NewsExplosive ModeApril

Hill Training

We don't just go out for a run.

Regardless of the time of the year, it's good to get a hill work-out done every other week. Running, bounding, skipping, lunging or sprinting uphill are all very natural movements for the body. The movement translates well to almost every sport and is a good way to build strength and burn fat.

For regular gym goers that dislike leg training, hill runs provide a great way to start and thoroughly prepare their legs for weight training. Legs can take a while to warm-up in the gym so chicken legs are recommended to start their squat session with uphill sprints.

Similarly, hill work can be a great addition to indoor Explosive Mode training. For instance Olympic lifts are a perfect fit to short distance sprints. As the lifts are more technical, it's better to perform them before running.

Right surface for the right purpose

In most cases a softer sand-based surface is to prefer. Since the running speed is naturally slower, the ground contact times are not that important. However, nothing beats sprinting uphill with spikes. If you have the chance to try an indoor Mondo hill, I bet you you'll love the feeling of rocketing uphill.

Uphill Sprints Indoor with Spikes


The warm-up can easily be a jog to the hill that you intend to run. In the below examples of training programmes, we have included some easy agility based movements (such as lunges) to prepare the body for the runs. Technical running drills are of course good to include if time permits. However, they are not as important as when warming up for sprinting on a track. The rest periods between the repetitions in the below examples equals the time to walk back downhill to the starting point.

Programme 1: Off-Season Endurance Training

Goal: Build endurance and work capacity.

6-8 x 80m with upright running position

That's it.

Programme 2: In-Season Acceleration and Power Training

Goal: Build explosive strength.

1 x bounding up the hill

5 x 30m

rest 10 min

1 x bounding up the hill

3 x 30m

rest 10 min

2 x 20m

1 x 60m

Programme 3: Fit Businessman Lunch Work-out

Goal: Get the most out of your one hour lunch break.

Jog to the hill

1 x lunges up the hill

1 x skipping up the hill

1 x bounding up the hill

1 x acceleration up the hill

if winter:

3 x 60m + 10 x squat jumps

1 x lunges up the hill

3 x 60m + 10 x squat jumps

if summer:

2 x one legged jumps up the hill

3 x 30m

rest 5 min

3 x 30m

rest 5 min

1 x one legged jumps up the hill

2 x 30m

Jog back to work with a 100m sprint half-way.


1. Shoulders - Stay relaxed.

2. Elbows - Keep close to the body.

3. Hip - Stay high.

4. Big toes - Claw the ground.


What if you live on a landing strip? For the endurance work (longer distances), we highly recommend stairs. Stairs (along with swimming pool running) tend to be a good alternative if you have sore tendons but still want to get a work-out in. For alternative stair work-outs, check out the new Outside Edition DVD


The strength work (shorter distances) can be substituted with weighted sled pulls.

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