HIIT the Beach With These Fat-Burning Workouts

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) means different things to different people. For some, it’s about sprinting on a track or pounding away on a rowing machine. For others, HIIT means battling through a CrossFit-style regimen of burpees, pullups, and box jumps. Still ,others think of HIIT as a grueling outdoor workout simulating the challenges found in an obstacle race. There’s no right or wrong answer, but come summer your HIIT sessions should take the form of beach workouts (if you live by the water).

 

HIIT is less about the content of the workout than the protocol. It’s the opposite of taking a long easy jog or going through the motions of a familiar strength training regimen or yoga flow. The term high-intensity interval training could be considered redundant since the alternating work-rest nature of interval training is inherently high intensity. But many people in our short attention span culture struggle to maintain any sort of intensity when working out, preferring to zone out listening to podcasts or, worse, check social media and email while “training.”

That’s why it’s a good idea to get away from it all and do beach workouts, leaving your phone and music in a gym bag. Not only are outdoor workouts a welcome break from the gym, but the sand and surf also provide more options, heightening the intensity.

Previously you might have done 60 minutes of steady-state cardio without feeling much of an impact. Now you might feel exhausted after 30 minutes of HIIT training. You’ll get twice the benefit in half the time. Here are five HIIT beach workouts to try right now.

HIIT the Beach With These Fat-Burning Workouts

Workout No.1

Directions: Repeat exercises below until you reach 30 minutes total for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 yards: Run 200 yards out, then 200 yards back at 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent in subsequent rounds.
  2. Pushups x 15
  3. Mountain Climbers x 20 
  4. Barefoot Run x 400 yards
  5. Squat Jumps x 10: Start in an athletic stance and squat down slightly, as if sitting in a chair. Jump straight up while extending arms overhead. Bring arms back to sides upon landing. Land softly with knees and feet pointing straight ahead. Repeat in a controlled manner without bouncing. Beach workouts have the added benefit of making familiar exercises much harder (thank the sand).
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, dive under, then run back out.

Workout No.2

Directions: Repeat exercises below until you reach 30 minutes total for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 yards: Run 200 yards out, then 200 yards back at 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent in subsequent rounds.
  2. Pushups to Dips Ladder: Find a bench and alternate between hands-elevated pushups and dips. Do 10 reps of each, then 8, 6, 4, and 2)
  3. Box Jumps: Stand in front of a park bench. Squat slightly, as if preparing to sit. While swinging your arms, jump and land on top of the bench, keeping toes pointed straight and knees directly over toes. Step down and repeat for a set of 10.
  4. Barefoot Run x 400 yards
  5. Burpees x 10
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, dive under, then run back out.

Workout No.3

Directions: Repeat exercises below until you reach 30 minutes total for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 yards: Run 200 yards out, then 200 yards back at 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent in subsequent rounds.
  2. 5-10-5 Drill: Position three cones or objects in a line 5 yards apart. Start at the middle cone. Run five yards to your right and touch the ground by the cone, Then run 10 yards to your left, touching the ground, then sprint back to the starting point. Repeat twice with 30-second rest between sets.
  3. Get-ups: Lie on your back and raise your right hand in the air. Stand, using (at most) your left hand. If you have sufficient core strength, get up without the use of your arms. Do 5 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
  4. Barefoot Run x 400 yards
  5. V-ups x 60 sec.: Begin on your back with hands extended overhead. Lift legs and crunch up at the same time so your body forms the shape of a “V.”  
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, dive under, then run back out.

Workout No.4

Directions: Repeat exercises below until you reach 30 minutes total for the workout.

  1. Barefoot run x 400 yards: Run 200 yards out, then 200 yards back at 60 percent effort the first time, then 80 percent in subsequent rounds.
  2. Farmer’s Carry x 40 yards: Find two objects of similar size and weight (beach chairs, beach bags, etc.). Hold one in each hand, then walk 20 yards out and 20 yards back.
  3. Butt Kicks x 10: From an athletic stance, squat slightly as if sitting in a chair. Jump, bringing heels to glutes. Don’t arch the lower back. Land softly in an athletic stance and repeat.
  4. Barefoot Run x 400 yards
  5. Diamond Pushups x 10: Touch index fingers and thumbs together to create a diamond, then perform pushups.
  6. Sand-Surf-Sand Sprint: Run into the water, dive under, then run back out.

Workout No.5 (for swimmers)

Directions: Repeat exercises below until you reach 30 minutes total for the workout.

  1. Swim x 200 yards: Freestyle along the shore (100 yards out, 100 yards back), then run out of the water as if in a triathlon transition.
  2. Three-Hurdle Drill x 60 sec.: Lay three objects—sticks, rocks, etc.—two to three feet apart from one other. Stand parallel to the first object and straddle it. Run laterally over the obstacles, stepping over them, never crossing your feet. Only the outside foot goes beyond the outside obstacles.
  3. Burpees x 10
  4. Swim x 200 yards: Freestyle along the shore (100 yards out, 100 yards back), then run out of the water as if in a triathlon transition.
  5. Middle Blockers: Squat until your thighs parallel to ground, then explode up. Think in terms of extending your ankles, knees, and hips in a straight line, then landing on the ground in an athletic stance. The difference between this and a squat jump is you keep your hands up as if looking to block a volleyball at the net. If there’s an actual net set 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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