When it comes to intimidating workout venues, nothing beats Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach, California.
Every athlete knows how gut-wrenching hill workouts can be. Sprinting up an incline forces you to shorten your stride and increase your leg drive, which makes for an exhausting, muscle-draining run.
But if you're looking for the ultimate surface on which to perform a hill workout, look no further than the dune at Sand Dune Park. According to The Los Angeles Times, the massive dune measures 270 feet from bottom to top and has an average incline of 27.7 degrees. That makes it ridiculously high and frighteningly steep, and the fact that it's sand instead of grass or concrete adds another excruciating element of resistance.
Yet the rewards for those who can conquer the punishing peak are immense. The 10-story-high dune offers a strength, speed and cardio workout all rolled into one.
According to a recent Instagram post, Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones is the latest pro athlete to take on the challenge:
The video gives you a great idea of how enormous the dune is. Jones comes out of the gate strong, galloping up the base. But as the incline steepens and his fatigue grows, his progress slows. By the time he reaches the mid-point, it looks like he's running in molasses. He's still dusting other dune climbers who are slogging their way to the summit, but it drives home the point that running the dune is incredibly difficult.
Jones is not the only pro athlete who has accepted the dune's hellacious challenge. Over the years, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Troy Polamalu and Tony Gonzalez have visited Sand Dune Park. In the HBO documentary "THE OFFSEASON: Kevin Durant," cameras caught NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook training on the dune.
Westbrook, a southern California native, grew up training on the dune. It's no coincidence that he is one of the most explosive and well-conditioned athletes on the planet.
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