Hill Running!

So, we recently moved and our new house is up on a hill. That means, no matter where I run, I have a HUGE uphill or downhill at the end. It’s great, but some days I miss my semi-flat runs. The major upside is the view. It is amazing right here by the mountains!

All this hill running has me focused on the muscles that need to be strong to run on hills. The #1 muscle is your quadriceps. It plays a huge role in controlling you on the downhill and propelling you on the uphill. Also important are the glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles (fun idea: if you want to really work your calf muscles, try running hill repeats backwards- I learned that the day after a crazy whim in high school!)

Here are 3 great strengthening exercises to include in your training program to get yourself ready for hills:

Basic lunge works quadriceps and glutes. From a standing position, step forward into lunge, then return to starting position. Work up to 30 reps on each leg.

Ball Wall Squats: Keeping your feet in front of your body, lean into a ball placed between you and the wall. lower down into a squat position, making sure your knees do not pass your toes. Work up to 30 reps. You can also try this one with 1 leg at a time for a more advanced exercise.
Single leg touch down: Standing on one leg, keep your back flat (don’t let it hunch down), reach toward your foot with a soft knee as far as you can, then slowly return to standing. Work up to 30 reps on each side.

Now get out there and run some hills!

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