For city-slickers, hill running may seem like an exotic concept, but even up-and-down urban roads present a great opportunity for training in this particular running.
Hill or slope running has many advantages such as improving your endurance, strengthening core muscles and improved coordination. In addition, you could also end up fixing your breathing pattern from chest-breathing to belly-breathing, as is often seen in high-energy activities.
Moreover, hill running will result in great leaps in your running speed and power. While relying on gym training is good for isolating muscle groups, hill training is like putting them all to a test. This is where your hips, hamstrings, knees, shins, ankles and feet are working at their peak performance level. So before you set off, make sure you are prepared. These exercises can be performed even at home, or on your office break, so you don’t need to plan your day around them. That’s how easy they are.
Stand with your feet slightly apart and slowly bend one knee sideward while stretching your other hamstring till it’s fully stretched out, and you are near parallel to the floor. Push down from the bent knee to come back to the starting position, and now switch sides. Do about 10-15 repetitions and you will be working out your glutes, knees, hamstring and quads.
One of the most basic exercises but so essential for strong glutes. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and move down from your hips while keeping your back straight. Go down till knee height or below for that satisfying tension in your thighs. You can vary your squats by using dumbbells, or by widening your stance to do a sumo squat.
Pretend you are sit on a chair with the wall as the back rest. It’s as simple as that. Hold the seated pose for 10-15 seconds each time, and get back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times. You could use dumbbells for added strengthening of quads, back and knee.
Stand on a raised platform or a step, with your ankles hanging over the edge. Slowly lift yourself on your toes by expanding your ankles. Don’t bend your knee to prolong your hang-time. Keep them locked and hold the pose for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times to really exercise the ankle, toes, metatarsals and your shin.
Image credit: Fitwirr