I’m Stepping out Hotter This Year: Step Workout Hacks to Get You in Shape Anywhere
Most people avoid the steps by any means. They will use the elevator, escalator or put a mini fridge in their bedroom. Stairs are everywhere, yet not many use them as a means to get and stay in shape. The only time most people work out on a staircase is when they are running late. For every casual step taken on a staircase you burn about 0.17 calories. This means depending on the number of steps in a flight of stairs you can burn several calories without even noticing it. If you can burn calories by merely walking up a flight of stairs, imagine the possibilities of what else can be done with them. We will be introducing you to a few of these possibilities to get you started. These are great for vacations, or any time that you do not have access to any equipment or a gym. They are best done in combination with each other for a well-rounded workout. So, get to a flight of stairs! If you don’t have one inside of your home, then find a nearby outdoor staircase. If you live in apartments, then head to the stair well.
Jogging Up and Down
We will start off with the simplest of the exercises. Jogging up and down is exactly as it sounds. You will be jogging up and down the flight of stairs. Depending on your stamina level you can start out walking instead of jogging. This is pretty much a basic cardio exercise, and I would use it as a nice warm up. Start off with 30 seconds and increase over time.
Stair Box Jumps
To begin this exercise stand facing the staircase, with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms by your side and without arching your lower back jump onto the first step. You want to land on your mid foot and keep your core muscles engaged. Now, maintain your balance and hop backwards, with your feet still aligned with your hips. Once you hit the ground, don’t hesitate and jump back onto the stair. If you want to step it up a notch jump onto the second step instead of the first. You can either do this exercise in sets or time yourself for 30 seconds or more. This exercise is beneficial to your butt, hips, legs, calves, shins and thighs.
For this exercise, begin on the bottom step. Make sure your feet are about hip-width apart and then step back with your left leg. When the foot hits the ground, lean forward into your right hip in order to get your left knee to the floor. Your body should be straight up the entire time. Then you want to raise back up and bring your left leg back up to the step. Once back in your original position, do the same thing with your right leg. Now you have achieved one rep. I recommend doing this exercise in sets, so monitor how many you are capable of doing. You can add weights of some sort to intensify this workout. This exercise is beneficial to your butt, hips, legs and thighs.
For this exercise in front of the stairs. Now place one foot on top of the bottom step, with your toe pointing downward. Now, switch feet quickly tapping one foot after the other on top of the step. Try pulling your arms behind you as you switch foots to intensify your workout. This exercise is best done with a timer. I recommend intervals of 30 seconds starting off and working your way up. This is a full body work out and magnificent cardio.
In and Out Abs
For this exercise, start off seated upright on the bottom step with your legs bent in front of you. Now lean back a bit and lift your legs up off of the ground. Keep your arms behind you while holding second step for balance. Then pump your legs in and out, while keeping your legs together. Each time you push out get your feet as close as possible to the ground without touching it. Exhale when your knees come towards your chest and inhale when your legs go down. I recommend doing this exercise for either 30 second intervals or 20 reps. This exercise is beneficial to your abs, lower back, hip flexors and quads.
To do this exercise sit on the bottom step and place your palms at the corner of the step, with your fingers pointing down. Start off with bent knees if you are just beginning and then advance to keeping your legs straight out. Lift your hips off of the step and then dip your body towards the ground, but don’t quite touch it. You want your elbows to be at about a 90-degree angle. After that extend your arms back to their normal position and then you have one rep. I recommend doing this exercise in sets of about 20. This exercise is primarily beneficial to your triceps.
To do this exercise, use the first step to place your arms on top of and enter an inclined plank position. Extend your legs out behind you or kneel if you are a beginner. Then simply do a push-up. This exercise is best done in reps. There is also another kind of push-up that you can do with the stairs. For this one, place your feet on the bottom step and get into a plank position with your hands on the ground. This is version is much more difficult than the previous kind. If you still want to step it up, place your feet on the second step. This exercise will benefit your arms, chest and shoulders.
To do this exercise, start with kneeling in front of the staircase. Position your knees and feet, hip-width apart. Now, place your palms on the bottom step. After that extend both of your legs out behind you into a high plank position. Finally, bring your left knee up to your chest and as you are extending it back; bring your right knee up to your chest. I recommend doing this for intervals of 30 seconds. This exercise benefits nearly your entire body, but specifically targets your butt, hips, legs and thighs.
Exercise can be done anywhere. You have to think outside the box and become creative. Look for opportunities to get a few sets and reps in. You will be amazed of all the possibilities. Using the step or staircase is one of many ways to get the job done. These methods will be very useful on your journey to physical fitness and good health. Just keep on moving one step at a time.