Climb Your Way To a Better Workout

hillThere are always new workouts that claim to be the biggest and the best, but the rise of the incline-based routine isn’t one to disregard.

Stair-based workouts, ankle weights and step climbers are all coming back into the workout game and for all good reasons. Hill training offers benefits that straight forward cardio doesn’t. Uphill workouts cause you to use more muscle, which increases heart strength. This means that you are basically strength training and cardio training at the same time- not bad. However, there is a right and wrong way to do your upward workout, so next time you want to run up a hill, either indoors or outside, turn to these tips to get it done correctly. 

  1. If you’re at the gym, using a stairmill is the best way to engage your booty and back end of your body. Try 10 minutes at a level 6 and gradually increase from there.

  2. Get your glutes in gear. They are a powerful muscle that will help you climb successfully. In order to engage them correctly, lean forward and push off with your heel. If you push off with the ball of your foot you are more likely to endure a knee injury.

  3. If you’re running outdoors, incorporate hills into your flat run. Try adding 10 uphill sprints at first and then add one or two more each week. Adding too many at once will really put a strain on your routine, so take it slow.

  4. Running on a treadmill is easier than running outside. This is due to the moving belt on the machine pulling your foot back for you, rather than your glutes and hammies doing all the work like they do on a sidewalk run. In order to make your treadmill run just as difficult as an outdoor workout, try running on it turned off. Do this in intervals of 20 seconds running and 20 seconds resting, twice through. Then do 20 seconds running and 60 seconds resting, repeated twice through again. Do this whole circuit two times.

  5. There is a time and place to sprint. When on a run and you encounter rolling hills, keep your pace steady the whole way through. When going up steep hills sprint with high knees. Keep this consistent throughout your runs.

  6. It is necessary to change up your routine every once in a while. Like the stairmill, the sled push also greatly incorporates the glutes. This is a good way to get an indoor hill exercise in. 

  7. Like ankle weights, a vest weight is a way to incorporate weight training into your cardio. If you are prone to joint or knee problems a vest may be a way to better distribute weight in your exercise.

  8. Remember that what goes up, must come down. If you are racing up a big hill you might instinctually want to walk down the other side, but it is important to jog down. Not only will this make you stronger, but it allows your body to learn how to balance when on a decline. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Matthew Dawkins

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.