If folks did hill sprints training as much as they do cardio – we would all be lean and strong.
Well, there’s no denying that steady cardio has its benefits. But, if your goal is to burn fat, increase muscle mass and build strength – hill sprints will give you better and faster results.
In case you’re not familiar with hill sprints, it’s basically sprinting on an uphill terrain. You’ve probably heard of the benefits of sprinting and other forms of HIIT. Guess what? Hill sprints have more benefits and they’re safer (read on to find out why).
Well, hill sprints are not everyone’s cup of tea – they’re hard. But, once you find out how it feels to stand on top of a hill after sprinting, you’ll love them.
We all know that exercising indoors can get boring, so hill sprints will give you the much needed break from indoor training. Stop setting the treadmill on incline and get outdoors and run on real hills.
Now, if you already doing bodyweight exercises, interval training, or cardio, you’ll need to make a few tweaks on your routine because hill sprints are physically demanding. Combining them with numerous exercises can lead to over-training.
Frankly, hill sprints are not very popular in the fitness realm. So, some people may dismiss them as another hyped exercise. But, hill sprints have been used by athletes, military trainees, and fitness enthusiast for years. In fact, here are some of the benefits of hill sprints that will make you try them and want to do them every day.
Benefits of Hill Sprints Training
Anyone trying to get rid of excess body fat should do hill sprints. A study1 showed that the subjects burnt an excess of 200 calories after doing hill sprints for only 2.5 minutes.
While I think these results are on the higher side, I can tell you for sure that hill sprints are among the fasted ways of burning fat.
Hill sprints force the body to use a lot of energy, therefore, it ends up burning lots of calories.
Builds muscle and strength
Running uphill activates the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core, arms and shoulders. Basically, you get a full body workout. In fact, hill sprints engage more muscle fibers in the legs than squats or lunges.
Since the body is resisting gravity, it is forced to work harder. The steeper the hill the more rewarding your workout will be.
Builds mental strength
As I mentioned earlier, hill sprints are quite challenging. It takes a lot of determination to sprint up a hill at maximum speed.
So, doing hill sprints frequently will toughen you up and increase your mental strength. Which means you’ll be able to push through workouts and become better at handling life challenges.
Increases cardiovascular endurance
If you’ve ever sprinted on a hill you know how it feels when you get at the top. The chest is pounding and burning. That’s because hill sprints push the heart and the lungs to the limit.
This strengthens your cardiovascular system and improves your endurance. Therefore, you’ll be able to run longer distances than before.
High testosterone levels make it easy to build muscle and boost sex drive. And studies show that short high intensity exercises increase testosterone.
In fact, hill sprints don’t raise cortisol which is known to slow muscle growth and cause weight gain.
Contrary to what most people think, hill sprints are safer than sprinting on flat ground.
You see, your strides are shorter when you run uphill, so this reduces the impact on the knees and joints. The muscles can absorb the impacts of your landing without it affecting the joints or bones.
Another thing is that the hamstrings are not stretched a lot during hill sprints training so chances of a hamstring strain are low.
Ready to get started? Here are techniques and tips that will ensure your hill sprint training is injury-free.