Health

HIIT the Beach with these fat burning workouts

High intensity interval training (HIIT) means different things to different people. For some, it's about sprinting on a track or trampling off on a rowing machine. For others, HIIT means fighting your way through a CrossFit-style workout that includes burpees, pull-ups, and box jumps. Others consider HIIT to be a strenuous outdoor workout that simulates the challenges of an obstacle course. There is no right or wrong answer, but during the summer your HIIT sessions should be beach workouts (if you live by the water).

HIIT is less about the content of the workout than about the log. It's the opposite of a long, relaxed jog or familiar strength training or yoga flow. The term high-intensity interval training could be viewed as superfluous, as the alternating work-rest nature of interval training is inherently high in intensity. But many people in our short attention span culture have difficulty maintaining any kind of intensity while exercising, preferring to listen to podcasts, or worse, checking social media and emails while “exercising”.

For this reason, it's a good idea to get away from it all and exercise on the beach, leaving your cell phone and music in a gym bag. Not only are outdoor workouts a welcome break from the gym, but the sand and surf also offer more opportunity and intensity.

Before that, you might have done 60 minutes of steady-state cardio without feeling much of an effect. Now you may feel exhausted after 30 minutes of HIIT training. You get double the benefits in half the time. Here are five HIIT beach workouts that you can try right now.

HIIT the Beach with these fat burning workouts

Training session # 1

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 meters: Run 200 yards, then 200 yards back with 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent the following rounds.
  2. Pushups x 15
  3. Climber x 20
  4. Barefoot run x 400 meters
  5. Squat Jumps x 10: Start in an athletic posture and crouch slightly as if you were sitting in a chair. Jump straight up as you extend your arms upward. After landing, bring your arms back to the side. Land gently with your knees and feet pointing straight ahead. Repeat in a controlled manner without jumping. Beach workouts have the added benefit of making familiar exercises much more difficult (thanks to the sand).
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, submerge and run out again.

Training session # 2

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 meters: Run 200 yards, then 200 yards back with 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent the following rounds.
  2. Push-ups to the dip ladder: Find a bench and alternate between push-ups and in-hand dips. Do 10 repetitions each, then 8, 6, 4 and 2)
  3. Box jumps: Stand in front of a park bench. Crouch slightly, as if preparing to sit down. As you swing your arms, jump and land on the bench, keeping your toes straight and your knees directly over your toes. Step down and repeat for a set of 10.
  4. Barefoot run x 400 meters
  5. Burpees x 10
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, submerge and run out again.

Workout # 3

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 meters: Run 200 yards, then 200 yards back with 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent the following rounds.
  2. 5-10-5 drills: Position three cones or objects in a line at a distance of 5 meters. Start at the middle cone. Walk five meters to the right and touch the ground on the cone. Then run 10 meters to the left, touch the ground, and then sprint back to the starting point. Repeat twice with 30 seconds rest between sets.
  3. Put up: Lie on your back and raise your right hand in the air. Stand and use your left hand (at most). If you have sufficient core strength, stand up without using your arms. Do 5 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
  4. Barefoot run x 400 meters
  5. V-ups x 60 seconds: Start on your back with your hands outstretched. Lift your legs up and grind at the same time so that your body forms a "V" shape.
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, submerge and run out again.

Workout # 4

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 meters: Run 200 yards, then 200 yards back with 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent the following rounds.
  2. Farmer's Carry x 40 Yards: Find two items of similar size and weight (beach chairs, beach bags, etc.). Hold one in each hand, then walk out 20 meters and back 20 meters.
  3. Butt Kicks x 10: From an athletic posture, crouch slightly as if you were sitting in a chair. Jump and bring your heels to the glutes. Do not arch your lower back. Land gently in an athletic stance and repeat.
  4. Barefoot run x 400 meters
  5. Diamond pushups x 10: Touch your index finger and thumb together to form a diamond, then do push-ups.
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, submerge and run out again.

Workout # 5 (for swimmers)

Directions: Repeat the following exercises until you have reached a total of 30 minutes for the workout.

  1. Swimming x 200 meters: Freestyle along the bank (100 meters outside, 100 meters back), then run out of the water like a triathlon transition.
  2. Three hurdles drill x 60 seconds: Place three items – sticks, stones, etc. – two to three feet apart. Stand parallel to the first object and spread it apart. Walk sideways over the obstacles, step over them and never cross your feet. Only the outer foot goes beyond the outer obstacles.
  3. Burpees x 10
  4. Swimming x 200 meters: Freestyle along the bank (100 meters outside, 100 meters back), then run out of the water like a triathlon transition.
  5. Middle blocker: Squats until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then explode. Remember to straighten your ankles, knees, and hips in a straight line, then land on the floor in an athletic stance. The difference from a squat jump is that you hold your hands up as if you were blocking a volleyball on the net. If there is a real net put up on the beach, use it.

Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.

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