I really don’t like the question, “If you could only do one exercise, what would it be?”
The reality is that I don’t have to choose just one thing, and neither do you. And more than likely, I never will have to choose just one.
But since people like asking the question and receiving a genuine answer, I’ll take a stab at it.
So if forced to pick just one “exercise” for people to perform, I would have to reason it out in order to select the best one.
The exercise/movement would have to:
- Be quick and easy to perform
- Simple enough that practically anyone can do it
- Simple so there can’t be any excuses not to do it
- Would have to be very beneficial physically
- Be very time efficient
With those tips in mind, I acknowledge that many people don’t have a lot of time to spare in order to drive back and forth from the gym, wait around for equipment, and train. For some individuals who have children it’s difficult just to get out of the house. Some people can’t afford the additional cost of a gym membership either, and I understand that.
So if I absolutely had to pick one physical activity, it would be – Hill Sprints.
The main reason I chose hill sprints is because you can do them anytime, and practically anywhere. (This is a huge benefit to bodyweight training). It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, weekend, or if the gym is closed. Even if you’re out of town you can find a hill to sprint.
And please, do not attempt to use “bad weather” as an excuse. I don’t care if it’s raining or there is a foot of snow on the ground; you can still run hill sprints. I know this because I’ve done it myself. Just make sure you wear a good pair of cleats and you’ll be just fine.
If there is a sheet of ice on the hill, it’s lightening or hailing, or there is a tornado coming your way, then you can skip your hill sprints that day. Those are the only “bad weather” excuses that are acceptable.
Hill sprints don’t require much “coaching” either. You just need to perform a very thorough warm-up with some mobility exercises, run a few easy hill sprints to get warmed up, and you’re good to go.
How should you go about performing the hill sprints?
I don’t friggin’ care.
Run as many as possible in a certain amount of time.
Run up the hill, walk back down, rest 60 seconds and sprint again.
I don’t care how you set it up; just get outside and run the damn hill sprints. Make sure you improve your performance every week or so – run more hill sprints, decrease your rest periods, or find a more challenging hill.
The options are endless, so don’t put too much thought into it. Just sprint up the hill, rest, and repeat.
Keep this in mind since it’s spring and summer is about to roll around. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, go outside, get some sunshine, enjoy the fresh air, and do some hill sprints. Heck, you can even recruit some friends and/or family members to join in on the fun.
If you’ve been finding it difficult to make it to the gym consistently, then start running hill sprints a few times per week. Not only will they help you build a better body, but they are also great for building mental toughness.
Keep it simple. Train hard. Eat smart. Get results.