Is it a good idea to do hill sprints on a treadmill? Here we will be talking about the pros and cons of this.
First of all I will say I’m in favor of natural running over the treadmill anytime. I’ve seen reports stating that the treadmill does not mimic real running as the mechanics change and that it can even mess with your visual system (because when you really run things move around you, but not on the treadmill; have you even noticed you feel dizzy when stepping off of one?).
To do hill sprints on treadmills all you have to do is turn up the incline and you’re ready to go. This video shows a short all out sprint on the treadmill.
So if at all possible do hill sprints outside. You will also get fresh air, sunshine and be in the outdoors which are great for your health, on top of the workout.
But what are the benefits to doing hill sprints on a treadmill?
- Weather doesn’t matter. If you live somewhere where it’s too cold or rainy, being nice and cozy indoors can be helpful. If this is the difference in whether you workout or not, I’m all for it.
- Don’t need to go anywhere. This depends on if you use a treadmill at a gym or in your own home. Hills sometimes, depending on where you live, can be hard to come by.
- You can alter the speed and incline however you want. Once again this is easier then finding a range of hills for this purpose.
- Great for the tabata protocol specifically. This video below shows how to do a tabata. I will say this though. That guy is not sprinting. The whole idea behind the tabata is to go all out for 20 seconds at a time. This was specifically done in the original studies with a treadmill as you can go from off to full speed instantly.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of doing hill sprints on treadmills.