In honor of sunny days and warmer temperatures, now’s the perfect time to say so long to the weight room and take things outside. And why not head straight to the shore to work on your beach body? Apart from the beautiful views and mood boost from spending time in the sun, your muscles will have an extra challenge stabilizing you in the sand.
“Working out in the sand adds a ton of resistance to any exercise you’re doing,” says Daily Burn trainer Anja Garcia, who loves getting her sweat on outside when she goes on vacation. And HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a natural choice for outdoor workouts because you can condition the whole body, without any equipment. This popular training method challenges your aerobic and anaerobic systems, meaning you’ll improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength at the same time. Plus, your muscles will work overtime blasting more calories than they would with just steady state cardio alone (also known as the afterburn effect).
RELATED: Design Your Own HIIT Workout with This Perfect Formula
3 Summer HIIT Workouts for the Sand
Ready to soak up some rays and feel the right kind of burn? Try these three HIIT workouts designed by Garcia with the surf and sand in mind. They’re short, sweet and sure to leave you sweating. Now go on and HIIT the beach!
HIIT Workout: 10-Minute Tone Up
Ten minutes is all you need for a killer burn. Set up two towels 20 yards from one another and then HIIT it! Warm up with 30 seconds of skips and 30 seconds of walking lunges. Then, complete three rounds of the exercises below with 30 seconds of rest between each round.
Single-leg bounding: Drive the right knee up and leap off the left leg, pretending you are gliding through the air. Repeat on the other side. Try to get as high as possible.
Plank drag: Set up towels 20 yards apart. Start in a plank position with one towel under your toes. Drag your toes towards your hands by engaging your core, then walk your hands out again so you’re closer to the far towel.
Side shuffle: Shuffle laterally from one towel to the other, facing the same way as you go there and back.
Inchworm push-ups: Hinge at the waist, bend down and walk your hands away from your feet so you’re in a plank position. Do one push-up, walk your feet towards your hands and repeat.
Long jumps: Bend your knees and jump as far as you can toward the other towel! Keep jumping for the whole 30 seconds.
RELATED: 3 Plyometric Planks You Need to Try ASAP
HIIT Workout: Tabata Bang
Get off your towel and try some Tabata! Complete 10 alternating lunges, 10 squats and a 30-second plank hold to get warmed up. Then, alternate 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for each exercise in the circuit. Complete eight rounds.
Surfer get-ups: Start on the ground in a low plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your belly touching the sand. Push up from the ground and jump into a squatting position with the right leg in front of the left, as if you’re balancing on a surf board. Remember to squeeze your glutes and engage the core. Return to the original plank position and repeat with your left leg in front of the right for the surf stance.
Lateral plank: Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Take two steps to the right while maintaining a plank, and perform a push-up. Repeat the process by moving back to the left. Perform another push-up and repeat.
Lunge jumps: With the right leg in front of the left, get into a lunge position so your knees are both at 90-degree angles. Use your core and quads to ump straight up, switching your legs in mid-air. Land with your left leg forward, then repeat.
Twisting mountain climbers: In a plank position, bring one knee to the opposite elbow. Quickly switch legs and twist the opposite knee to opposite elbow. Try to have your knee touch your elbow for every rep.
RELATED: 7 Easy Ways to Get Fit in Half the Time
HIIT Workout: Perfect 10 Beach Circuit
Get strong and lean with this workout that will challenge your whole body. Use your abdominals to stabilize your core during the lunges and jump squats, and give it all you’ve got with the sprints at the end of each circuit. Complete three rounds total with 30 seconds of rest between rounds.
Lateral lunges: Step right leg out into a lateral lunge with the left leg straight. As you stand up, drag the left leg back to standing while using the sand as resistance. Repeat movement on the other side.
180-degree jump squats: Squat and touch the ground, jump 180-degrees clockwise and touch the ground again. Repeat by jumping 180-degrees counter-clockwise. Two jumps equals one rep.
Down dog push-ups: Start in a down dog position. Walk your hands out to a full plank, perform a push-up and then walk your hands back to down dog.
Shuttle sprints: Place two towels about 20 yards apart, and using them as markers, start at one and sprint to the other. That’s one! Keep your speed up, sprinting back and forth five times (10 lengths total).
Can’t get enough HIIT? Check out our Power Cardio program — it’s all about blending strength and cardio.
Originally posted June 2015. Updated July 2017.