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.