As personal trainers, the most common fitness goal we hear is, “I want my beach body ready for my summer vacation.” For those of you who work your tails off to enjoy a nice vacation away, there is no place quite like a beach to relax, unwind and to catch up on much needed sleep. It helps us get away and recharge from our daily stress. However, with that comes irregular workout schedule, decreased activity levels, more food and, of course, booze. But that is okay because we all know that life is about balance.
Getting out for a vacation workout can sometimes be a challenge. We often find ourselves procrastinating around it, finding excuses to do other things, or just putting it off until “later”. If this sounds like you, then you know exactly what we are talking about. To help get over these self-imposed stumbling blocks we have put into place simple body weight exercises that have helped us achieve successful workouts on our vacations. We call them our “Killer B’s”. These exercises have worked for us, and maybe they will work for you to help keep you feeling lean, strong and beach body ready even after you return from your summer vacation!
1) Breakfast Jog
Rare is the day that you go to the beach and do nothing. With activities like swimming, building sand castles or playing beach volleyball you are often working up more of a sweat than you think. However, for some that is simply not enough. One of the best forms of exercise you can do at the beach is to go for a 15 to 30-minute jog the moment you wake up. Yes even before breakfast! Scheduling this into your day results in a higher rate of follow through than saying that you will do it “later”. Additionally, a morning jog during can be one of the most scenic moments of your entire vacation. Wake up, hit the beach and start your day with a breakfast jog!
2) Body-Weight Squat
The body-weight squat is one of the best exercises you can perform to strengthen and tone your butt, quads, hips and, core to maintain your beach body. Keep your chest upright, drop your hips down while bracing your core, sit in your imaginary chair and stand back up. Performing this exercise while your feet are submerged in the sand makes it extra satisfying! Did you know that your feet have between 3000 to 7500 nerve endings? By performing your squats at the beach, sand acts as a natural exfoliant to help keep your feet feeling fresh and soft. If you are looking to challenge yourself, try adding a load to your squat by holding a weight or your 32-ounce piña colada (just kidding).
The burpee is truly a full-body training exercise that is completely functional to keep your beach body. This exercise involves your chest, arms, core, quads, hamstrings and butt. Not only that, performing this exercise can quickly raise your heart rate similarly to cardio. Start by standing up, place your hands into the sand, kick your feet out to form the top of a push up position while touching your chest to the sand, kick your feet back to your standing position and jump! Burpees in the sand can be more beneficial for an individual as it is softer on the joints and requires more mechanical work to execute the exercise. Burpees are about speed, so try performing five sets of 10, 15 or 20 with a minute rest between each set.
4) Beach (Mountain) Climber
The beach climber is typically known as a lower-half exercise; however, by alternating your feet through the sand, this exercise will surely increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular system. Not only that, your core, back, chest and shoulders will feel the burn during this dynamic exercise. Start by submerging your hands and feet into the sand in a push up position. Next, bend one knee and bring it close to your chest while bracing you core. Kick your bent leg back while alternating your opposite leg towards your chest. Try performing 5 sets of 30 seconds to really feel the beach climber burn.
5) Bicycle Crunch
One of our favourite core exercises here at F.R.E.E. Fitness is the bicycle crunch. Not only is this a great core exercise, it also involves many larger muscles such as your quads, hamstrings, hips and lats. Start by laying on your back, bracing your neck with both your hands. Lift your shoulders and feet off the ground at the same time by engaging your core. Next, bring your right elbow towards your left knee until they meet. Be sure that you are bracing your core by tucking your rib cage downwards, rather than just moving your elbows. Repeat by performing the same movement on the opposite side. Try 5 sets of 30 bicycle crunches per side!
There you have it! Our five Killer Bs for you to try during your next summer vacation!
By: Tony Nguyen and Jordan Pariseau (Co-Founders of F.R.E.E. Fitness)