A Combo of Hill Sprints And Outdoor Cardio for Fitness
What can Hall of Fame National Football League players Jerry Rice and Walter Payton teach you about burning fat? A lot. They had a secret weapon that they used to overcome the opinions of so-called experts that predicted both of them would be average football players at best. What is the simple fat-shredding, strength-building secret used by those and other notable professional and Olympic athletes to stay in shape? Hill sprints.
If you want to stick to sheer science, sprinting burns 200 to 250 calories for just 2.5 minutes of intense work. And it does not matter if that time is run consecutively, or broken down into smaller segments. For comparison’s sake, you would have to walk 2 miles (30 to 40 minutes) to burn that same amount of calories. But walking does not build the lean muscle that burns fat for up to 24 hours after your workout like hill sprinting does.
You may be thinking, “I am no professional athlete!” You know what? It doesn’t matter. Professional and amateur sportsmen and athletes alike can still harness the benefits of what goes on in your body when you are sprinting up the hill. Here is what you need to do.
1 – Locate a hill that is at least 40 or 50 yards long, and longer than that is even better. (You can Google the terms landfills, hiking trails, sledding hills and other applicable phrases to locate a hill in your area.)
2 – Before you hit the hill, warm up with stretching and body weight exercises for 10 to 15 minutes first. This is to prevent muscle injuries.
3 – Sprint! Try to focus on a straight forward movement, minimizing how much you move from side to side. Lean your chest forward slightly, with your shoulders back. You want to elevate your knees when you pick up your feet, and explode off of the balls of your feet.
4 – When first getting started, just add 1 to 3 sprints a week to your fitness regimen. Start out at 70% or 80% of your maximum running speed. Do not overdo yourself, but challenge yourself at the same time.
5 – When you are done, walk on flat ground until you are able to breathe regularly. Then stretch to keep your muscles from tightening or cramping.
That is it. It really is that easy to see significant fat and weight loss in a very short period of time. You should continue to improve until you can perform 10 to 15 sprints during each workout at maximum speed and effort.
If you are ready to take this workout further, this is the best time to get into the cardio mood. our body is already worked up after the sprints. A cardio routine now will burn off all the excess calories you have remaining in your tank.
5 Cardio Exercises You Can Perform Outdoors
Exercising outside is much more challenging (and definitely more fun) than doing the same thing indoors. Temperature and weather conditions are two of the variables not encountered indoors.
Here are 5 outdoor cardio exercises that require little equipment, but will absolutely kick butt when done correctly:
To start, stand with one foot forward and the other one about 3 feet back. Bend the knees to lower your body towards the floor. Keep your bent leg vertical and be sure to lower straight down instead of forward.
Keep your torso straight and abs pulled in tight as you move down and back up to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat the move. Try to perform at least 1 set of 8 reps per leg. Work up to 3 sets of 16 reps each.
Squats are one of the best lower body exercises you can do as it targets all the muscles in the hips, glutes, thighs and even the abs.
From the standing position with feet shoulder-width apart and arms downward, begin to bend at the knees. As you are starting to squat down, start bringing up your arms until they are parallel to the ground at about the same time you are squatted down to about chair seat height. Now start raising yourself back up and moving your arms downward at the same time until you are back at the starting position. Shoot for a goal of 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps per set.
To perform this exercise, you will need something to step up on. A curb works great. Starting position is standing straight up. Now lift one foot and step up on the higher surface. Bring your other foot up on the elevated surface too. Now step back down with one foot first and then the other. Focus on keeping your back straight and looking straight forward and not down. Do as many as you can (which won’t be many in the beginning).
This being one of the most effective upper body cardio exercises, you can do three different versions of this simple move: Wide, Narrow and Standard Width. Each version works the triceps and chest muscles in different ways.
From the starting position of body parallel to the ground supported by your hands and forward part of your feet, slowly lower yourself by bending your arms at the elbow while keeping your back in a straight line from your head to your feet. When your chest is 2 to 3 inches off of the ground, push yourself back up to the starting position. Do as many as you can remembering to keep perfect form all the while!
This is the only exercise in this list where you need a piece of equipment. If you are close to a playground find the “Monkey Bars” or you can use a horizontal tree branch. Reach or jump up and grab the bar. Pull yourself up until your chin is level with the bar. Now slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are straight. Repeat as many times as you can. This is a humbling exercise that will test your arm strength to the max.
These 5 exercises are tough to perform in themselves. Add in some cold or hot temperatures, or rain, and they become even more challenging.