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Categories: Workouts

20-Minute Beach Workout Using Just Your Bodyweight

By Nick Holt / July 1, 2017

What’s not to love about working out on the beach? There’s great scenery, a nice salty breeze, and the energy of the ocean all around you – it’s my favorite place to workout and play.

Even when you’re on vacation, you can get an incredible workout just using your natural surroundings. The possibilities are endless, but to give you some inspiration, I’m going to share one of my favorite beach workouts. It’s a full-body circuit workout that doesn’t require any equipment and only takes 20-minutes.

Workout Instructions

This workout is broken up into 2 circuits, Circuit A and Circuit B. Each circuit has 3-exercises that are done back-to-back with as little rest as possible in between exercises.

To get set-up, start by marking off 2 lines on the beach about 20 yards apart. Don’t worry about being exact – the average male stride is about 1 yard, so mark one line with your heel and then take about 20 steps and mark off the other line parallel to the first.

Each circuit begins with performing the first exercise for 80 yards, or 4 lengths down-and-back. For example, the first exercise in Circuit A is beach sprints – you’ll run down for 20 yards, back for 20, down for 20 and then back for the last 20 yards (80 yards total). Then move on through the rest of the circuit.

To give you a breakdown of how this works – in circuit A after you do the beach sprints, you perform bear crawls for just one length of 20 yards, and then perform hollow body holds for 30 seconds. That would be 1 complete round.

Circuit B follows the same structure. Start with side shuffles 4 times down-and-back (a total of 80 yards). Then continue through the rest of the circuit.

Complete 3 rounds of Circuit A. Rest for 2-3 minutes. Then complete 3 rounds of Circuit B.

Bodyweight Beach Workout Summary

Start your workout with a dynamic warm-up and a few accelerations to properly prepare your body for sprints.

Circuit A

Exercise Distance / Time
Beach Sprints 80 yards
Bear Crawls 20 yards
Hollow Body Hold 30 seconds

Circuit B

Exercise Distance / Time
Side Shuffles 80 yards
Broad Jumps 20 yards
Thoracic Bridge 30 seconds

Exercise Demonstrations

(1) Beach Sprints

This is one is self-explanatory. It’s a fast-paced run aimed around 80% of your maximum effort.

(2) Bear Crawls

Start in a crouched position with both hands and feet on the ground. Step the left hand forward as you step your right foot forward. Repeat on the opposite side. Keep your body moving forward in a straight line and try to maintain a neutral back without excessively rotating your hips from side-to-side.

(3) Hollow Body Holds

Lying on your back, extend your legs in front of your body about a foot off the ground with your arms overhead. Make your body as long as you can while keeping your ribs down and your lower back flat against the ground. Try to maintain this long-body position by creating tension throughout your torso. Don’t let your low-back leave the ground. If you have a tough time keeping your whole back in contact with the ground, elevate your legs until you can flatten your spine.

(4) Side Shuffles

Start in an athletic position. Stay low in your athletic position with your knees slightly bent, as you shuffle your feet towards one end. Keep your hands in front of your body for balance.

(5) Broad Jumps

Start behind the line and get into an athletic position. Squat down, then explode out of the squat and jump forward landing on both feet at the same time. Stand up tall to reset your body. Repeat until you reach the other line – 20 yards ahead.

(6) Thoracic Bridge

Start in a sitting position with your knees bent and your hands behind your body underneath your shoulders. Lift off of one hand and drive your hips up to the sky. Extend the lifted hand up across your body. Drop the hips down to the ground and repeat on the other side.

There you have it. A simple, challenging beach workout. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, especially if you’re not used to working out on the beach.

Beach Workout Insider Tips

Should I Train Barefoot or Wear Sneakers?

This really depends on your feet and ankles. If you’ve never trained in a minimal shoe or if you have suffered ankle injuries in the past, I would NOT recommend training barefoot. Barefoot training is a great option for those used to training without too much ankle support, but can be risky if you’re not accustomed to it. Build yourself up slowly over time with barefoot training and always proceed with caution.

Pick a Good Spot on the Beach

Hard-packed sand is going to be your best bet, especially if you’re new to beach training. For those of you who want a little extra challenge, finding some soft-packed sand will definitely increase the intensity of this circuit.

Protect Yourself

Wear sunscreen and a hat or other protective sun gear. Make sure to use good sunscreen designed for sports and sweating.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure you bring plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the workout. You’ll be losing a lot more fluids training outside on the beach in the sun.

Let me know how you do with this workout – drop your comments below!

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7 Comments

  • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

    Love this article, Nick. The exercises are accessible and can be done by people who have different fitness levels. I'm very jealous you workout on the beach year-round!

  • Ray says:

    Going to have a go at these, as soon as Storm Henry goes away! Looks pretty straight forward!

  • Nick Holt, CPT says:

    Thanks Marc, I am pretty lucky to have this beach all year round down here in Costa Rica! Keep me posted Ray, I want to know how it goes!

  • Belinda says:

    Looks like a great challenge. Don't have a beach, but the soccer field behind my house will work.
    Thanks Nick

    • Nick Holt, CPT says:

      Soccer field works great Belinda, no need to mark off the lines! Keep me posted on how you do with it.

  • furaha mukarye says:

    I have tried it though it tough for the first time but I have manage it well, Bravo

    • Nick Holt, CPT says:

      Thanks Furaha, glad you stuck with it!

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