Hills are a common variable in running that are constantly avoided. Why? Well because quite frankly, they’re hard. You feel that instant burning in your chest, unable to catch a deep breath, and your legs feel like jello half way up the hill. Hills don’t have to be so miserable though.
A Portland personal trainer has three recommendations that involve, both exercise and technique. Once you’ve mastered and implemented these strategies into your workout, you’ll be running for the hills.
1. Leg exercises. These include squats, lunges, calf raises, as well as plyometrics. Choose exercise that will challenge your legs in order to make them stronger. Your stride length and power will improve drastically upon consistently doing them.
2. Upper body exercises. For this, you want to think about the motion of your arms as you run. Your arms are constantly pulling forward and pushing back, so completing exercises that strengthen your chest, triceps, back, biceps, and shoulders will be beneficial to your running form and power.
3. Core exercises. If your core is weak, none of the above will matter. Your core stabilizes your spine, and helps you maintain an upright position during your run. If you’re falling forward, unable to keep your chest up with cause the rest of your body fall apart. Variations of planks and twisting exercises such as russian twists will help build a solid foundation.
4. Technique. Take this steps when tackling a hill. Keep your eyes at the top of the hill, run on your toes, and pump those arms like crazy. You’ll be at the top before you know it!