If you're looking to burn fat and build up muscles in your lower body, ditch the treadmill and head for the hills… literally.
Hill sprints are one of the most effective fat loss exercises
you can do. The best part is you don't need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to do them. Just a pair of athletic shoes and the desire to work hard.
You can perform the following hill sprints workout on flat ground at a park or beach. However due to the angled nature of hill sprints, there's less impact on your hips, knees and ankles compared to flat ground sprints.
When picking a hill, start out with a gradual hill. You can work up to the steeper hills as you progress with your sprints week after week.
Remember to take it slow at first if you haven't done sprints in a while. Sprints are a high intensity exercise so take a couple of sprint workouts to work up to a full speed; there's a high risk of injury if you try to jump into a full speed sprint work out.
In order to get the most out of the workouts safely, make sure your body is properly warmed up and not to over do it.
Related: Intro to High Intensity Interval Training (Workout Included)
The key to a good warm up is preparing your body for the movements you're going to be performing in your workout. In order to this we want to:
1. Increase your core temperature
2. Active stretching
3. Imitate the movements you're going to be performing in the workout
Take 10 minutes and perform the following movements/drills to warm up before starting:
Jogging/Skipping x 2-3 minutes
Side shuffles x 30 seconds each direction
Walking lunge with glute raise x 10 each leg
Side lunges x 10 each leg
High knees x 30 seconds
Glute bridge x 15
As part of your warm up, use the glute raises and hip thrust to activate your glutes
. They're going to be worked hard during the sprints and it's important that they are functioning on all cylinders during your sprints.
The Hill Sprints Workout
After you're warmed up, perform 3-5 hill sprints of 25-40 yards. Take 2-5 minutes of rest between sprints.
For your first hill sprint workout we're going to take it slow. Keep your sprints between 60% and 70% max effort. Believe me, your body may not feel like it's working too hard but it is. Chances are you'll be sore for the next few days.
Wait about a week before your next hill sprint session. If you're feeling stronger, up the intensity to 70-80% max effort for about 4-6 sprints.
Work in one day of sprints per week for the next six weeks to see the best results.