Written by Lauren Rae, CPT and Inspired Wellness Coach
Turn a steep incline into your personal playground by adding a hill sprint workout to your regular routine. Great for avid runners, or a mix up on the usual cardio session, hill sprints provide short bursts with maximum effort and equal recovery that builds strength and burns some serious fat. This workout helps to increase the power and efficiency of each stride which enables you to cover more ground with less energy while you walk or run. This method of training is also very brief which allows you to get in, get out and move on with your day energized and revitalized.
Be aware, this game is not for the faint of heart. Not to scare you running back to the treadmill, but hill sprints place a lot of strain on the muscles and connective tissues, so if you’re new to hill sprints, be sure to warm up and cool down correctly to minimize the opportunity for strain and injury. As always—do no harm! Listen to your body and get ready to have some fun. Readily available for beginners and advanced runners, it’s time to put down the weights, get out for some sunshine, and use gravity for one of the most intense workouts you’ll find.
Finding the perfect hill:
Find a hill with a decent incline for your skill level, a 6% gradient is good for beginners and move up towards 12% once you’ve had a few practice runs and you feel safe. If you’re not sure how to judge what incline is best for you, get on the treadmill and set the incline at 6 and work your way up. Then find a hill that matches your ideal incline.
30 seconds - High Knees, rest 10 seconds
30 seconds - Glute Kicks, rest 10 seconds
15 Arm Circles in each direction
Side Shuffle in both directions for 30 yards
Light sideways jog (half the gradient of your sprint) up and down hill for 3 minutes
Round 1: Uphill Workout
Walking Lunges to the top - walk down
Frog Leaps to the top - walk down
5 Hill Sprints - walk down after each run, begin immediately upon return until all 5 sets are completed
Round 2: Active Recovery
20 Bodyweight Squats
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 for a total of 3 sets
10 minute walk & stretch
10 minutes on foam roller focusing on calves, quadriceps, IT band, hamstrings, glutes, and low back