Why You Should Bring Your Fall Workouts to the Beach

We've got the perfect 30-minute circuit, courtesy of Chris Hemsworth's trainer

Updated October 20, 2023 11:29 am
A man doing lunges in the sand while shadow-boxing.
Beach workouts are better sans summer crowds. Plus, you can cold plunge when you're done.
Jakayla Toney

If you worked out at the beach this summer, you probably owe a few hundred people an apology. They sat in traffic for hours just to sit on the sand for two, and your sweaty lunges blocked their view of the horizon.

And yet — we don’t blame you. The beach is an incomparable arena for exercise, and anyone who’s out there bettering themselves deserves a pat on the back. We just recommend delaying your beach workouts a couple months later in the year.

Fall beach workouts might sound unorthodox, but they make a ton of sense. The beach is finally empty, so you basically have the whole place to yourself (the ride in should be easier, too), and the weather is a little cooler but not too cold yet. The water will likely be chilly regardless, but we do love a cold plunge.

In order to put together a reliable beach circuit, we reached out to Luke Zocchi, Chris Hemsworth’s long-time personal trainer and author of The A-List Diet and Fitness Plan. Zocchi famously puts Thor through intentionally random workouts (see for yourself here), and is a big proponent of training in different environments in order to shock the body and keep things fresh.

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Beach Workouts, Explained

For a beach workout, Zocchi recommends ditching the shoes. Sand feels great between the toes and a barefoot routine encourages mind-muscle connection.

Plus, training on the sand creates more resistance, which will make each motion more challenging (Apollo Creed was onto something) and the soft surface will also offer a low impact workout. For aging guys looking for a dose of fun, functional fitness, this is a no-brainer.

Zocchi is the king of circuits (remember this barbell workout?) so we asked him to devise a five-move, 30-minute workout that you can crank at your local shoreline. He took inspiration from a fellow trainer featured on the Centr fitness app, Da Rulk, the Creator of Raw Functional Training, who trains first responders and special forces personnel.

These moves take some getting used to — just wait until you try the Sit Thrus — but if you perform them correctly, you’re going to be absolutely gassed by the end of the circuit. Then…and only then, may you jump in the ocean.

The Workout: Five moves, 10 reps for each, rest for 30 seconds to a minute in between each move, perform the entire circuit six times. No equipment necessary. Find Zocchi’s descriptions below.

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Bear Crawls

“From a squatting position, with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, place both hands on the ground so your body forms a kind of table; you’re resting on your toes, your knees are hovering above the ground, and your back should be flat enough to hold a glass of water. From this position, crawl forward on your hands and toes, with your toes and knees kicking out a little wider than your hands to generate speed. Then, with your rear high in the air, push backwards on hands and toes. And repeat. Complete 10 reps.”

Side Gorillas

“From a squatting position, rotate your hips as you put your left hand on the floor in front of your right leg, with your right hand following along beside it. With your weight on your arms, jump both feet to the right so your body is in line again in the squatting position. Repeat to the left by starting with your right arm. Complete 10 reps.”

Walking Lunges

“Standing straight with hands on hips, step your right leg forward and drop the knee toward the ground into a lunge. Keep your core switched on and your torso upright as you push back to the starting point. Continue and repeat with your left leg walking in a straight line. Complete 10 reps.”

Sit Thrus

“Put yourself into a tight crawl position, hips in line with your knees. Keeping your hands on the floor and your shoulders square, drive your left knee towards your right wrist, then your right knee towards your left wrist, your little toe sliding across the floor. Once you get the hang of the sit thru motion, you can increase the difficulty by lifting the opposing hand off the ground to clear the way for your leg as it slides across your body; picture your left knee driving towards your right hand as you lift it up and out. Complete 10 reps. I should mention — this is hardest movement of anything here. But keep at it, and your body will get faster and stronger the more you do them!”

Jumping Squats

Set up for a squat with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest proud and your core switched on. With your weight in your heels, sit your bum back and down into a squat and when your quads reach parallel to the ground, spring up out of the squat into a jump. Then lower yourself back into the squatting position. Complete 10 reps.”

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