Hill Running Workouts Made Easier With One Simple Tip

I often say that hill running sessions can literally make or break runners. Particularly in terms of injuries and muscle imbalances… and it all relies on running form and execution.

On one hand, hill running workouts executed with good form are brilliant for improving Glute activation and developing stride length. While on the other hand, when hill running workouts are executed with poor running form, the athlete often fails to take the full benefit from the session, and instead reinforces flawed movement patterns and muscle imbalances.

Following on from a previous article on hill running form, I’ve been asked many times to explain on the concept of ‘lifting the foot’ to increase the role of the Hamstrings in facilitating efficient motion of the swing leg.

Increasing use of the Hamstrings to actively (but only slightly) increase knee flexion as the hip flexes, shortens the lever arm of the swinging limb acting on the Hip Joint, resulting in less effort being required by the Hip Flexors to ‘drag’ the leg forwards onto the next stride.

As I explain in the video above, I tend to see a correlation between runners who are Quad / Hip Flexor dominant in their swing leg mechanics, and those who suffer with ITB Syndrome or Low Back Pain, and other common running complaints. These overuse injuries are usually as a result of muscle imbalances, which can often be exacerbated by hill running with poor form.

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.


  1. Hi i am from India i stay in Mumbai i do run half marathon my coach is Brinstone miranda Be Fit is our club name we do beach traning we our a big group it would be nice if you could also have a workshop for us in India it would be a good learning for us looking forward for your reply.Thanx

  2. this video explains perfectly why my inner hip is always sore, dragging my right leg through is more work than it can handle!

    new running mantra – STAND UP!, PICK YOUR FOOT UP!

    many thanks

  3. Thanx. I’m doing only hills and it was killing my low back and knee. I couldn’t nail the reason. Now I have it.

  4. Really well explained points on hill running technique

    Definitely makes sense of some of the after effects I have after hilly runs.

    Many thanks James