If your goal is to burn fat, increase muscle mass and build strength – hill sprints will give you better and faster results.
Frankly, hill sprints are not very popular in the fitness realm. 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.
Just like running, hill sprints require proper form. Otherwise you’ll end up with injuries or you won’t benefit fully from your workout.
How To Perform Hill Sprints
- Stand erect at the bottom of the hill. Keep one foot in front.
- Then start sprinting up the hill as fast as you can.
- Keep the arms bent and then move them vigorously back and forth.
- The upper body should be leaning forward and keep the knees high with every stride.
- Only the ball of your foot should step on the ground. The heels should stay off the ground during the sprint.
- Once you get on top of the hill, walk down slowly to the starting position and repeat.
Word of caution: Survey the path you’ll sprint on to make sure it’s clear. Stepping on holes and stones while sprinting can cause serious injuries.
Now, there’s more which goes into hill sprints than what’s listed above. So, below are a few tips that will help you perform hill sprints safely and get the full benefits.
Hill Sprints Training Tips
Make Sure You’re Ready To Do Hill Sprints
Don’t start doing hill sprints right away if you haven’t exercised for years or if you can’t sprint on flat ground. This exercise is quite challenging and it requires some level of fitness.
If you’re in bad shape, walk every day for a few weeks to get fit. Then run on flat ground for 2 to 3 weeks to get ready for hill sprints. Feel free to skip walking and start with running if you’re not in very bad shape.
When you’re ready to do hill sprints, start with small hills. And then work your way up to steeper and longer hills.
Start With A Warm Up
Always do a full-body warm up at the start of every hill sprint session. This reduces the risk of injury and gets the body in workout-mode.
Some of the exercises you can do include: Jumping jacks, spot running, jumping rope, burpees, mountain climbers, and so on.
Take It Easy On The First Sprint
Don’t sprint at maximum intensity in the first sprint. Sprinting at maximum intensity in your first rep can pose a high injury risk.
Sprint at 70% intensity on the first sprint then increase the intensity in the next reps. Consider timing your sprints, it will make you push yourself workout after workout.
Rest After Every Sprint
Take enough rest after every sprint. You won’t be able to run at maximum speed if you don’t get enough rest. So after you sprint up the hill, walk down slowly and give yourself time to rest.
But don’t rest too long until the body completely cools down. Wait until you stop breathing heavily then sprinting again.
How many sprints should you do?
Well, the number of sprints you do will vary depending on the steepness of the hill, its length, and so on. If you’re a beginner, start with 10-15 minute workouts then gradually increase your workout duration.
Avoid doing too many sprints per workout because you can’t sprint properly if you’re exhausted. The other thing is that the body doesn’t recovery quickly from hill sprints. So, spread your hill sprint workouts through the week and do a maximum of workouts per week.
Downhill sprinting increases your strides and has high impact on the bones and joints. So, it is to be avoided if one is out of shape.
That said, downhill sprinting can improve the leg’s shock absorbing capabilities and can improve athletic performance. But, unless you’re in good shape, stick to walking down the hill slowly after the sprint.
Now you know something 99% of the people trying to get in shape don’t know – the fastest way to burn fat, build muscles and increase strength. So, take advantage of it and you’ll see your body transform faster than you ever imagined possible.
It doesn’t take much to get started. You only need a hill, running shoes, and……that’s all! So, what are you waiting for?
If you have any suggests or questions about hill sprints, leave a comment below.