Building Strength and Speed with Hill Training

Building Strength and Speed with Hill Training

Whether you are heading outside and running up hills or you have set your treadmill to an incline in order to simulate running uphill, taking on these steep monsters can be very beneficial to your body in many ways.  At the same time, it is important for you to exercise caution when running up hills in order to make certain you get the best workout possible without causing harm to your body.

The main benefit to running uphill is that an incline provides a greater deal of resistance, which helps build strength.  The muscles in your glutes, calves and hamstrings all benefit from running uphill.  In addition to strengthening muscles, running uphill also helps to strengthen your hip flexors, your Achilles tendons and the muscles around your knees.  By building up your strength in these ways, you will also find that your speed increases when you run on flat surfaces. 

Although there are many benefits associated with running uphill, it is important to keep a few things in mind in order to avoid causing more harm than good.  Some of these things include:

  •  You should not start hill training if you are still a beginner.  Take time to build up your strength and your endurance before taking this next step.
  •  You should never run uphill if you are injured, particularly if you have an injury to your Achilles tendons or your calves
  •  You should be certain to stretch properly before engaging in any workout, but this is particularly true with running uphill
  •  You should take the time to read up on proper uphill training techniques in order to avoid becoming injured

Keep in mind that you do not have to engage in hill training each time you go for a run or hop on the treadmill.  Rather, once per week is generally enough to get the benefits without overstressing or straining your body. 

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