A secret piece of workout equipment – the hill

A few tips using hills in your Functional Fitness program.

Hills aren’t new to the fitness enthusiast.  Many runners and bicyclists use them to increase the intensity of their workouts. If you have an incredibly steep you, you can perform hill sprints. It is fun to put markers at various levels on the hill. Then your first repetition is from the bottom up to the top and back down. The next rep is from a marker short of the top and back. Then do the marker below that, etc., until you hit all your markers – each sprint up and down be subsequently shorter.

We used small hills quite often in our Urban Runs. They are great for animal walks. We often used these three hills in from of the Gerald R. Ford Museum. I would have us do Gorilla Walks up a hill, then Inchworm down. I would then change up the animal walks for the other two hills. It was a nice way to play in the grass instead of just jumping on cement walls and the like.

However, my wife and I recently realized yet another benefit of hills. And we’re talking just a slight incline like on the side of your house. You can use that slight incline to alter most exercises. I’ll explain. Let’s say you are doing Hindu Push-ups. Well if your head is downhill, it would be harder. Conversely, if you head is uphill, it would be easier. This is a great way to either downgrade an exercise for a beginner, or to challenge yourself if you are more advanced.

There is a third option here. Picture yourself doing Lunge Twists or darn near any exercise while facing across the hill with the top of the hill to your right and the bottom of the hill to your left. Gravity will be pullling you down to your left, forcing you to activate more of your core to stay vertical. This can be fun, especially if you are using equipment such as a Medicine Ball, Slosh Tube, or Macebell. Just don’t forget to switch sides for balance.

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