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Hill Repeats Exercise 2023

Hill repeats are a challenging and effective training method that runners, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts commonly use. 

Hill repeating entails repeatedly running or sprinting up a hill for a predetermined distance or time, then taking a break by walking or jogging back down. 

This cycle is repeated several times, depending on the workout’s intensity and individual fitness levels. Here’s an in-depth look at hill repeats, including the muscles worked and other considerations:

What Are Hill Repeats?

Hill repeats consist of intense, short bursts of uphill running followed by a recovery phase. 

We perform the uphill phase at a high intensity, and the downhill phase serves as a rest period; this combination will allow for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, enhancing overall fitness.


Hill repeats are an effective means of developing explosive leg strength, speed, and anaerobic endurance. 

Both uphill and downhill running intervals are significant in building various aspects of physical fitness. 

The intensity and duration of the repetitions will depend on the characteristics of the hill, and you should refrain from conducting hill repeats under load. 

The PRT leader designates the number of repetitions and signals the start of each group or individual. Here’s a detailed look into both types:


  • Definition: Uphill repeats focus on building leg strength, power, and anaerobic endurance.
  • Technique: A short, steep hill is ideal for explosive uphill efforts of 15-20 seconds sprinting up 40-60 yards and 60-90 seconds walking back down for 6 to 10 repetitions.
  • Form: Lean slightly forward without bending at the waist. The knees must rise above average on steep hills for a full stride.
  • Guidelines: Refer to Table 10-2 for endurance and mobility activities, intensity prescriptions, duration, and volume within the toughening and sustaining phases. In addition, Chapter 5 provides the template for commanders and PRT leaders to implement endurance and mobility activities into their PRT programs.


  • Definition: Downhill repeats will improve your speed through rapid leg turn-over and release of neural inhibitions.
  • Technique: Long, gentle slopes are best for performing at a high intensity of 15-20 seconds of downhill sprinting (near maximal effort) with rest intervals consisting of walking back up the hill for 60-90 seconds for 6 to 10 repetitions.
  • Form: Maintaining good form during HR is essential, especially when running downhill.
  • Guidelines: Refer to Table 10-2 for endurance and mobility activities, intensity prescriptions, duration, and volume within the toughening and sustaining phases. In addition, Chapter 5 provides the template for commanders and PRT leaders to implement endurance and mobility activities into their PRT programs.

By implementing these uphill and downhill techniques, hill repeats are a well-rounded workout that can contribute significantly to an athlete’s or soldier’s physical training routine.

How to Perform Hill Repeats

  • Choose the Right Hill: Select a hill with an appropriate incline and length for your fitness level.
  • Warm Up: Start with 10-15 minutes of light jogging or dynamic stretches.
  • Run Uphill: Sprint or run up the hill at a high intensity for a designated time or distance.
  • Recover Downhill: Walk or jog back down the hill, allowing your heart rate to decrease.
  • Repeat: Perform the desired repetitions, typically 6 to 10, depending on your fitness level and workout goals.
  • Cool Down: Finish with 5-10 minutes of gentle jogging or stretching.

Considerations and Precautions

  • Proper form is vital to prevent injury and optimize results.
  • Beginners should start with a moderate hill and gradually increase the intensity as they become more accustomed to the exercise.
  • Hill repeats can be taxing on the joints, especially the knees, so individuals with existing injuries or joint issues should approach this workout cautiously or consult a fitness professional.

Muscles Worked

Hill repeats to engage a variety of muscle groups, including:


  • These muscles at the front of your thighs power you uphill, working hard to lift your body against gravity.


  • These muscles are at the back of your thighs; they propel you forward as you climb the hill.


  • Your buttocks muscles help to extend your hips and propel you upward, working in conjunction with your quads and hamstrings.


  • Your calf muscles are responsible for pushing off the ground and helping stabilize your ankles during uphill running.

Core Muscles: 

  • Maintaining proper posture and balance while running uphill requires significant core engagement, including abdominal and lower back muscles.

Benefits of Hill Repeats

Strength Development: 

  • By running against the resistance of the hill’s incline, you can build strength in the key muscles used in running, including your legs and core.

Improved Endurance: 

  • The aerobic and anaerobic demands of hill repeats can enhance your cardiovascular conditioning, improving speed and stamina.

Mental Toughness: 

  • The challenging nature of hill repeats can help develop mental resilience and focus, essential attributes for competitive athletes and those looking to push their physical limits.

Injury Prevention: 

  • Hill training strengthens muscles and tendons, potentially reducing the risk of common overuse injuries in runners.


  • Hill repeats are a multifaceted workout that can enhance strength, speed, endurance, and mental toughness. 
  • Targeting various muscle groups and offering both aerobic and anaerobic benefits provides an efficient and effective way to boost overall fitness. 
  • Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to add variety to your training routine, hill repeats may be a worthy addition to your workout regimen.


George N.