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Increase the treadmill incline to 6 percent.
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You can still get a high-quality workout even if you are stuck indoors on a treadmill. A treadmill is traditionally used to improve aerobic performance and burn calories. But doing hill sprints on a treadmill helps boost the intensity of your workout and helps build bigger and stronger leg muscles. As always, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have a medical condition or injury.
Sprinting uphill on a treadmill helps bulk up and strengthen the muscles in both your thighs and lower legs. Increasing muscle size not only helps improve the appearance of your legs, it makes you less susceptible to injuries. Besides building muscle, hill sprints also help increase the length of your running stride, enhance power and improve aerobic endurance so you are able to exercise for longer periods of time. Interval sessions like hill sprints also help remove metabolic waste from your muscles between intervals, which decreases post-workout soreness.
You should exercise at maximum power and effort when doing hill sprints on a treadmill. Because of this, sessions must be short. Adjust your treadmill incline to 6 percent. Run as fast as you can at this grade for eight seconds. Reduce the incline to zero and run at a gentle pace for 60 seconds to recover slightly. Repeat the entire sequence one more time. As your strength improves, gradually increase the incline, the length of time you do your sprints and the number of times you do your sprints. Work your way up to ten 12-second sprints at a 10-percent incline.
If you experience leg discomfort while doing hill sprints, set the treadmill to reverse and slowly walk backwards at an incline during your recovery period to stretch your calves and Achilles tendons. Always warm up for at least five minutes prior to your hill sprinting routine. This warms up your muscles and helps prepare them for an intense workout. Because hill sprints are high intensity, you must allow your muscles to recover at least one full day between workouts. Resting not only gives your muscles time to grow and repair themselves, it helps prevent fatigue and injury.
Work at your own pace and fitness level. Do not start out at the maximum level or intensity, especially if you've never attempted hill sprints before. This can strain your muscles and tendons and lead to injury. Keep your gaze facing forward while sprinting. Because your feet tend to follow the direction of your eyes, you will typically run straight instead of veering to the side of the treadmill. Stay as close to the center of the treadmill belt as possible while sprinting. Do not run too close to the front of the treadmill as your feet can catch on the motor and cause you to trip.