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Workouts to Improve Your Uphill Running

Workouts to Improve Your Uphill Running

Workouts to Improve Your Uphill Running

Written By: SportsShoes

Trail running inevitably means encountering steep inclines and rolling hills. Although physically tough, hill running is good for us, recruiting and conditioning a range of muscle groups and boosting overall strength and endurance.

Running hills requires powerful glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves, good balance and coordination and a strong core to maintain efficient running form. Here are four exercises that build strength and technique to help you power up and conquer those killer hills!

1. DUMBBELL SQUATS

Good for: Building the key muscle groups used for hill running, including the glutes, hamstrings and quads.

How to Do It:

  • While holding dumbbells, stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping your chest up and head facing forwards, shift weight to your heels as you lower to a seated position.
  • At a controlled pace, descend until hamstrings are parallel to the ground.
  • Stand back up.
  • Build to reps of 25.

2. STEP UPS

Good for: Developing explosive leg power and enhancing symmetry and balance.

How to Do It:

  • Use a raised platform such as a bench or sturdy chair.
  • Plant your right foot on the platform with the knee bent at a 90 degree angle, keeping the left leg straight and placed on the ground.
  • Bring the left leg up, raising yourself onto the platform.
  • Bring the left leg down, and return to start position.
  • Repeat 12 times on each leg for one set, building to three sets.

3. FORWARD LUNGES

Good for: This classic runner’s move is great for building strong calves and quads.

  • Stand upright with feet together.
  • Take a controlled step forward with your right leg.
  • Bending both knees, lower your hips to the floor.
  • Your front knee should be positioned directly over your ankle, your back knee pointing to the floor.
  • Push off with the left foot and return to starting position.
  • Build to reps 10 for one set, repeated three times on each side.

4. EXPLOSIVE HILL SPRINTS

Good For: The truth is, nothing makes you better at running hills than running hills! These short, maximum intensity sprints build hill specific power and strength, yet their short duration means no lactate build up or fatigue and a reduced risk of injury.

How to Do It:

  • After an easy run, find a hill, ideally with a 5-10% incline.
  • Sprint up it for 8 seconds at maximum effort.
  • Follow with 1-2 minutes at full recovery.
  • Repeat.
  • Build from 2-10 repeats, and then 8 to 10 second intervals.
  • Repeat twice a week for optimum results.

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