Sprinting uphill is a very rigorous way to exercise. Still, it provides so many health benefits because it’s such a rigorous and demanding way to exercise.
Hill Sprint Benefits
1. Can Help With Weight Loss
Calories are units of energy that we gain through food consumption and expend through physical activity. The more energy a physical activity requires, the more calories you will burn.
Sprinting is the type of exercise that uses the whole body and pushes the body to the max; therefore, it uses a lot of energy, and sprinting on an inclined surface, makes it that much harder.
Because hill sprinting is such a rigorous and energy-demanding way to exercise, it is one of the most effective ways to burn calories in the shortest amount of time.
A definitive number of exactly how many calories hill sprints will burn can’t be given as there are so many factors that can affect this number, such as body weight, speed of running, steepness of the hill, length of the hill, etc. It is stated hill sprints can burn anywhere from 800 to 1400 calories an hour.
2. Can Build Muscle & Can Make You a Stronger Runner
Many muscles that you use for conventional running on flat surfaces are pushed even harder when you run on an inclined surface because you’re running against gravity as a result, these muscles develop, and it can lead to you becoming a more powerful and faster runner. Hill sprints have been shown to increase a runners power (ib) and speed (ib).
As just mentioned, hill sprints work many muscles, and they don’t just work muscles in your lower body; they work muscles all over your body. Some of the muscles that hill sprints work include:
What muscles do hill sprints work?
3. Can Help Tone Muscles
As just mentioned, hill sprints work certain muscle groups, which reduces the appearance of fat around these muscles. You see, your fat lays on top of the muscle, and as your muscles develop, the fat on top of the muscles is forced spread out becoming a thinner layer of fat reducing its appearance (ib).
So not only do hill sprints burn fat, they spread it out, reducing its appearance (ib).
As you start build muscle and the layer of fat that sits on top of the muscle becomes thinner it will give you a more lean muscular look.
To have a toned body, you need to reduce fat and reduce the appearance of fat and build lean muscle; as just mentioned, hill sprints do both.
4. Makes You Less Injury Prone
When sprinting uphill, even if you’re running as fast as you can go, because you’re running on an inclined surface, you won’t run as fast compared to if you were running on a flat surface, which will ultimately make you less likely to injure yourself.
Therefore, hill sprinting is less likely to cause injury compared to sprinting on a flat surface.
5. Can Be Beneficial To Cardiovascular Health
The heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, when you push it or work it in a healthy way, it grows stronger.
Having a stronger heart can be beneficial in many ways.
There are studies that show a link between exercise and mass of the heart (1).
How To Do Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are a very grueling way to exercise so you might want to do something to get the body warmed up and you might want to stretch. Its always a good idea to stretch and to do a warm up exercise before you do a high intensity exercise like hill sprints (ib).
How To Perform:
An excellent way to perform hill sprints is in intervals where you have a recovery period (ib).