Studies show that by exercising on loose sand your body is forced to activate extra muscle fibres in your legs, hips, and trunk to respond to the shifting ground.
Also, the soft surface absorbs more energy, which means you sink into the ground rather than rebound off it, forcing your muscles to engage longer to push off.
Martyn Binnie, Ph.D., a sports scientist at the Western Australian Institute of Sport says
“you’re forced to work harder to move”, Shape reported.
According to Binnie, when you workout on the sand, you burn up to 50 percent more calories per minute than if you do the same routine on pavement or grass.
And because the impact on sand is about four times lower than on firmer surfaces, “it reduces stress on your joints”, Binnie says.
Traveltalk has compiled some exercises that are great to do on your next beach holiday as they require little more than a stretch of sand. And if you’re near the beach in winter, these are a great way to spend time on the sand without mourning the cold water.
On dry sand, from plank position crawl forward using your forearms and toes, keeping your core engaged. Try to crawl for 60 seconds.
JUMP AND DROPS
Mark two lines in a flat section of soft sand, about 30 metres apart. Make your way from one line to the other by doing a series of long jumps, starting and landing on two feet. Once you land, drop all the way down until your torso touches the sand. Push back off the sand and jump back up to your feet. The further you jump each time, the fewer jumps and drops you’ll need to do. When you reach the second line, walk back and repeat.
THE SAND SPRINT
Mark two lines in a flat section of soft sand, about 15-20 metres apart. Do five sprints there and back (10 in total), focusing on maintaining your speed.
Start in a low plank position with your hands on the sand at shoulder height. Hoist yourself up and into a squat with one foot in front of the other, as if you were standing on a surfboard. Repeat eight times.
Start by sitting with your feet flat on the sand and your hands behind you. Push up onto the palms of your hands, so that your bottom is off the ground. Alternate stepping with your right foot/right hand, left foot/left hand.
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