According to an article published in training-conditioning.com, sand training provides a great benefit for athletes especially to runners. According to a 1998 Belgian study, running on dry sand requires 1.6 times more energy than running on stable surfaces, and walking in sand requires 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy. Since the training requires more resistance and the muscle experience more workload, the training can improve agility and build explosive strength.
Below are the benefits of sand training as published in training-conditioning.com:
- the instability of the sand, which requires the muscles that stabilize joints in the ankles, knees, hips, lower back, and core to continually compensate and adjust during movement. This causes a greater range of motion in joints and strengthens the muscles, improving balance and preventing injury.
- The stabilizer muscles, prime-mover muscles are activated, making sand training easier on the joints than workouts on stable ground. Sand work also alleviates compressive forces on the joints during running, jumping, and walking. With less stress on the joints, overtraining symptoms are less likely to occur.
- The training also useful for improving an athlete’s cutting ability because the resistance of the sand makes it easier to achieve the ideal 45-degree body angle when accelerating out of a cut. When cutting, the foot plants in the sand, causing the body to react with a harder knee drive upward. This helps develop the high-knee motion critical to the acceleration phase of sprinting and eliminates wasted backward leg movement. It also trains the athlete to keep positive shin angles–where the ankle is behind the knee–which is an important component of acceleration.