With the official start of summer underway, we’ll be logging countless hours by the pool and on the beach. While there is nothing better than relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun, it can be a bit intimidating to parade around in public in our bathing suits – especially while we are still working on building our tan. We have compiled a collection of on-the-beach exercises to help you tone and define your muscles so you’ll have the confidence to strut your stuff this summer.

Working out in the sand provides extra resistance to any exercise you do and gives your muscles an extra challenge in stabilizing you. In addition to the extra physical challenge, you’ll also get a mood boost from the additional Vitamin D you’re soaking up. And what better way to get your body beach ready than on the beach?

Just like before any workout, take the time to properly hydrate, warm-up, and stretch your muscles. Warming up is important because it increases blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, which increases flexibility, decreases chance of injury, and decreases fatigue.

Sand Jog

Begin your workout with a two-minute jog parallel to the water. If you have weak ankles, run closer to the waterline where the sand is firmer. For an extra challenge, run in the softer sand.

Sand Lunges

Lunge forward with one foot. Keeping your front knee above your ankle, lower to the ground so your back knee brushes the sand. Push up through the front foot, lift your back foot off the ground and use it to step forward into a second lunge. Be sure to keep your stomach tight and hips aligned with your shoulders throughout the exercise. Do six to 12 lunges on each side.

How it works: Because the sand isn’t level, you’ll have to activate the muscles in your entire lower body and core to keep yourself stable.

Beach Crawl

On soft, dry sand, lower into a plank position. Crawl forward on your hands and feet for 30 to 60 seconds while maintaining your plank. Too easy? For an extra challenge, try going sideways and backwards as well.

How it works: Doing this exercise in the sand destabilizes your hands and feet, activating your hamstrings and glutes while working your core muscles.

Incline Push-ups

Do 10-15 push-ups facing away from the water so that you are working at an incline.

Extra tip: Do these push-ups down by the waterline where the sand is firmer so that your wrists have better support.

Surfer Get-Ups

Start 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, in a surfer’s stance. Return to the low plank position and repeat with your left leg in front. Do 10-15 reps on each leg.

How it works: This exercises engages all of your major muscle groups and provides them with an additional stability challenge. Focus on keeping your glutes tight and core engaged throughout the exercise.