If you’re walking to stay fit, tackling hills are a challenge you must overcome. The challenge of walking up hills is arguably more about mental strength than physical.
Once you cultivate the right mindset, walking up hills is not half as bad as you think it is before you started. A technique for walking up hills is also beneficial!
What you will need to focus on is the rewards – and I don’t just mean the view. Conquering a tough hill gives you a great sense of achievement, releases endorphins and gives you ample health benefits.
The good news is there are techniques you can adopt to make walking up hills easier. Moreover, these tips will help you steer clear of muscle tears and strains.
Hill Walking Techniques
- Lean slightly forward: This helps put your weight in the direction you’re going, provides you with balance, and helps you dig the balls of your feet into the ground.
- Swing your arms to generate more upward lift: This does not have to be an exaggerated arm swing otherwise it pulls you back as well. Clench your fists and use your hands and elbows to punch the air and propel you forward.
- Take short, quick strides: Shorter strides prevent you from straining your muscles. Not only does this decrease the risk of injury but also makes walking up hills feel less strenuous. Quick strides give you more pace and thus the momentum to overcome gravity.
- Find a steady rhythm that keeps you driving forward. Once you have started the last thing you want to do is stop because starting again is harder than if you just keep going.
If the hill you are attempting to conquer burns your muscles and stops you in your tracks before you reach the top, try walking up hills that are less physically demanding. You can always check your progress when you come back to conquer the “Mother of all Hills!”