The Ultimate Beach Workout

Train for performance - look and feel like an athlete

Brent Bishop
Photo: John Li

If you WANT to ramp up your workout intensity, grab a suspension trainer and just add sand! Whether you have booked a sun destination vacation or you want to get outside this summer to take advantage of the beach weather without jeopardizing your workout —this is your 20-minute kick-ass beach routine to get the job done.

One of the most versatile exercise tools to travel with is a suspension trainer; weighing less than two pounds, it goes anywhere and ensures you stay on track. This beach workout will challenge the joint stabilizers of the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles as they’re forced to react to an unstable and unpredictable surface.

Training in sand will fatigue your muscles quicker and your cardiovascular system will need to keep up with the elevated oxygen demand. The result — you become a stronger, faster, leaner and more agile athlete.

Complete this sequence without rest in between each exercise. Take two minutes rest only after completing all six exercises, then repeat entire sequence. Use your watch to time how long it takes you to get through the first set then try to beat that time (without sacrificing form) on your second set.

Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Find a marker on the beach, like a tree, beach chair etc.
  • Jog with high knees for approximately 15 metres away from your marker.
  • Complete deep walking lunges 10 steps/side, back, towards your marker.
  • Straight leg walking kicks 10/side back towards marker.
  • Low side shuffle 10 strides away from marker and 10 strides back.
  • Repeat twice.


Use a tree trunk or a fence to attach the suspension trainer 7-8 feet from the ground. Adjust length of the suspension trainer so it hangs 18 inches from the ground. All exercises should be completed so the last couple of reps are challenging, but attainable without sacrificing form.

1. Body Row

Upper back & postural muscles

  • Hold handles with arms straight and feet firmly planted into the sand.
  • Keep core tight and all joints in a straight line.
  • Begin by squeezing your shoulder blades together while pushing chest out.
  • Pull your body between handles and return to starting position.
  • Complete 15-20 reps.

TIP: to increase difficulty increase length of suspension trainer and/or walk your feet closer to anchor.

2. Suspended Push-up Pike

Chest, triceps, shoulders & core

  • Place feet through the straps of the suspension trainer and position hands on the ground.
  • In suspended position, keep your core tight and lower into a deep push-up.
  • Forcefully return to starting position while hinging from waist and raising hips up.
  • Try to elevate your hips directly above the shoulders.
  • Return back to straight position and drop immediately back into push-up.
  • Complete 15-20 reps.

TIP: To increase difficulty perform plyo push-ups where your hands leave the ground and then absorb the landing of each push-up.

3. Depth Jumps

Quads, hamstrings & glutes

  • Begin in a partial squat position, swing arms back then forward while simultaneously jumping.
  • Land through the mid-foot while immediately absorbing your landing in a squat.
  • Repeat immediately for 10 jumps away from your suspension trainer, then 10 jumps back.

TIP: Try to cover as much distance as possible with each jump.

4. Trunk Power Twist

Abdominal wall, obliques & low back

  • Hold both handles, or place handles in a locked singular position.
  • In a staggered stance, stand laterally to tree with the leg closest to the tree backward and the other leg forward.
  • With arms and body straight and posture intact, face the tree while keeping legs in lateral position.
  • Tighten torso, exhale and forcefully twist away from the tree so that you are now lateral to the tree.
  • Complete 12-15 reps on both sides.

TIP: Keeping elbows straight and moving feet closer to anchor will increase difficulty.

5. Single Leg Kamikaze Lunge

Entire leg, core, chest, triceps & shoulders

  • Place one foot in both straps (or place handles in a locked singular position.)
  • Get into position with back leg suspended and front leg forward.
  • Keep upper body posture tall and hips facing straight ahead.
  • Lower your body into lunge position attaining lower than 90 degrees.
  • Forcefully drive through front heel, jump into the air.
  • Absorb landing on front foot (mid-foot) back into deep lunge position.
  • Place hands on the ground, kick lunging leg back beside suspended leg.
  • Do a deep push-up then return back to starting position.
  • Complete 12-15 reps on both sides.

TIP: Switch to plyo push-ups to increase difficulty.

6. Bail-out Plank

Obliques, abdominal wall, back & shoulders

  • With feet suspended in straps have top leg forward and bottom leg backward.
  • Position yourself in a side plank with forearm on the ground (keep shoulder directly above elbow) and opposite arm extended in the air.
  • Keeping hips as high as possible and core tight, reach top arm under body, allowing your body to rotate without changing leg position.
  • Reaching as far as possible, scoop a handful of sand and forcefully pull it forward, then return to original position.
  • Complete 12-15 reps, digging out sand with each rep.
  • Fill the groove back in with sand and repeat sequence on opposite side.

TIP: Do not let hips drop upon rotation.