Jumping on new equipment at the gym can be terrifying. It can be so scary that many of us don’t even try. I’ve personally seen machines at the gym and had to look at the picture example exercises on it for a solid 5 minutes just to figure out where to even start!
So when my trainer had me jump on the stair master every day to train for a fitness competition, I was apprehensive, but I fell in love! I know you’re supposed to switch up your cardio regimen a couple times throughout the week, but I couldn’t help myself! I was on that thing for 25-45 minutes everyday sweating more that I even knew was possible, toning my legs, building my stamina and…my butt. Hallelujah!
Stair Climbing Benefits
TONES LOWER BODY
- This was something I found to be especially true after continuously using the stair master. With every step you take for 20-30 minutes you are engaging your calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings to burn fat and build lean muscle mass.
It’s easy to want to fold over and rest your upper body on the machine, BUT if you remain upright and activate your core you also train all those core muscles while training your lower body.
Proper Form // Your instinct will be to look down and watch each step go by, but INSTEAD, keep your head looking forward, your shoulders down (away from your ears) and your core tight.
EASY ON YOUR JOINTS
The step-after-step motion is a hard workout, but it is not hard on your joints. Regardless of how slowly or how quickly the stairs are moving, you are still getting in a very beneficial workout. (Compared to the treadmill which is much more impact on your body and doesn’t offer the same benefits at a slower pace.)
If you are going to work out you definitely want to make it worth your while. The stairs allow you to accomplish cardio, toning, and muscle building all at once!
Stair climbing uses the largest muscles in your body to continuously carry your own body weight up throughout the entire workout, which means more calories burned!
Already familiar with using the stairs? Try incorporating a couple of these exercises next time you’re on the stair climber!
Alternating Leg Raises: While the stairs are at a moderate pace, lean forward and kick your left leg back squeezing the glutes then skip one step when you return your foot to the stairs. Repeat on the right.
Stay low: While the machine is going slow, allow yourself to get closer to the bottom of the stairs and continue to step from there, constantly keeping your legs in a 90-degree angle. Make sure your holding on.
Side Step: Turn your hips to the right side of the room and step your left foot up then cross your right leg up and over to the next step. After you feel you have worked that side, switch.
- Sumo Step: Keeping your shoulders back and your back straight, step to the left as far as you can with the left foot then do the same for your right side.
If you don’t have access to a gym, no worries! Find a location near you with stairs that you can walk or run up. Here are a few in Los Angeles (and for more, see Secret Stairs of LA):
What are your favorite local spots to run stairs in your town?
Chelsey Rose is a health and fitness aficionado who has been inspired by her wellness journey to help others live a healthy lifestyle. She creates meal and work out plans for women all over the world. Get Social // Instagram and Tumblr.