The Baywatch Body
Hasselhoff your way to a beach physique with our master trainer's circuit for the sand.
Ah, the beach — the place for sun, surf and of course squats and lunges. That’s right. Who needs a quiet respite when you can use your time in the sand to rev up your workout routine? Equinox’s Tilita Lutterloh, Tier 4 Coach and Olympic hopeful (she’s gearing up for the trials in the 400 meters) often trains along the water’s edge and recommends her clients do the same.
“Sand is a great form of functional stability training because you’re using all of your muscle groups — even those small, stabilizing muscles and the muscles in your feet,” she says, “When you start sinking in the sand, you’re going to have to start stabilizing with your feet, then the muscles around your ankles, knees, hips. It goes all the way up the kinetic chain.” That’s why your standard squat, lunge or even pushup (instability in the wrist joint forces abs to engage to steady the core) gets kicked up a few notches in the sand.
If you’re ready for the next level, Lutterloh also sings the praises of plyometrics on the beach. “When your foot sinks into the sand, you’re not getting a lot of force production back like you do on solid ground, so more muscles are going to have to work harder to propel the body up,” she says, “Any time you have to recruit the majority of the muscles in the body to do a job, you’re increasing your oxygen output so you’re going to burn major calories.”
Running too comes with an extra kick in the soft stuff. “There’s a certain rotation that comes with any running, and the job of the abdominals is to resist that rotation,” says Lutterloh, “This rotation is magnified in the sand, so your abdominals have to work overtime to keep the torso steady.” Though nice for extra ab firming at the time, Lutterloh cautions that the body may have a tough time readjusting to jogging on the road or treadmill afterwards. “The body can hold onto that muscle memory it made in the sand and overcompensate, which could lead to injury like a pull, strain, or even tear in the abdominal wall, so transition with care.”
Try this sample session Lutterloh created below. Repeat the 3-set circuit as many times as possible in 15-20 minutes. Rest for 1-2 minutes between in each and 15-30 seconds between each move depending on your fitness level:
Haven't had enough? We've got more sandy sessions.
Photography by Richard Phibbs/trunkarchive.com