The stairs can be a great tool to help you do both cardio and strength training exercises.Although the stairs are great to use for exercise, alternate with other forms of exercise to avoid stressing your knees and other joints too much.
Using Stairs to do Strength Training
Try stair lunges
In addition to cardio exercises, you can also include some strength training exercises using the stairs as well. Working your legs and glutes is particularly easy with stairs.
- Lunges are an easy exercise to adapt to a staircase. Lunges really work your legs and glutes without the addition of stairs, so doing them on stairs will really up the intensity.
- To do lunges, you’ll take the stairs two or three at a time. Going for more stairs than this will increase your risk of overstraining.
- Step your right foot up two or three stairs. Focus on pulling yourself up the stairs using your right leg. You will notice this in your thigh muscles. Push yourself up until your left leg comes to meet the right leg on the step.
- Repeat either on the same side or do alternating lunges. Aim for 10 lunges per side or do as many as you’re able.
Do stair tricep dips
Running or jogging up the stairs is pretty taxing on your legs, glutes, heart, and lunges. If you want to get a balanced workout, you’re going to want to include some upper body work as well. The elevation of the actual stairs also allows you to work the backs of the arms and triceps.
- To start, face away from the staircase. Rest your arms on the second or third stair with your fingers facing away from the stairs. Grab the corner of the stair for this exercise and keep arms shoulder width apart.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground in front of you. Press your hips up so that your arms are in a straight, extended position.
- Slowly lower your body down using your triceps to allow your body to dip down toward the stairs. Lower down until your arms are almost parallel to the ground.
- Push yourself up back to the starting position. Try to do 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.
Use stairs to do push-ups
Like tricep dips, you can also use the stairs to do push-ups as well. These work your arms, chest and core muscles.
- Start by facing the stairs and placing your hands on the first or second step. Keep your legs extended behind you so you’re almost in a plank-like position. The higher the stair you use to place your hands, the easier this exercise is.
- While keeping your hands shoulder width apart, slowly bend your elbows so that your upper body and face slowly lower down towards the stairs.
- Lower down until your nose is almost touching the stairs. Hold this position here for a few seconds and then slowly push yourself up to the starting position.
- The number of pushups you should do depends on your fitness level. If you’re brand new, 5 may be enough. If you’re more fit, try 20 or 50.
Try climbing side steps
Similar to lunges, doing side steps up the staircase can help strengthen your legs, but more specifically the inner and outer muscles of your thighs.
- Start this exercise by standing next to the stairs. Your shoulder should be facing the stairs — not your face or back.
- Carefully step up two stairs with the leg closest to the staircase. Keep your foot flat on the stairs and pull yourself up to a standing position. You will feel this mainly in your thigh.
- Repeat the same exercise on one side and then alternate with the other leg. Repeat 8 to 10 times on both sides.
Perform stair calf raises
This exercise can really make your calves pop. It works the superficial gastrocnemius, which is likely what you think of when you imagine a calf muscle.
- Start by standing on the edge of the stair. Only about the first fourth of each foot should be on the stair; your heels should be hanging off the edge.
- Rise up on your toes as high as you can. Keep your back, legs, and feet straight and don’t allow yourself to lean forward or backwards.
- Slowly lower your body as far as possible.
- Keep one hand on the banister if balance is a concern.
- Try doing this on one leg for an even more effective exercise, but only do so if you have a banister or wall to hold.