June 5, 2016
WHY HILL SPRINTS ARE THE FASTEST WAY OF GETTING STRONG, FAST, AND LEAN.
Sprinting is by far one of the most fun, effective, and practical methods for improving total body speed and power along with being a very potent stimulus for rapid body composition changes (reduced body fat percentage).
Katherine Rothwell recently placed 3rd in the notorious Balmoral Burn. She puts down her success to the Monday morning 6am HIIT & Core class. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This class offers hill sprints as part of the training.
Why Hill Sprints Are Superior To Almost Anything You Can Do.
There is a whole host of compelling reasons for incorporating this powerful training method into your overall program. They include:
Due to the inclined surface, maximum limb speed cannot be attained and thus serves as a safety barrier for your precious hammies! However, in the process, your posterior-chain muscles (low-back, glutes, hamstrings and gastrocs) get an incredible strengthening effect!
Because of the inclined surface, you are forced to lean forward as you sprint, which teaches you the proper acceleration mechanics that you would want when sprinting on a flat surface. Hill sprints actually become your sprint coach because you almost can’t help but do it right!
Hills sprints also teach aggressive arm and shoulder action, which is so critical for maximal acceleration. You simply cannot sprint fast up a hill without deliberate arm action. This helps teach the coordination and little-appreciated upper-body drive needed to sprint effectively on a flat surface.
Hill sprints offer great multitasking potential! You can train, catch a tan, and listen to your favorite tunes (or books on tape if you’re learning junkies like we are) while you train.
4. Optimization Of The Force-Velocity Curve:
Powerlifting guru Louie Simmons often uses the following analogy to explain the force-velocity curve: if you try to throw a bowling ball as far as possible, it won’t go very far because the mass (read: force) is so great.
If you try to throw a whiffle ball as far as possible, you’ll also end up with a short throw because the whiffle ball offers minimal mass to push against. A baseball, on the other hand, can be thrown far because it’s a perfect blend of force and velocity.
Keeping this analogy in mind, hill sprints offer similar advantages… in essence; they’re basically a “sweet spot” between lifting and sprinting. The best of both worlds.
Hill sprints are a great way to dramatically increase the caloric expenditure of an activity that already burns a boatload of calories when performed on flat ground. Again, think of hill sprints as a cross between sprinting and weightlifting. This has amazing benefits on body composition!
The next time you see a major track meet on TV, pay close attention to the short sprinters: they have arguably the greatest physiques on the planet… bodybuilders included.
Unlike almost any other form of training, that hill has a way of making you work hard… once you’ve got your momentum up, you won’t want to lose it, so you’re actually compelled to maintain or even increase your speed. Again, the hill becomes your coach… you’re compelled to work hard and you’re compelled to have awesome technique… what other exercise can offer this?!?
7. Endorphin Rush:
At the risk of getting all misty-eyed on you, we gotta say, completing a hill has a Rocky-esque feeling of victory (honest!) Many of our clients have reported this experience after performing hills.
Lastly, sprinting is, well, functional. A lot of “functional training” guru’s constantly push exercise balls and Bosu boards, but we’ll place our money in a good program of hill sprints any day of the week.