If you’ve ever tried running in the sand you understand how much of a work out it can be on your legs. This is why some trainers insist on switching up their athlete’s sports training and incorporate sand-running into their workouts.
Sand-running has many benefits. An athlete will burn more calories because they have to expend more energy pulling their legs out of the sand compared to running on a smooth surface.
Running in the sand offers maximum conditioning and strengthening of the lower legs. As the sand moves and shifts beneath their weight, their ankles and calves are activated and working very hard.
Sand running also helps to improve an athlete’s coordination and balance and this is great for agility training. Athlete’s will engage their core, back and shoulders as their body is constantly shifting. Having to work on controlling their body helps their balance and coordination.
It is easier on the joints, because, unlike running on pavement, the joints don’t receive all of the impact. The sand absorbs most of the impact so the body is less strained.
It is a wonderful change of pace to hit the beach and get in a workout. It isn’t without risks, however. It is suggested that athletes run on the firm sand near the shoreline to avoid injury. And, it is important that your coach and trainer understand the dynamics of how an athlete needs to position their body to run, the proper length of the run and the pace they should maintain while running.