Negotiating hills can be challenging but you can improve your efficiency with some awareness. Here are some uphill tips, presuming you’re not having to be concerned about rocks, tree roots or other trip hazards.
Keep your eyes focused on the top of the hill. Don’t look down.
As you run or walk up the hill with your eyes up, visualize someone at the top of the hill pulling you up with a rope that’s tied to a central spot between your hips. Creative Visualization is an amazing tool that many athletes frequently use. If you practice this, you will actually “feel” your hips being drawn up the hill by this invisible rope.
Keep your hips going straight up the hill. Visualize small headlights attached to the front of your hip bones. You need to keep those headlights centered on the road! Don’t let them “weave” back and forth across the road.
Keep your head up! Looking up and keeping your head erect puts your body (especially your spine and hips) in the right position.
Maintain a quick cadence and keep your stride length short. Don’t over-stride. Think baby steps.
Use your arms, but don’t overdo it! Reach back with your hands far enough to brush the sides of your hips.
Continue past the top of the hill and concentrate on using good form for several more yards after you have crested the top. Keep up the quick cadence. In other words, don’t lose your momentum when you get to the top. Going up hills with good form is important. Being able to continue after you have “conquered the hill” is what will make you more efficient and stronger.
Many look up at a hill and say, “Oh my!”
Try this demonstration:
Look up, eyes straight forward – take a deep breath
Look down – take a deep breath
You get more air with your head up and we need all the oxygen we can get when going uphill
Eyes up – head up – oxygen
Spine straightens up – hips align – increased efficiency