One of many Redondo Beach ramps
Beach training part III
To add muscle, burn fat, and increase your cardio, head to the beaches of the South Bay (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance) for some high intensity ramp running, which is the final installment of our beach training trilogy. Redondo Beach offers a nice assortment of steep ramps to sprint up.
Sprinting up ramps offers a unique blend of strengthening and conditioning your whole body. It primarily works your hamstrings, glutes and calves. When you run down the ramp, your quadriceps muscles receive the primary benefit; remember, your quadriceps act as a shock absorber through the run cycle. Your core is also strengthened and toned through ramp sprinting. And remember, your natural growth hormone is increased significantly in your body as a result of this high intensity exercise that can be done in addition to sprinting on the beach or sprinting up the beach steps. By sprinting up and down ramps, the growth hormone in your body also acts as a significant fat burner which continues well after your workout is done.
And you can’t simulate running up ramps on a treadmill in a gym; first off, at the beach you’re battling the elements such as the wind force and the still ground force of the asphalt on ramps, loose sand on the beach, which requires the production of more energy in your body to produce.
When you run downhill on ramps it almost acts as a plyometric exercise. With plyometrics, you let gravity work up some momentum and then work against the load it creates. The beauty of plyometric conditioning is that your muscles are working against a momentary resistance. It trains your muscle to recruit all of its fibers simultaneously in order to work against the load. Training your neuromuscular system in that way can make a dramatic increase in your performance over a period of time. Running down ramps will aid in building muscle -- most especially in the quadriceps, as your body resists the effects of gravity. That's the other reason that downhill running is so effective. Resistance training builds fast muscle fiber. And to run fast, fast twitch muscle is what you’re looking for.
Once you have gotten in reasonable condition, adding ramps to sprint training and stair running will increase your musculature, burn fat, and improve your athleticism to a great degree. And not to mention the sun, which, depending on the season, time of day, geography, latitude, level of air pollution, color of your skin, and your age, can all affect your skin's ability to produce vitamin D. Twenty five minutes of high intensity sprinting up steps, sprinting in the sand, while mixing it with the many ramps in Redondo Beach, can provide you with just the right amount of sun, and heavy dose of GH to provide a great supplement to your weekly training regimen. So hit the beach and utilize the wonderful resources that the beach has to offer. Just don’t forget to be courteous to the occasional strollers on the steps and ramps during the busy times on the beach.