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Why You Need Hills In Your Running Routine

fitness Jun 28, 2018

Do you ever wonder what people mean when they say they're going to run hills?  What hill? How long? How fast? And, why?  Well, let's dive in and see if we can't answer a few of these questions!

Why would I ever want to run hills?

Not only are hills a very efficient way to burn calories (think- HIIT Cardio outside!), they're also great for toning your calves, hamstrings, and booty...body parts that are often neglected during quad dominant exercises like squats and lunges.  

Additionally, hill running promotes proper running form.  When you run uphill you are forced to lean forward, drive your arms, and pick up your knees--all proper running techniques.  You will also find that it's harder to heel strike when running uphill which is another advantage for those working to improve their running form!

How do I know what hill to run?

Just about any hill will work! It doesn't have to be a super steep incline, but any hill that takes approximately 30-40 seconds to run up is perfect.  

Whether that's a shorter, steeper hill or a longer more gradual hill doesn't really matter (although the steeper the hill, the more challenging the workout will be). This can be a dirt hill, grass, a sidewalk, whatever you can find that has an incline.

How should my workout be structured?

  1. Take a few minutes to warm up. Jog 5-10 minutes followed by some dynamic stretching.
  2. We suggest 6-8 reps of 30-40 second hill running. The key to this workout is that you give a 90%+ effort while running uphill.  Remember, each rep is less than 45 seconds meaning in order to get all of the great benefits, you have to work hard! 
  3. Once you get to the top, take no more than 3 minutes to walk down and repeat. It is important that you time this 3-minute recovery. Each hill will get progressively harder (and your rest will begin to feel shorter), so hold yourself accountable and get the most out of your workout!

30 minutes including a warm-up and cool down and we can guarantee you're heart will be pumping and your booty will be burning!

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