Running Hills For Weight Loss: Everything You Need to Know

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Today we’re talking abour running hills for weight loss.

Running in any way is a perfect way to help you lose weight and build up muscle in not just your legs, but your whole body as well.

Running hills is like an upgraded form of running and is great for weight loss. Though many runners do not enjoy it, the hard work will pay off. Surely, we have all experienced the tough experience of running uphill but downhill running also has its share of benefits as well.

Throughout this post, we will go through the many benefits of running hills and how quickly it can help you cut weight as well as build up strength and endurance throughout your whole body.

Burning Calories While Running Uphill

Running normally does just fine in burning fat and calories but, if you add a little incline, it will be like you are running faster without ever increasing your speed. This increases the amount of calories you burn in a shorter amount of time! 

For those that can’t reach a very high top speed while running, hills are your best friend for increasing the difficulty and allowing you to get a better workout while running. 

As to how much more calories you will burn by running hills, it depends on the incline of the hill and how fast you are running. The steeper the incline and the faster you’re running, the more calories that you will burn. 

Building Muscle While Running Hills

Running is not just good for burning fat and calories, it also builds muscle all around your body. Of course, your leg muscles are the main ones affected through running but it also works other muscles simultaneously.

Some other muscles than your leg muscles that you workout when running hills are:

  • Glutes
  • Hips
  • Arms
  • Core
  • Upper Body

Your glutes and hips work hard when running and both will build up even stronger when you take them onto hills. Also, you can increase your upper body strength even more so when you run on hills.

When running uphill, you need to drive your arms more than you would on flat surfaces which engages your core muscles and upper body without the need to lift any heavy weights at all.

Increasing Speed When Running Hills

Running hills builds up your endurance and will increase how fast you can run when you run on flat surfaces afterwards. 

Sprinters use hills as part of their routine workouts to get faster and prepare for races effectively. Running uphill increases strength in your legs and, specifically, it strengthens the exact muscles that are used for sprinting. 

Your upper leg muscles (the hamstrings and quadriceps) as well as your hip flexors and glutes are primarily what you use to sprint and uphill runs target these muscle groups like no other. You will find an improvement in your top speed on flat ground after doing some uphill exercises.

Reducing Potential Injuries by Running Hills

As you build muscle, your body will become less prone to overexertion when it comes time to running hard. Injuries often occur when you push your body too hard during a competitive event like a track race or marathon.  

If you run hills frequently, your body will be that much more used to this exertion and it will be easier to take on higher levels of competition when the time comes without risk of injuring yourself or passing out. 

However, always keep in mind when you are working out with hills it is also possible to get injured if you aren’t careful. Remember that, when you are training, stop if you feel like you are too tired and your body can no longer hold up. 

Running Downhill for Weight Loss

Sometimes, beginning runners think that running on a downhill slope will simply make it easier on them but this is not the case at all. Running downhill certainly makes you run faster but it is much more difficult on your legs. 

Your lower legs take on more force when running downhill and this can build up endurance in your calves and feet. As for losing weight, it is better to do uphill training but downhill training will absolutely help you run uphill more effectively and increase your speed to help burn calories.

When running downhill, most experienced runners will tell you to jog down it at the end of an uphill routine. Really, downhill running is more of a supplement to uphill running, but it is a very good exercise to put into your routine.

Sprinting vs. Jogging on Hills

Sprinting is a great idea if you are running uphill. Of course, your body will feel it very quickly and it is important to have some water on hand, but running uphill works your sprinting muscles hard and is a great workout if you can do it.

Jogging uphill is perfectly fine as well if you are just starting out. You don’t want to push your body too hard to avoid any muscle pulls or bad cramps, so if jogging is all you can do, it will be a great first step to get into sprinting exercises that are great for fat burning. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Running Hills for Weight Loss

Is running hills absolutely necessary?

No, running of any kind will help you lose weight. Running hills will cut more weight than on flat ground but there are plenty of benefits to running on flat ground as well.

What should I do If I get injured running hills?

It depends on the injury, if it is just a cramp or strain, stop running and drink water and put some ice on the sore muscle. If you feel it is something more serious, call a doctor immediately.

Is it better to run full speed downhill or jog?

You should jog when running downhill. While you will burn more calories running full speed, it will do you more harm than good going downhill. Running downhill is much tougher on your legs and feet and going full speed can risk a very serious injury if you trip and fall over. 

A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle

Running hills can be a great way to lose weight,

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Article by:

Energetic Lifestyle Team

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