stand and jump the waves. The further you submerge your body in the water, the more challenging this activity will be. Start out about shin deep and progress to thigh deep as you feel more comfortable. As the wave approaches, bend down, swing arms back and try to hop over the wave. Try this for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for a total of 5 minutes.

Sandy Squats

Facing the beach, come back towards the shore until the water hits the middle of your shins. Start with your feet together. Step out to the side and lower down into a wide squat. As you stand up, bring the feet together and repeat on the other side. Facing the beach will make this exercise more challenging as you won’t know what the water is doing behind you. Keeping your balance will be the challenge.

To increase the challenge, scoot back into the water until you are up to your knees. Unlike side-to-side squats on dry land, try to ‘slide’ the foot out and in as you perform the squat rather than picking the foot up and over the water. The resistance of the water will give you extra inner and outer thigh work! Perform 10 squats right and left for a total of 20 total repetitions.

Shoreline Shuffle

Stand sideways in the water with your left leg towards the beach, about shin deep in the surf. Shuffle towards the shoreline, stopping at the far edge of the wet sand. Turn towards the ocean and shuffle about 50 yards down, again, leading with the left foot. Finally, face the ocean and shuffle back into the water leading with your left leg. Repeat leading with your right for all three legs of the shuffle. You will be traveling in a U shape each time. Repeat for a total of 3 complete shuffles (both right and left lead equal 1 complete shuffle).

Uneven Upper Body

For our final drill, find a comfy spot on your beach towel and assume the plank position (arms under shoulders). Avoid trying to smooth out the sand underneath you. The goal is to be slightly uneven. Begin the drill by walking your feet out and in (right leg out, left leg out, right leg in, left leg in), then do the same with your arms. Next, come down to a forearm plank and back up to extended plank (move one arm at a time). Move legs out wide and arms out wide, perform one push up, then bring legs and arms back in, perform one triceps push up. Rest and repeat for a total of 5 repetitions.

Cool Down

The hard work is over. It’s back to snoozing, reading, or listening to tunes; whatever your pleasure. Before you relax, though, take a quick walk down the beach to look for seashells. Be sure to bend at the knees and brace through the core as you pick up the buried treasures. Two to three minutes should do the trick!

A Few Notes

  • Vitamin D’s good for you, but don’t forget the sunscreen. Make sure you use waterproof sunscreen and apply liberally since you’ll be in the water!
  • Sexy swimsuits may not be the best for this workout! If you plan to stay in your string bikini (or Speedo), be sure to cover up the lower half with shorts or a sarong because you might find yourself without your bottoms at some point during the workout.
  • Sand is amazing for building up the muscles in your feet. But, if you’re not used to working out barefoot, you may want to tread lightly (ha!) for the first workout. The nice thing is the impact is minimal due to the forgiving sand surface.
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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is the VP of Fitness Programming for the FIT4MOM® franchise. For more than two decades, she has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, and BOSU® as a fitness business and programming consultant. An experienced educator, freelance writer, and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable serves as Vice Chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the founder and co-owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool.