The Malibu body

Steal the beach-physique secret of the locals: Working out on the sand.

From Point Dume to Zuma, the beaches of Malibu are gathering spots for some of the fittest bodies around—and it's no coincidence. The allure of sea breezes and sunshine (with SPF) aside, left-coast dwellers know that working out at the beach can confer some serious better-body payoffs. In fact, if the last thing you sculpted in the sand was castle-shaped, you’re missing out.

Stephanie Vitorino, group fitness manager at Equinox West LA, recommends mixing up your routine with plyometrics-based sessions by the shore, specifically. “The instability of sand requires more core activation and creates resistance as you pull, push and jump, so your body gets fit fast,” she says. “Since sand is so forgiving on the joints, it really allows you to take your plyometrics training to a higher intensity.”

And you can consider this routine, modeled by group fitness instructor Frank Mentier, a prelude to your session on the water, as Vitorino designed these moves with hydrophilic Malibu-ites in mind: “These dry-land moves are designed to work your body functionally for summer activities like surfing, swimming, and paddle-boarding.”

Do this workout as a circuit, completing all six exercises without rest, then repeat 2 to 3 times with one minute recovery in between each circuit. And then, yes, by all means hit the towel for a well-deserved beach nap.

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  • Pop-Up


    Start in the lowered phase of a triceps push-up, keeping elbows close to body. In one swift motion, pop up into a surfer’s stance, staggering right leg in front of left, keeping a slight bend in the knees, hands up for balance. Do 12 reps; switch legs and repeat. 

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  • Plyo Push-Up

    Plyo Push-Up

    With the widest possible arm stance, start in the lowered phase of a push-up. As you straighten elbows to press body up, bring hands together explosively, pushing sand to form a pile directly beneath your chest, then return hands to start, pushing sand outward. Do 12 reps. 

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  • Single-Leg Bounding

    Single-Leg Bounding

    Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in the knees. Bound forward from one leg to another, mimicking a speed skater, using arms for momentum, covering as much distance as possible in four bounds. Walk back to your starting point and repeat the sequence 10 times. 

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  • Knee Tucks

    Knee Tucks

    Sit with legs together, extended in front of you. Place palms on sand, wrists directly under shoulders, fingers pointed forward. With elbows close to body, contract triceps to press body up two inches above sand, squeezing shoulder blades together and keeping hips under shoulders. Push heels into sand for resistance and tuck knees up to right side. Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. 

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  • 180-Degree Plyo

    180-Degree Plyo

    Build a sand pile that reaches between calf and knee height. Squat down with arms at sides, then use arms for momentum as you hop with both legs over the sand pile, rotating 180 degrees, and land softly in a squat. Explosively repeat to return to starting position. Do 10 reps. 

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  • Sand Superman

    Sand Superman

    Lie facedown atop that same sand pile with torso centered on the peak, feet wider than shoulders and arms outstretched in a Y, palms flat on the sand. Lift torso off pile while reaching arms overhead, squeezing shoulder blades back, head aligned with spine down to heels. Reverse the motion to start for one rep. Do 15 reps. 

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