Six reasons you should be training on sand

There’s plenty of discussion this time of year about being beach-ready for summer, and what better way to get ready, than on the beach itself?!

Sand-based training is not a new concept, but is increasingly being used across a number of sports due to a host of benefits that it brings.

1. Get fitter quicker

Pinnington & Dawson have been researching sand-based fitness for years, and in one of their studies found that the energy cost (EC) of exercising on sand is 1.5 times greater aerobic EC and 2.5 times greater anaerobic EC when compared with grass.

To cut the science jargon, you may improve your fitness quicker by training on sand rather than firm surfaces over the same timescale, making it a more cost efficient way to get fit.

2. Injury rehabilitation & prevention

The soft surface of sand helps cushion the impact of limbs and joints on the ground. The simple actions of slowing or stopping creates deceleration forces which the body has to absorb. Due to the shock-absorptive qualities of sand, it helps dissipate this level of stress on the body, allowing for more use of low-impact weight bearing exercise, which is key in injury rehabilitation. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Gareth Bale returning from injury at Real Madrid.

Furthermore, including sand training in your programme adds variety from regular training surfaces, and the lessened impact on body means that the body feels less stress, lowering the risk of overuse injuries.

3. Core strength & muscle-fibre recruitment

Working out on unstable surfaces is proven to help aid core muscle engagement. Training on sand uses more muscle mass, recruits muscle fibres not normally used – many of which are often weaker. Plymetrics, SAQ (speed, agility, quickness) and core stabilisation are all crucial across all sports and sand training is a great way to hit all of those areas.

4. Reduced muscle soreness

You may think that given the higher energy cost (EC) that training on sand brings, that you will feel it more the next day. Well, not quite. A study by Impellizzeri et al on British soccer players found that the level of muscle soreness in those training on sand was far less than on firmer surfaces due to reduced muscle damage.

5. Explosive performance levels

The same study from Impellizzeri et al found that plyometric training on sand actually increased the performance in 10m and 20m sprint times, and increased distance in a standing squat jump. So the cost efficiency of exercising on sand not only saves you training time, hurts less but actually improves your ability even more! It’s a no brainer.

6. It’s fun

Most importantly, training on sand is adaptable, engaging and fun. Not only can you have your workout on a beautiful beach, but most often this comes combined with glorious weather, a cool dip in the ocean (ice baths for recovery, anyone?) and don’t forget the fellow beach bodies too!

For more information or to request a FREE TRIAL of our beach / sand classes, click here.

Get #matchfit with footballbydesign

After an intensive Wednesday morning 121 coaching workout with local PT Ashley B, footballbydesign have teamed up with the experienced trainer to offer a FREE class on Wednesday mornings in HK.

IMG_20180117_104117Alternating between HK Island and Kowloon, #matchfit will offer a window of 1.5 – 3hours of a drop-in session to work on your game, technique, fitness, SAQ, conditioning and strength.

You can check out the first event on Facebook here, so make sure you like and follow the page for future classes and updates.

Get #matchfit with footballbydesign


Football empowerment for girls

Christmas is a time for joy, inclusivity and coming together, and that was demonstrated well in Hong Kong over the festive period as the Asian Football Confederation announced details of a programme dedicated to empowering women through football in the region.

Girls’ and Womens’ football is gaining increasing traction and momentum across the globe, and the aims of the project in HK are to encourage and increase participation levels, whilst highlighting physical health benefits and other career pathways for women to make a living through sport.



Photo Credit: Mar Bocatcat

It’s delivered through a number of stakeholders in Hong Kong, so expect more events coming up, including a seminar on International Women’s Day on March 8. You can read more about the project here.

If you are, or know of a female in your life who is looking to get involved in football or improve their game, please get in touch.

10 Reasons Why You Should Play Football in Hong Kong

The venues

Not many countries can lay claim to having venues either in the midst of skyscrapers one way, and rugged mountains the others. Nowhere else in the world can you find such a high number of quality pitches with breathtaking backdrops.


It’s the law

Well, almost.. Hong Kong law requires there to be access to free sports pitches for each village and town in Hong Kong, which is why there is an abundance of pitches to play at.

The weather

Okay, so Hong Kong can get a bit (very!) humid which makes any waking moment slightly uncomfortable. However, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth! Any climate that allows you to don shorts and t-shirt the entire year round is made to play football. Put those longjohns away and get outside!

Think of the children

One of the great tragedies of modern technology is it distracts kids from being… kids! Signing them up to play football in Hong Kong means they get to experience the great outdoors, make new friends and improve their confidence. Plus you can get a few extra hours each week to spend doing what you want. Whether that’s playing football yourself, enjoying a hard earned drink, or just lying down in a quiet, dark room! 



Playing football is a great way to stay active and improve your fitness. A weekly kickabout with friends or an organised league game has been proven to bring physiological advantages, but also psychological and social ones too.

Seeing more

With endless numbers of pitches in Hong Kong (it’s the law, remember) you can get to see a lot of Hong Kong through just playing soccer. Hidden away amongst the bustle of HK island, dotted about on Kowloon or tucked up in the northern reaches of the New Territories, there’s always somewhere new to see.

The coaches

The standard of coaching in Hong Kong is steadily improving, especially with the influx of English-speaking and increasing number of qualified coaches each year. Most experienced and qualified coaches will know how to improve your game, and where the best place is to begin, so get in touch with your local coach to get started.

The glory

Hong Kong is one of the only countries in the world to offer more than one chance at a trophy in tournaments. With the Cup being the most coveted prize, if you miss out you can still win the Trophy, Shield or Bowl, so you have a 400% increased chance of winning some silverware!


Hong Kong is the travel hub of Asia. The close proximity of so many countries allows you easily hop in and out of exotic and interesting places, competing in tournaments and gaining invaluable travel experiences. If you want to head on tour with your team, check out our friends at CopaHub to see what’s going on in your region.

Making new friends

The turnover of people is very high in HK, and people come and go with the regularity of a HK taxi driver speeding past your flailing signalling arm. As such, playing football, or any team sport, you will meet so many new people and make so many new friends. So get out there and don’t be a loner!

coach education

With our extensive network across football, footballbydesign can offer coaches the opportunity to continue their learning, all over the world. Football is a constantly-evolving game, and it’s important to stay ahead of the competition.

Whether you are looking to get involved in coaching for the first time, or you’re an experienced professional looking to fill a gap in your CV, we can arrange the right course for you.

Visit our Coach Education page to see what courses or education tours are upcoming, or get in touch if you would like to enquire more about the courses we provide.

Football for fun

In a 2014 study conducted at George Washington University, young athletes were asked why they played sport. The overwhelming response (90%) was for fun!

Of course fun is subjective, but typical responses for their interpretation of fun included trying their best and being treated respectfully by coaches and teammates.

Here at footballbydesign we understand the need to ensure that the environment children learn in is fun, as well as being challenging and engaging. If fun is their primary motivation behind playing sport, you can be sure that if that stops, so will their participation, irrespective of their ability.

All of our sessions are designed to ensure each participant is intrinsically rewarded by maintaining an element of fun, so check out our sessions to see which one will suit your child.


Starting the football journey…

It doesn’t take an extensive Google search to find studies which show a positive relationship between young children playing sport and the benefits it provides now and in later life. Sport provides a platform for people to thrive physically, mentally and socially, and the younger the person, the sooner these benefits can be reaped.

Whether it’s developing motor skills with basic hand-eye or hand-foot coordination, mixing, mingling and making new friends in their team or helping to develop positive self esteem, sport’s beneficial impact should not be underestimated.

footballbydesign are committed to enabling children to learn and develop these important life skills whilst providing a fun and safe environment to do so. Head over to our relevant Football Programmes section to find a suitable class for you and your child.

Hello world!

footballbydesign have landed in Hong Kong, and we are looking to change the way football is delivered to today’s youth. Based in Sai Kung, we provide bespoke football programmes for beginner, intermediate and advanced players – who play for fun, fitness, friends or competition. Whether it be a team, an individual or a group of players looking to improve we can tailor our programmes for every need.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for up to date information on our classes, our whereabouts and latest news.