The World’s 5 Best Seaside Workout Spots

There’s something about exercising beside the ocean that makes it seem like you are not really exercising at all. Perhaps it’s all that fresh air, or the mind blowing views, or the distractions offered by the crowds of people that have got the same idea as you.

Whatever it is, seafront workouts have become a pleasure for many.

We take a look at some of the best seaside spots around the world to get your sweat on.

1. Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Is there any more glamorous beach in the world than Ipanema? Made famous by the song The Girl from Ipanema, this is not only a world class stretch of sand, but also a social hub where music, sport, food, drink and romance collide to create a riot of carioca joie de vivre. Here the beautiful people perfect their tans in itsy bitsy swimsuits, catch waves and embrace life.

And with all that flesh on show, keeping it not only tanned but nice and firm is a must for many of the sun-worshipers. Cue streams of runners both on the sand and on the promenade, taking advantage of the beach’s impressive length, broken up with a number postos along the way. Posto 10 is the one most beloved by sports lovers – here you’ll find volleyball and soccer as well as plenty of ‘”bat and ball” being played.

Prefer to get your exercise in the ocean? Then grab a surfboard or your goggles and head on in, but beware of the strong currents.

And if all of that sounds a bit too much like hard work, then follow the beat of the samba drums and get your workout by simply shaking that arse.

2. Brighton Beach, UK

The pebbly but still popular beach at the UK’s favourite seaside town may be more commonly associated with “kiss me quick” hats and sticks of rock candy, but it’s actually a great place to work out too.

Between the piers you’ll find volleyball nets strung up; in the peak months of April to September there’s a fee to use them, but out of season it is free – just bring your own equipment! These can also be used for beach tennis. There are also basketball courts which are free to use based on a turn up and play scheme. At intervals along the waterfront stretch you’ll find table tennis tables, and down towards Hove there’s a petanque court and a croquet club. These may not be the most high intensity of sports, but they are the perfect complement to a warm English summer day.

To get the pulse racing, take a run along the promenade instead – although you may have to dodge the crowds in the peak months. There are even a couple of gyms down on the waterfront – Ripcurl for example. More of a yoga buff? Then unfurl your mat – a number of companies offer classes on the beach.

3. The Queen's Necklace, Mumbai, India

This city is synonymous with Bollywood glamour thanks to the film industry that thrives at its heart. With all those film stars roaming around, is it any wonder that there’s something of a preoccupation with looking good?

Beauty salons and sari boutiques have long been abundant among the streets of the city, but a more recent craze to catch on is a fad for exercising. Everywhere you look, gyms have sprung up interspersed with yoga studios. Here and there you’ll see signs for the next marathon scheduled to take place among these very city streets.

But it’s on the seafront where you’ll be most struck by this wave of energy. In the hours of the early morning or around sundown, when the sun hovers spectacularly above the Arabian Sea, the promenade is packed with people getting their daily exercise. Most are simply walking, but a few are running and several people have found a spot where they can practice their daily yoga with a sea view.

Those with an entrepreneurial streak are taking advantage of this healthy trend by turning up with refreshing drinks to re-hydrate, small healthy snacks to provide fuel, and even weighing scales for people to use for a fee.

4. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

This 1km stretch of dazzling white sand, so fine it almost squeaks, has to be one of the world’s most famous beaches. And as such, it is a magnet for the buff and bronzed people.

Come down at pretty much any time of the day and you’ll see runners of all ages and sizes pounding the seafront promenade in dayglow workout gear. Down on the sand, some ditch the trainers to run barefoot in soft sand or play a game of  beach volleyball. If a downward dog is more your speed, then you’ll find plenty of yoga classes close to the water.

Want to swim laps? Swimmers that are inclined can swim open water between the two headlands. Others that prefer the relative calm of a swimming pool can head to the iconic Icebergs – the world’s most Instagrammed spot, where the ocean waves crash into a huge white pool. Or grab a surfboard and dodge the crowds to catch a wave.

Don’t forget Sydney’s answer to muscle beach at the north end where workout bars, and a variety of other apparatus, attract the suburb’s largest biceps and quadriceps to flex and flaunt their sinewy splendour.

5. Venice Beach, Los Angeles, USA

Dan Holm /
Dan Holm /
Venice Beach in LA is memorable for a number of reasons – the trippy, hippy crowd that hangs out here, the faint scent of ganja in the air, the rollerbladers, the buskers, and of course, the beach itself. But it is also the home of Muscle Beach Venice, the successor to the original Muscle Beach located just south of Santa Monica Pier.

While the original has been in existence since 1934, the Venice Beach “branch” was added in 1951 and was originally known as the “weight pen” before being officially named Muscle Beach Venice in 1987. Meanwhile, the original Santa Monica facility had closed, although people still visit the site to practice gymnastics.

But in Venice Beach, the iron pumping continues. Many famous bodybuilders and actors have trained there including Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Mr. Universe rival – Chet Yorton.

Not really a grunter? Then instead run, rollerblade, cycle or swim the length of the beach.

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