I live on the northern East Coast, where frigidly cold weather (we're talking in the teens if we're lucky) dominates more than six months of the calendar year, so when warmer temps blow in — anything above 40 degrees — I slip on my shorts and head outside for a run.
Once a week, I'm all about doing a quickie 20-minute hill repeat workout to build endurance and leg power. There's just something about being in the fresh air and getting to the top of a big hill that makes me feel so strong and badass (cue the Rocky music). Don't get me wrong — I am totally winded by the time I sprint to the top, so I started doing a few basic arm and ab moves as an active recovery. Then I run down and repeat those same three moves. It totally breaks up the difficulty and monotony of running up and down the same hill, gives my lower body a rest, and strengthens the muscles running leaves behind.
Try this workout the next time you're running outside. It could definitely work on a treadmill if that's what you prefer, as long as you don't feel funny about hopping off every minute. Find a decent hill that takes about a minute to run up, and repeat this circuit as many times as you want (I do it about eight times).
- Run uphill for one minute
- Do 10 push-ups, 10 triceps dips, and 10 V crunches (instructions below).
- Run downhill.
- Do 10 push-ups, 10 triceps dips, and 10 V crunches.
Feel free to mix up the strength-training moves. Instead of regular push-ups, I'll bust out Chaturanga push-ups, because it feels so good to arch my spine. Or T push-ups, since they also target the waist. Try lifting one leg up when doing triceps dips, and mix up the ab move with bicycle crunches or scissor abs.