Did you know that one of the best pieces of exercise equipment is probably already in your home or in your office building? Your stairs can provide a simple workout, but with big results! Even if you only have a couple of steps to use, you can tone and lift you backside, get some heart healthy cardio and build strength in your legs and core in less time than it would take on a flat surface! The following workout focuses on the lower body and core and gives you an effective workout in your home with little to no equipment.
Ready for Lift-off?
After you have warmed up, you will alternate a cardio burst of running/walking 30 steps with the exercises below. Once you have completed all five exercises and cardio bursts between, you will rest and then repeat 2-3 more times.
1. Two at a Time: Walk up the steps, two steps a time. Your goal is to take 30 steps.
2. Step Lunges: Stand below the bottom step. With your right foot step onto the bottom step lunge down. Be sure that your back knee is under you rather than in-front. Once you have lunged down as far as 90 degrees, press yourself up and return your right foot back to starting position. Repeat on the left foot. Complete 10 lunges on each leg.
3. Squat with a Side Step-up: Stand facing the wall with your right foot on the step bottom step and your left on the floor. Squat down and as you press yourself, tap your left toes on the step next to your right foot. Then place the left foot back on the ground, squat down and repeat 20 times on each side
4. High Knee Step-ups: Stand in a lunge position with your right foot on the bottom step and your left foot on the floor. Put your weight into your right leg and quickly lift your left knee up in front of you higher than your hips. Quickly place the left foot back behind you into a standing lunge position. Repeat 20 reps on each side.
5. Calf Raises: Stand on the bottom step facing the stairs. Place a weight in one hand and place the other hand on the railing. Stand on the step so that your heels are hanging off the edge of the step. Once you feel a stretch in your calves, press yourself up onto your toes, then lower slowly back into the stretch. Repeat 20 times.
Form Dos and Don’ts
Do keep your weight in whichever heel is on the ground during the exercise to keep the pressure off your knees. Follow modifications online if you have knee, back or hip issues.
Don’t lock your knees out. Keep a “micro-bend” to them when coming out of a squat or lunge and when extending your leg.
Do relax your shoulders and engage your core for better back support
If you can’t complete the entire workout, even with the modifications listed at our website, don’t give up. You will get stronger. Try again next week and remember better fitness is achieved “One Step at Time!”
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