When training in the sand your body is required to work harder in a multitude of ways in order to counterbalance the unstable surface. This instability puts a higher demand on your leg muscles resulting in improved running speed, vertical jump, pedal agility and quickness; skills which are used on a consistent basis when living an active lifestyle. The most noticeable challenges are when you run, walk or jump while standing in sand. The leg muscles will become stronger, in comparison to training on a solid surface, while they are put through a larger range of motion.
If you prefer to wear shoes while you train don’t fret, research shows training in shoes or bare feet in the sand results in the same physiological adaptations. A huge benefit of this type of training is the lowerlevels of impact on your joints. Sand is highly compressible and forms to your foot on impact therefore cushioning your foot rather than applying force up your leg which overtime can cause injury. Studies have also shown that training in the sand produces lower levels of muscle soreness. If you find that after a hardcore training session your soreness levels persist for a few days, maybe beach training is your solution. Instead of doing your cardio in the gym or running along a path in the park, make your way to your local beach and start jogging along the shoreline! What more could you ask for in a workout?
Cardio routines are not your only option for a day at the beach. If you have a few light dumbbells sitting in your closet or even a yoga matt pull them out. If your current routine includes designs such as high-intensity interval, circuit or anything related you can do your exact routine but on the sand. Now I don’t mean to say you should do this every day but use this for a challenge day within your current routine to prevent plateau.
Be safe and happy training!
Written by Ashly Hill
Image: Fit Studio