Benefits of Sand Workouts
Sand workouts are highly effective and have tremendous positive benefits on body composition and weight loss. Sand alleviates compressive pressure on the joints during walking, running, sprinting and jumping helping reduce injuries and increasing athletic performance. In addition to strengthening your core, lower back, glutes, hips, legs, knees, ankles and feet.
Exercises performed in the soft instability of the sand, absorb and minimize your downward forces, while the upward forces use more energy, more muscle fibers and maximizes stabilizer muscle recruitment resulting in major glute development and burns more body fat than exercises performed on hard non-sand surfaces. A 1998 study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that running in the sand required 1.6 times more energy than running on hard surfaces. Even more impressive was the fact that the researchers found that walking in the sand required 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy than walking on hard surfaces. (http://jeb.biologists.org/content/201/13/2071.full.pdf+html)
Sand workouts are excellent for developing strength, power, speed, agility, endurance, coordination and improving overall balance through a number of exercises such as farmer/ sand bag walks, tire flips, power sled pushing/ pulling, forward/ reverse lunges, distance/ hurdle/ lateral/ squat jumps, plyometric box jumps/ step ups, sprints, back pedals, side shuffles, hurdle, cone and agility ladder footwork drills and many more.
Sand workouts restore "Quad Dominant Legs" caused by imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings. This issue can be corrected by doing certain exercises using proper strict form which recruits greater activation of the hamstring and glute muscles.
Numerous Orthopedic Doctors and Physical Therapists recommend sand training for their clients toward the later stages of physical therapy.
NFL, soccer, volleyball, track and field, boxing, mixed martial arts and wrestling coaches including Division I (NCAA) programs utilize training in the sand as a method for increasing athletic ability while minimizing the risk of injury.
A CBS Health Watch television report examined the benefits of “sandpit” training when training for body composition. (http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/04/30/health-watch-sand-pit-workout/)
“My legs are tighter, my butts a little higher,” said Diana Short, a 39-year-old who got her figure back with the sand pit workout. She was a size 16 after her third child, but is now a two. “I haven’t had a better workout,” said Diana.
“I feel less pain,” said Karen Columbus, who does the workout. The 42-year-old used to have knee problems, not anymore. And she says the sand pit workouts, have made it easier for her to keep her weight down.
The National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) has stated the following:
”When toned, glutes are engines that burn calories for fuel and have the greatest potential for weight management turning our bodies into fat-burning machines. Strong glutes improve your posture, relieve pressure on the lower back, stabilize hips, play a major role in keeping the knees healthy making our bodies less prone to injury and pain ensuring maximal muscle efficiency.”