Setting your treadmill to an incline is awesome, but you can achieve so much more training on hills IRL, so this summer get outside and feel the benefits of hill intervals.
Celebs flock to the famous LA Runyon Canyon hiking trail for more than just an opportunity to get papped – hill training is an incredible for cardiovascular fitness as the incline instantly spikes your heart rate. Meanwhile it’s seriously great for strength training as you’re using your body weight as resistance to get you up the hill. Talk about the ultimate combo of force and power!
If you’re new to training or you’re looking to shake up your workouts, get ready to blast your booty, strengthen your legs and tone all over with hill training.
Already a runner? By adding in some hill work and you’ll soon notice a great improvement in your muscle endurance, form and sped once you’re back on flat terrain.
What you’ll need:
Find a medium sized hill that will take you about 30-45 seconds to run up at about 80% pace.
- Beginner gradient 4-8
- Intermediate gradient 8-12
- Advanced gradient 12 plus
How Often To Do It:
Aim for 2-3 times a week, depending on your workout schedule.
Top Hill Tips:
- Pair up – This is a great workout to do with someone.
- Stay Hydrated – It can get tough, so keep a bottle of water close by.
- Keep it interesting – Explore your local area or make a day trip. Hitting up new hills is the fastest way to keep this workout fresh.
The Warm Up:
Start with a slow jog up and down the hill for about 5 minutes.
This is crucial to get your body understanding the pull (stability and also balance) of the hill working in an incline, this will also prevent any injury.
It is also important to get your body used to the decline. Be mindful when coming down to reduce the pace to one that is comfortable for you. Try not to slap your feet and stay light on your toes, otherwise, this can lead to muscle soreness and injury due to the sudden stop and starts as you come down the hill.
- After each exercise, jog down to the bottom of the hill as your recovery.
- 3 sets in total with 2-3 reps of each exercise.
- Total time: approx 45 minutes.
1. Walking Lunges -
Start at the bottom and step forward into a lunge, your back knee should be as close to the ground as possible and at a 90 degree angle and your front knee aligned with your big toe. Keep the weight heavy in the front heel and as you come back to standing (the push through the weighted heel will help to activate the glute in focus). Swap legs as you lunge up the hill. Keep your core on to maintain balance.
2. Jump Squats –
Start at the bottom of the hill and with your feet shoulder width apart, jump forward as high and as far as you can and land in a squat position with your knees tracking inline with your toes and the weight back in your heels. Beware of those knees, so make sure you land in a squat and use your arms to help gain momentum as you jump.
3. Plank Walk Forward Then Push Up –
Starting at the bottom and facing the ground have your body straight in a plank position, make sure your hips are square, and you have a tabletop torso. Then walk forward up the hill two steps (on each hand) hold in plank as you bend at the elbows and allow your chest to come down as far as you can to the ground, when you are ready press up back to your plank. This push up can be done on your knees if needed.
4. Sprints –
Start at the bottom of the hill and sprint up as fast as you can to the top!
5. Burpees With a Jump Forward –
Start at the bottom of the hill, place your hands on the ground then jump your feet directly behind you into a plank. Keeping your hands where they are jump your feet back into meet them, then stand into a squat position, from here start your squat jump (as above) when you land from your squat jump, maintain the squat as you start your burpee again!
6. Straight Up Crab Crawls with Tricep Dip –
Start at the bottom of the hill in a sitting position with your legs in front of you (downward) and your knees bent, then place your hands on the ground behind you with your fingers facing inwards and elbows bent. Lift your hips off the ground and crawl up the hill for ten crawls, stop, then add in a tricep dip, starting with your arms straight then bending your elbows, making sure you are using your triceps and your elbows are going backwards (no bingo wings). Legs can be straight (harder) or bent (easier). Once your tricep dip is completed, start crawling up the hill again.
Enjoy getting up a sweat and having fun!