Hill Workout

Hill workouts are a great way to improve endurance, speed, strength, V02 Max, and running form.  Running uphill also puts less impact on the body, and burns more calories in less time.  We have multiple hills around our school, so some days I will simply bring students for a walk and incorporate as many hills as possible.  Other days, I will have them do an actual workout.  Below you will find ideas on incorporating cement/gravel hills and grassy hills into your workout.  So get outside, and put the hills around your school to some good use!

Before you begin a hill workout, make sure to warm-up the body with a light jog, walking uphill, or with dynamic drills (high knees, butt kicks, etc.).   When running uphill, make sure to stay upright and use large arms swings forwards and backwards (not across the body).  When running downhill, relax and lean forward from the ankles to lessen the impact on the legs.  If you are using roads, choose quiet ones, and be aware of traffic.

If your workout is on a cement or gravel surface you may like try the following exercises – adjust the distance/length of time to challenge your students:

1. Sprints: Run uphill for 8-10 seconds, recover for 20 seconds (walk/jog down, or walk uphill if it is a long hill that allows for multiple sets), repeat for desired amount of sets.

2. Timed challenge: Give a set time (ex. 5 minutes) and see how many times students can go up and down the hill in that time frame.

3. Alternating power walk/sprint: Power walk uphill for 45 seconds and then walk/jog down to starting point.  Sprint uphill for 25 seconds and then walk/jog down to starting point.  Repeat five times.

4. Hill/exercise circuit: Jog up and down a hill and then complete an exercise at the bottom – ex. 20 squats, 10 kicks each leg, etc..  Repeat as many times as you like, using as many different exercises as you like.

5. Various Movements Uphill: Carry weights, jog backwards, one foot and two foot hops, lunges, partner resisted running, ladder drills, quick feet, etc.

6. Races:  Pick a marker and race to it.  If you really want to challenge students, allow the first person to the top to choose an exercise that everyone else has to perform.

If your workout is on a grass surface you may like try the following exercises – again, adjust the distance/length of time to challenge your students, and make sure that the grass isn’t slippery:

Circuit 1

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Point Tucks: On all fours, hop both feet towards hands and then back out (that is one rep).  Repeat 5 times.

Bear Crawl: On all fours and crawl up the hill.  Take 5 steps forward with right hand.

Push-Ups: Repeat 5 times

Reverse Bear Crawl: On all fours and crawl backwards down the hill – move right hand back 5 times (to starting spot).

Repeat the entire circuit 5 times

Circuit 2

Squat Push-Ups: Squat and fall forward, bringing hands to the ground.  Push up and off back into squat position.  Repeat 5 times.

Uphill Burpees: Like regular burpees, but instead of jumping up, jump forwards.  Repeat 5 times.

Star Push-Up: Like a regular push-up, but hands wide and feet together.  Push up and into hands narrow and feet wide.  Continue alternating 5 times.

Reverse Bear Crawl: On all fours and crawl backwards down the hill – move right hand back 5 times (to starting spot).

Repeat the entire circuit 5 times

I hope you enjoy!  Please leave a comment or send me an email if you have any hill workout suggestions!

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