What Are the Health Benefits of Uphill Sprinting?

Sunset Sprint
Sprinting uphill builds muscular endurance. (Image: HyperionPixels/iStock/Getty Images)

Running uphill is an intense activity that activates the entire body. Uphill sprints benefit the heart, lungs muscles and the skeletal system, while also helping you maintain a healthy weight. Hill sprints can be done on an incline treadmill, outside in a park or even up a hilly neighborhood street.

Muscular Strength

Uphill sprinting builds muscular endurance and muscle strength because the major muscles of the body have to work harder to propel your body up a hill. Sprinting on a hill causes your body to work harder because you are using both speed and resistance. The slope of a hill targets the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core and upper body and, similar to weight training, allows you to build more muscle.

Cardiovascular Endurance

Your lungs and heart will reap the benefits of sprinting uphill because your cardiovascular system will become stronger. Sprinting uphill results in becoming a more efficient runner because overcoming the demands of a hill strengthens your lungs. Working at a more intense level places a higher demand on the heart, forcing it to also become stronger through training.

Weight Loss

Uphill sprints can also help with weight loss because they burn more calories than traditional sprinting. ShapeFit suggests that a 155-pound person running for an hour on an even, level surface burns 563 calories. The same person would burn 1056 calories running uphill. The calories are nearly doubled because of the greater amount of effort that is produced.

Reduce Injury

Hill training allows you to get the maximum amount of training effect with a minimum amount of injury risk. Your risk of injury is reduced because, due to the incline of a hill, your stride is shorter and lessens the impact on your body. The low impact will also help build stronger bones.

Considerations

Although sprinting uphill sparks many health benefits, it should be done in moderation. Choose uphill sprinting two to three days a week in order to give your body the proper time to recover. Your body will need more recovery time because you are working at a higher intensity. The University of Iowa Health Care explains that running and sprinting require a lot of effort, and if you are new to running or are not a regular exerciser, you should walk or jog before you being sprinting. Slowly add hill training in order to prevent injury or exhaustion.

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