Summer’s here and the beach volleyball season is in full swing. Does your technique need a tune-up? Worry not: on 22 August, smart urban playgrounds is laying on a workshop at Berlin’s BeachMitte. On hand to show you the tricks of the trade: top trainer Bernd Werscheck. Here, he tells us why beach volleyball beats your usual workout by a mile.

1.) It’s so much fun, it doesn’t even feel like a workout.

We all know what it’s like: You’ve made a solemn vow to go to the gym, but it still feels like a chore. You drag yourself into a whiffy studio and dutifully work machine after machine, aching to get back into the daylight. Beach volleyball is the polar opposite – the sand, sun and blue sky make every match feel like a mini-vacation, even if you’re bang in the middle of town. As DJs pump out the latest tunes and you get into the groove of the match, you totally forget you’re giving your body an intense, healthy, and effective workout. Whoever said “no pain, no gain?” As a beach volleyball player, you know better.

Beach volleyball is so much fun
The sand, sun and blue sky make every match feel like a mini-vacation, even if you’re bang in the middle of town.

 2.) Boy or girl, old or young – anyone can play.

Because you’re playing on sand, beach volleyball is really easy on the joints. That makes beach volleyball one of the few sports you can play at any age – the oldest active players are in their eighties. Not only that; beach volleyball is a really inclusive sport. The basics of the game are easy to grasp and provided you have a basic level of fitness, pretty much anyone can play. Unlike most other sports (like soccer or contact sports), boys and girls can play together. And isn’t that half the fun?

3.) Beach volleyball makes you sexy.

Beach volleyball may be a whole lot of fun – but it’s also a very complex, rewarding exercise routine. With so much running, beach volleyball is a fantastic BLT workout – and it shows. Not only that: The sand continuously forces you to keep your balance, i. e. you strengthen your core without even noticing. And because you play the ball with your hands, the entire upper body gets toned up, too (after all, you have to keep arms and shoulders stable). Small wonder beach volleyball players are some of the dishiest athletes around, combining height and broad shoulders with a slender physique.

4.) It’s all about team play.

Far from slogging it out at the gym all by yourself, you’ve got teammates to play with. That means you’re surrounded by like-minded people exuding good vibes and a holiday spirit. You also need to communicate and tune into your partner to fuse into a winning unit. And because you don’t want to let your partner down, you’ll stretch your limits every time you play.

It's all about team play at beach volleyball
Go team!

5.) Your mind is constantly engaged.

Beach volleyball is a complex and dynamic game. It’s not just running in the sand which takes some mental adjustment. You also need to constantly compute what’s happening on the other side of the net and predict possible ball trajectories. The wind introduces a completely random element: It can change the ball’s path at any moment, demanding an instant recalculation on your part. It’s a brilliant regime for your reflexes and hand-eye-co-ordination as well as a challenging workout for the mind.

Running in the sand takes some mental adjustments
It’s not just running in the sand which takes some mental adjustments.
Playing beach volleyball
You also need to constantly compute what’s happening on the other side of the net…
Predict possible ball trajectories
… and predict possible ball trajectories.

For more information and registration, check out the smart urban playgrounds website.

All images, incl. the header image: Kike