(I may earn a small commission on the products mentioned in this post.)
Outdoor exercise is a timeless activity for health-conscious people around the world. Yet strangely, people in the U.S. have migrated indoors to stuffy gyms where they pay to have access to machines, treadmills, stairclimbers, and ellipticals.
With all the fresh air and scenery outside why do people prefer to be indoors? I suppose the weather is one reason…
If you happen to live at or near the beach, you probably know how awesome a beach workout can be. And if you happen to have great year-round weather like Southern California or Florida you have no excuse not to be there.
Whether working your core while paddle boarding or your glutes jumping in the sand, the beach has plenty of options for an exhausting beach workout.
In this article we’ll mention a few activities and products you might want for your next beach workout. We’re here to ensure you get the most out of your beach workout.
From Gym Workout to Beach Workout
I started working out at the beach while at university. At the time I had a “24 Hour” gym membership and paid around $20 a month to use their facilities.
I must admit, the gym was nice and had all the equipment I needed for my workout. There were a few problems though (read why gyms suck).
- I’d often wait in line to use machines, especially if I came after work hours 4-7 pm. Even though it was the most convenient time for me to workout, I avoided the gym during those hours and often found myself at the gym for a 9 pm workout. Looking back, I can’t believe I was working out at 9 pm!
- The gym was always stuffy. Yes, there was ventilation but it wasn’t adequate. The air always felt moist and smelled of sweat. I understand it’s a gym smell, but I look back and think to myself “Why was I was paying for that?”
- I didn’t use 75% of the equipment. I was an athlete at university. I did my cardio on the field so I didn’t use any treadmills or similar exercise machines. I only did strength training at the gym which consisted of squats, abdominal work, and shoulder/back work.
It wasn’t until after I finished university and my athletic career did I look back and re-evaluate my gym subscription. I changed to a more functional workout and discovered there were a lot of resources outside at the beach or at the local university track.
Push-ups, jump squats, lunges, pull-ups, core work, and sprints became my go-to workout and I didn’t need a gym for that. Better yet, I’d go to the beach, run in the sand, then go for a swim.
Needless-to-say I’m in better shape now that I ever was as a university athlete. I no longer have a gym membership and I do about half of my workouts at the beach, in the sand and water – no machines needed.
The following are a few good items to supplement your beach workout. You might only need one or two, but I list them because they’ve helped keep me in shape.
Related: Beach Running Versus Road Running
Functional Training and Equipment (Use at the Beach)
The products I mention below are tools to help with a functional workout. What do I mean by functional workout? I mean a workout that makes sense for your body and health rather than a workout for the mirror.
Sure, the big muscles are great, but you can get long lean muscles and a more athletic look from a diverse workout that includes balance, power, speed, footwork, explosiveness, twists, bends.
The actions I just mentioned will help with day to day activity especially those of us in our late 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, where athleticism is plateauing and in some cases decreasing. You’ll also notice that functional training reduces stress on joints and ligaments (less isolation and more whole body).
More-over, doing these exercises in the sand provides a soft media for your body while making the body exert more energy. After a workout on the beach, you’ll feel like you can jump to the moon on a hard surface.
Essential Exercise Gear For Your Beach Workout
No. 1 Bltzpro 15 ft Agility Ladder w/ adjustable Rungs, 10 Cones, 2 Carry Bags, Stakes
At least half of the time, your beach workout should be more than just a run or jog along the boardwalk. You need to get in the sand, change directions, speed up and slow down, and jump.
The Bltzpro Agility Ladder is one of many ladders to chose from and will help you develop quickness and agility. Even though it looks similar to hopscotch, the ladder allows you to improvise and create athletic exercises for quickness and power.
- 15 long agility ladder
- 2 carry bags
- 10 Cones
- 4 Stakes
- e-book guide for exercise ideas
- Great for balance, speed, flexibility, and athletic performance
Included in the package are metal stakes so you don’t have to worry about the ladder moving around in the sand. Plus, there are cones that you can use with the ladder or separately for sprints.
Measure out the distance for your workout and place these on the sand. Doing these exercises high on the beach, where the sand is deep, is a tough yet rewarding exercise. Your calves, thighs, glutes, and lungs will be burning after a few agility sprints!
Reviews for this product are almost perfect. Customers like the quality and price. They also appreciate the training ideas that are included. If you need more clarification for the type of workout you’ll get with the ladder, check out the video below (dude is quick):
No. 2 AmazonBasics Medicine Ball (Multiple sizes)
Medicine balls never go out of style. There’s something about lifting a heavy object and carrying it or throwing it that makes people feel satisfied.
This AmazonBasics Med Ball has hardcover so you don’t have to worry about sand getting inside the ball, plus it’s easy to brush or rinse off after a workout. This medicine ball comes in multiple sizes and weight so pick one that suits you best.
- Rubber construction (will bounce)
- Multiple sizes 4-20 lbs
- For core, balance, and coordination
- Textured to provide good drip
Using a med ball on the beach is fun and easy. Because the sand is soft you don’t have to worrying about damaging the ball or floor.
Do side throws to work your core, or combine the throws with squats for a full body workout. Russian twists while holding the medicine ball are my favorite to develop the obliques.
If you have kids a medicine ball are a great workout too. The can play games with the heavy ball and they won’t realize it’s a workout because they are having fun.
No. 3 Sand Socks for Beach Workouts (running, soccer, volleyball)
Ever heard of sand socks? I hadn’t until I began watching beach volleyball.
She mentioned they were great for hot days on the sand and I looked into them. Sand socks not only work great for volleyball players but also soccer and people who want to workout on the beach without “hot feet”.
- Multiple colors (camo, blue, black, green etc.)
- 3mm thick
- Stretch fabric
- Lightweight cool
If you’ve ever done a long beach workout or run, you might have developed blisters on your feet from the sand. Sand socks are a way to protect your foot during long runs or workouts.
Getting them wet is no problem and since they are thin, it still feels like you’re wearing nothing. Sand socks work great for snorkeling too! Be careful, if you wear these often at the beach you might be a sand sock tan!
Related: Best Beach Coolers and Ice Chests
No. 4 WODFitters Pull Up Assist, Stretch, Resistance, Mobility, and Powerlifting Bands
I began using strength training bands while at university. In athletic training rooms you’ll often see thin resistance bands that are used for sports rehabilitation…don’t be confused these are not thin resistance bands.
The WODFitters bands are thick, heavy duty bands made for strength and used outside or in gyms. The band can be used in various ways;
- Hooked on pull-up bars to assist with pull-ups
- Used for deep stretching
- They can be used for push-ups (around hands and back), making them more difficult
- Attached to poles for core work (twists), and standing shoulder/chest press, and rows
- Wrapped around feet and shoulders for more resistance during squats
- Super strong slingshot (joking)
These bands are great and because they stretch, they are easier on my joints that regular weights. I’ve used these for a long time.
If you go to any collegiate track field, you’ll likely see track athletes using these as part of a dynamic mobility workout or to strengthen and stretch hip flexors.
No. 5 Atoll Inflatable Paddle Board (11 feet) with Package
Atoll Board Company is based in Huntington Beach, California. They create high-quality inflatable paddle boards for the everyday workout or weekend warrior.
The lightweight product (19 lbs.) no doubt improves paddling efficiency and performance, not to mention makes it easier for traveling. While it is lighter than some boards, the 11′ feet board is long enough to carry dudes over 200 lbs.
If you’ve ever use a paddle board you know it’s a great workout. After your work on the sand, jump on this board and paddle for a mile.
You’ll be exhausted and your shoulders, back, obliques, and abdominals will be sore for days (or until your body gets use to it).
The added benefit of a paddle board is the balance and coordination required. Paddle boards are a great athletic skill to learn + a solid beach workout. Athletes all over the world make paddle boarding part of their workouts.
- 11 feet x 32 inches x 6 inches
- Ultralight (PVC)
- Hand Pump and Leash
- 3 Piece Paddle and fin (nylon)
- Repair kit
- Waist strap
- D-rings on the top for tie downs
- 2 year warranty and good customer service
Atoll is our favorite inflatable stand up board for the extras it provides and for the happy customers. I recommend this 11 foot board for beginners and intermediates who use occasionally for recreation or for an open water workout. It’s a great gift idea.
These are a few ideas that I’ve utilized to have a great beach workout. In particular, using the sand socks helped me immensely because my feet were getting torn up on the beach, especially on hot summer days when the sand was at its hottest.
Remember, it’s a good idea to mix up your workouts from long distance paddle boarding to short, intense sprints and jumps. Functional training works great and it’s reemerging as a better workout for your body and mind.
Functional training involves complex movements you can’t get on an isolation machine at a gym. It involves balance, twists, bends, and footwork. If you don’t believe me, just look at the Cross-fit or yoga phenomena that uses movement and whole body workouts.
Lastly, think about cost and simply your life, reduce your payments. If you add up the costs or a monthly gym membership, or buying a few of these items as a 1x purchase, the 1x time purchase will be a much better financial decision over time. Plus you’ll get the added benefit of fresh air outside of the sweaty gym. I hope this helped…have a great workout!