6 Beach Workout Moves You Can Do Without Leaving Your Towel (PHOTOS)

beach blanket workout, beach workout, woman pushups beachVacation! Yay! Sun, surf, lying out instead of working out.

Ummm ... no. Unless you want to come home 10 pounds heavier, adding activity to your otherwise lazy time is a good plan (read: multiple pina coladas by the pool will go to your butt if you just sit on it the whole time).

"While you're on vacation, you might be consuming more alcohol and food than you normally do," says New York Sports Club instructor Melissa Morin. "Fitting in a good sweat session keeps your metabolism working, and helps you burn off the extra calories."

If you're at the beach, walking or running on the sand is a great way to get cardio (the unstable surface challenges your muscles in new ways). Or just try these toning moves demonstrated by Morin for a little "beach blanket workout." Exercise you can do without even leaving your towel? Sign us up!

More from The Stir: 6 Tricks for LOSING Weight on Vacation

Do you have any special vacation workout moves of your own to share?

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  • Beach Blanket Bridge


    Image via New York Sports Club

    While lying on your back, bend your knees, with your feet flat, hip-width apart. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up off your towel. Hold the bridge for 30 seconds (or long enough to reapply your suntan lotion to your lower back!). Repeat 3-5 times.

  • Beach Ball Crunch


    Image via New York Sports Club

    Start lying down with a beach ball between your ankles and your arms stretched overhead. Simultaneously lifting your legs and reaching towards the sky with your hands -- making sure to get your shoulders off the floor -- grab the beach ball, take it from your feet, and lie back down with the ball overhead. Repeat the move, but the next time pass the ball back to your feet. Do 15 full body crunches.

  • Book Butt Blasters


    Image via New York Sports Club

    Starting with your weight evenly on your knees and forearms (so you don't even have to put down your book), extend your right leg behind you. Keeping your knee straight, raise your leg with your toe pointed until it's bit higher than hip height (without arching your back). Then lower to the starting position. Repeat 15 times and switch legs.

    *For an added challenge, bend the knee of the working leg to a 90-degree angle after the first 15 straight-legged reps, flex the foot and pulse --keeping your heel towards the sky -- until your butt burns.  

  • Towel Triceps Toners


    Image via New York Sports Club

    From a plank position (hands placed under shoulders, toes on the ground behind, core tight, and neck in line with your spine), slowly bend your arms and lower your chest towards your towel (keeping your elbows drawn into your sides while they bend). Stop just before your chest touches your towel and then push yourself back up to the starting plank pose. Repeat. Try for one set of 15 repetitions.

  • Stationary Swimming


    Image via New York Sports Clubs

    Lying on your stomach with arms and legs extended, slowly lift your chest and thighs off the towel. Next, lift your left arm and right leg slightly higher.  Then switch so your right arm and left leg lift higher. Try alternating from one side to the next as quickly as you possibly can, but keep your torso still while your arms and legs move in opposition. Work up to "swimming" for a full minute.

  • Sand Bucket Squats


    Image via New York Sports Club

    Start standing upright with your feet hip distance apart and your shoulders square. Keeping your back flat, sit back into your hips and bend your knees to no more than 90 degrees to pick up a bucket of sand. Slowly return to a standing position while holding the bucket. Then squat again and return the bucket to the ground in front of you. Repeat 15 times.

    * For an added challenge, use wet sand -- it's heavier!


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