Heartline Fitness

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Run for the Hills!

Jason Malecki is a 20-year veteran of the fitness equipment and facility design field. He’s designed literally hundreds of fitness spaces. From Multi-family Properties, large and small, to High School and college weight room, to Community Centers, and everything in between. And he knows equipment inside out. He’s seen how it evolves to keep up with the most current workout styles. He’s seen the fads come and go and he’s seen the trends that have taken hold over the years.

But when he isn’t designing great spaces, advising customers on equipment mix and recommending the best machines for their demographic, he’s a family man. He coaches the sports his kids play. One is BASKETBALL.

He’s sharing this week’s Work Out of the Week: A Hill Work Out. Here’s how he explains it:

I run this hills drill with my son’s travel basketball team. I have them do this in short sprints up the hill to quickens their stride, expand their stride length, and to build up their endurance. (See a more detailed explanation of the benefits of hills.)

Here’s what I run them through in 4-6 sets:

  • Start in a two-point stance at the bottom of the hill*.
  • Drive out of your stance and sprint up the hill as fast as possible.
  • Sprint a distance of roughly 20-30 yards on each rep.
  • Slowly walk back down the hill between reps.
  • Perform 6-8 reps with 45-60 seconds of rest between.
  • Do it again.
Jason’s son runs hills for his dad, Summer of 2021.

*Runners World gives some guidance on how steep the hill should be: “Start on hills of 4 to 8 percent gradient before progressing to steep hills, 10 to 15 percent. These have a bigger strengthening effect but are more stressful on calves and Achilles tendons.” Mastering Hills. (4%-8% grade translates to roughly 40° – 60° angle) “Just eyeball it, says Jason.

By Any Means Bball – a website and blog dedicated to all things basketball gives more detail on the benefits for athletes at all levels from hills drills.

“Hill workouts are one of the best workouts you can do for basketball. Obviously, you don’t play basketball running up a hill, but the incline emphasizes [muscles and movements] that are key for athleticism.

Basketball is a game of almost strictly acceleration. Rarely do you reach your top speed in any direction. The hill’s incline creates a deficit that your body must compensate for and continue acceleration. [You’ll see in photos, the athlete will] maintain a forward lean and the knees are pumping, not cycling, just as if we were accelerating. We aren’t consciously doing this – the hill forces it naturally. These bursts are short because the hill creates such an intense challenge for the body, and we want to maintain explosiveness throughout the workout and not create so much fatigue that it hinders the workout.” Check out By Any Means Bball’s hill workout and videos to learn more!


If you’d like to reach out to Jason, about coaching, fitness or getting your fitness space in shape, reach out at [email protected] or (703) 675-8270.

Then check here for a new W.O.W. Work Out of the Week every week! And send us your suggestions for work outs you’d like to see here — [email protected].


*The information in this feature is intended for educational purposes. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before participating in exercises or activities that are contraindicated or more advanced than you are accustomed to. Discontinue if you experience chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, or unusual pain or fatigue.