Top 10 Health Benefits of Sand Volleyball

Group young Friends Playing Volleyball On Beach

Stop sitting on the sidelines and start playing volleyball! This popular beach activity is a great way to turn your pool day into an intense workout. Sand volleyball carries all the same health benefits as its indoor cousin, and adds a few of its own, thanks to the unique qualities of a sand court. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of sand volleyball.

  • Develop and perfect your skills: The thing about sand volleyball is that it forces you to perfect your game because movement in the sand is slow and unforgiving. Taking volleyball to the sand can be a challenge if you’re used to court games because you’re on an unstable surface. The sand makes it harder to get in position for plays and move around.
  • Great cardiovascular exercise: The wet and soft sand of volleyball courts offer resistance that develops strength-endurance as working all of the lower leg muscles, ligaments, and tendons against the resistance of the sand.  It also burns more calories and uses more energy than running on the roads, giving your cardiovascular system a better workout, so you can get the same fitness return in less time.
  • Burn calories and fat in a fun way: Harvard Medical School reports a person can burn between 90 to 133 calories during a half-hour game of non-competitive, non-beach volleyball game, whereas an hour-long game of volleyball on sand can burn up to 480 calories! This is due to the extra work a player’s muscles must do while adjusting tot he sand movement.

  • Improves interpersonal and social skills: Sand volleyball is a spontaneous activity, with pick-up games forming at a moment’s notice at beaches and pools. So knowing how to play lets you hop in with strangers and gives you the ability to make new friends anywhere with warm weather and a net.
  • Helps improve hand-eye coordination: Volleyball is all about the timing. Swing too soon or too late and the ball goes on an unexpected flight path. In order to excel at the sport, you have to watch the ball all the way down to your hands so you know exactly when to swing. Combine this level of precision with the typical contortions and acrobatics, and you can expect your coordination to improve.

  • Improves muscle tone:  A 1998 research study published in “The Journal of Experimental Biology” shows that the body works more vigorously in response to the resistance created by sand. As a result, your legs are forced to work as much as two and a half times harder than when you walk, jog or run on a less-resistant surface like asphalt. This will encourage the burning of fat off your belly, legs and the rest of your body while also strengthening and toning the leg muscles. This leads to all-around greater muscle tone!
  • Improves overall agility: Athletes who want to excel on their normal court can benefit from shifting their workout onto a sand court. Sand shifts under your feet and challenges your muscles to do more to maintain stability. The result of these biomechanical differences, according to one study, is a higher heart rate and perceived exertion. Training in the sand allows your fast-twitch muscles to strengthen without extra wear and tear, which will increase your agility back on solid ground.

  • Increases energy: Countless studies have shown that regular physical activity is not only good for mental health but is also great at boosting energy levels- especially in sedentary adults. Sand volleyball offers the same energy-boosting benefits as all other physical activity in addition to being invigorating because the workout is outdoors and extremely social.
  • Improves flexibility of feet and hands: Training and playing on the sand activates and strengthens the lesser worked areas, such as the ankle and foot muscles, which are not used to working, flexing, and adjusting to an uneven, shifting surface. Also, since you are barefoot during the process, it forces your entire body posture to work in it’s most natural form.
  • Improves strength, speed, and balance: Sand training has long been used as a low-impact method of strength training. Because the surface is constantly slightly shifting, players are always having to re-calibrate their balance, improving overall body control and stability. Sand volleyball is also great for training to improve speed, agility, and building explosive strength because all the muscles utilized require a greater workload to run, jump, accelerate, and change direction.


  1. I really like the fact that you can get faster when you play volleyball. My husband and I are trying to find ways to get more active, and we think it would be awesome if our reflexes could improve. We’ll be sure to start looking for a volleyball so we can start playing! Hopefully this can help us keep up with our kids more easily as well!

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