Fitness / Strength Training

Effective Resistance Workouts to Do On the Beach

Easy to follow moves that you can take from the gym to the beach.

Failing to stick to your workout routine in warmer weather is a common complaint, either due to lack of time, resources, interest—or all three. So how does one stay committed without feeling like they are missing out on all the vacation fun? Utilizing effective ways to workout right on the beach either from the Aaptiv app or mimicking what you may do in the gym is a great way to start!

The sand provides resistance that often makes your muscles work harder than they might on pavement or other solid surface. “Training in the sand provides a softer surface than what most people are accustomed to working out on, so stabilizing the body, especially with lower body exercise, becomes more challenging and actually trains more muscle than standard surfaces,” says Jeff Bell Master Trainer and Co-founder of Belleon Body NYC.

Below Bell of Belleon Body NYC  offers insider tips on how to feel strong and in shape while enjoying summer fun. Use his sample workouts below to get a full body workout from start to finish right on the sand. With a few fitness tools and the resistance of the sand, you will definitely feel as challenged as you would in your regular gym.

Beach Workout One

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate

Equipment needed: resistance band, tube resistance bands, towel, and volleyball.


Jumping jacks for 1 minute

  1. Stand straight, arms down by your sides with legs together.
  2. Hop with legs apart and reach your arms straight up over your head.
  3. Hop and bring legs back to together. This raises your heart rate and prepares the body for exercise.

Side lunge for 30 seconds

  1. Stand feet together, step your right leg to the right and bend your right knee.
  2.  Then return to center and on repeat other side. This works your inner thighs.

Volleyball front lunge with rotation for 1 minute

  1.  Stand with feet together, volleyball in both hands.
  2. Lunge your right leg forward while bending your knees to a 90 degree right angle.
  3. Rotate arms across your torso and tap your right hip with the volleyball.
  4. Step back to the start position and repeat lunge rotation on left side.
  5. Repeat for about 20 reps. This works your core and thigh muscles.

The Workout:

Glute Bridge

Body parts worked: Buttocks, arms and shoulders. 

  1. Loop a short band around your knees and lie on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and keep them 8 inches apart with feet together.
  3. Squeeze buttock muscles and elevate your hips off the ground.
  4. Simultaneously hold a towel just over your chest with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  5. Press the towel straight up and attempt to pull the towel apart with arms straight.
  6. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return hips and arms to beginning.
  7. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

Squeeze Crab Push-Up

Body parts worked: Chest, triceps and inner thighs. 

  1. From a kneeling push up position, place a volley ball or rubber playground ball between your knees.
  2. Squeeze the ball with your inner thighs.
  3. Tighten core muscles.
  4. Place hands shoulder width apart keep your arms straight.
  5. Bend arms and lower chest to the ground, then return to start.
  6. Perform 10-15 repetitions.

Core Clam Shell

Body parts worked: Glutes and obliques. 

  1. Place a small loop band around both knees.
  2. Lie on your side using your elbow as support, keep your knees bent.
  3. Lift hips off the ground while rotating top knee up and back. This is a clam shell move with core obliques.
  4. Perform 10-15 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.

Resistance Band Tricep/Lat Pulls

Body parts worked: Latissumus and triceps. 

  1. Standing in a forward lunge position, loop a long exercise band around the bottom of your front foot.
  2. Lean slightly forward.
  3. Grasp the band on the sides with both hands and pull the band back with straight arms until hands are behind your hips.
  4. Return to the start.
  5. Perform 10 reps then switch legs.

Squatted Side Steps

Body parts worked: Butt, thighs, hip muscles.

  1. Place a small loop band around both knees.
  2. Sit back into a squat position.
  3. Form the low position and take 10 side steps to the right, then 10 steps to the left.
  4. Rest 30 seconds then repeat.
  5. Keep feet at least 8 inches apart during entire walk.

Please note that Bell says to perform all exercises before repeating any of the moves. He also notes that this entire workout should be done for one to three rounds for 30-45 minutes depending on your fitness level.

He also offers an additional workout that is more challenging and can be a great option to work towards!

Beach Workout Two

Levels: Advanced

Equipment needed: resistance band, one big towel and one small towel, two 12-oz water bottles filled with sand, two gallon-sized water bottles (jugs) filled with sand 

Body parts worked: legs, calves, hips , glutes, chest, shoulders, abs and core, biceps and back muscles.

Warm up:

Jumping jacks 1 minute

  1. These have the same directions as workout #1, except now add the 12-oz weighted sand bottles.


  1. Stand with arms by your sides and proceed to squat.
  2. Place hands by your feet and jump or step both feet back into the top of a push up position.
  3. From the top push up position hop both feet back and next to your hands. Then stand straight up, adding a jump at the end.
  4. Repeat for 1 minute.
  5. These target your entire body and elevate your heart rate.

The Workout:

Side-Tap Push Up

Body parts worked: Chest, triceps, core and outer hips. 

  1. Loop a short band around your knees.
  2. Assume a push-up position.
  3. Perform 4 push-ups then tap each leg out to the side 4 times.
  4. Repeat and do 4 more-push ups and 4 more side taps.
  5. Repeat one more set for a total of 12 push-ups.

Sand Jug Lunge Chop

Body parts worked: Torso, shoulders, and core rotations. 

  1. Holding a gallon sand jug in both hands, perform a static lunge with the right leg forward.
  2. Holding the jug next to your left hip, rotate it with your arms and torso over your right shoulder keeping legs in a low lunge position.
  3. Perform 12 repetitions then change leg positions and repeat for 12 more reps.

Butt and Groin Shoulder Press

Body parts worked: Shoulders, inner thighs and glutes. 

  1. Holding 12 oz sand bottles in each hand by your sides, lunge your right leg to the right while bending the knee and touching both bottles in front of the right foot.
  2. Keep your left leg straight.
  3. Return to original position then press both bottles to overhead.
  4. Repeat movement to the left side.
  5. Do this exercise for 20 repetitions.

The Ab Kayak

Body parts worked: Abdominals 

  1. Hold a gallon sand jug in both hands with arms slightly bent.
  2. Lay on the large beach towel and lean back 30-40 degrees, with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Tighten core muscles and rotate jug from left hip to right hip, and repeat the motion for 30 repetitions.
  4. For a more advanced version, lift your legs about 10 inches off the ground and hold them up throughout the exercise.

Prone Towel Press

Body parts worked: Shoulders, core, lower back. 

  1. Take a small towel and hold it in both hands while lying on your stomach.
  2. Keeping legs straight and on the ground, tighten your core muscles and lift the torso a few inches off the ground while at the same time lifting bent arms just in front of your face.
  3. Next press the arms forward until straight as in a Superman/woman position. Hold for a second or two.
  4. Maintain body control throughout and off the ground as you perform 8-10 repetitions. If done properly, this exercise is much harder than it sounds.

Long Jumps In The Sand

Body parts worked: Legs, shoulders, lats. 

  1. Holding 12 oz sand bottles in each hand, squat down and explosively jump upward and forward. Your goal is to jump as far as possible.
  2. Perform 8 reps for maximal force production. This is fantastic for charging up type two muscle fibers for an extra fat burning and muscle building effect.

Loop Band Goblet Squat

Body parts worked: Hips, thighs, triceps and shoulders.

  1. You’ll need the gallon jug filled with sand.
  2. Place small band loop around both knees and hold the jug in both hands. Perform a low squat.
  3. Return to upright position and perform a shoulder press.
  4. Return to start and repeat for 15 reps.
  5. If you’re looking for a more advanced option, you can place a gallon jug in each hand, holding them by the handles, for extra weight.

Sand Jug Bicep Curls

Body parts worked: Biceps

  1. Holding the gallon jugs by the handles in each hand, perform bicep curls.
  2. Control the jugs by keeping your elbows by your sides.
  3. If the jugs are too heavy, perform the curls with the 12 oz sand bottles.
  4. Work until your muscles are fatigued.

Walking Lunges with Gallon Jugs

Body parts worked: Legs, hips, calves, shoulders and grip strength. 

  1. Holding the gallon jugs in each hand, step forward with the right leg. Be careful not to extend the knee beyond the toes.
  2. Come up, then repeat, stepping the left leg forward.
  3. Perform 30 repetitions.
  4. As a variation, hold the gallon jugs on your shoulders or overhead for even more of a challenge. You can always reduce the challenge by going lighter with the sand bottles or with no weight at all.

Jeff suggests performing all the exercises before repeating any of the moves again. You can perform up to three rounds for a total of 30-45 minutes depending on your fitness level.

Fitness Strength Training


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