The best thing about stair exercises is they don’t require any sort of equipment. In fact, just choosing to take the stairs every day can bring health benefits. Hitting the stairs is also great for boosting cardiovascular fitness and maintaining bone health. If you really want to challenge your body, doing workouts on the stairs is even better. All you need is your workout shoes, motivation, a few minutes, and you’re good to go. Here are seven stair exercises you can do anytime to get fit fast.
1. Running stairs
After you’ve done some pre-workout stretches to warm up your muscles, get your heart rate pumping by running a few flights of stairs. This is a great way to start any workout because, according to Mayo Clinic, such aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the muscles and back to the lungs, which carries oxygen through your body and helps clear out carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Warming up with stair runs can give you the spark you need to complete the rest of your workout with full intensity.
For this exercise, you’ll stand facing the stairs, feet about hip-width apart. Keeping your left foot on the ground, raise your right foot to step to plant it on the step. Men’s Health says the perfect step up should create a 90-degree angle from your hips, to your knees, and down to your ankles. After your foot is perfectly planted, lift your body up until you’re standing, then step back down. Complete for your desired number of repetitions, then switch sides. As simple as this workout may sound, after a few reps, you’ll definitely feel the burn in your glutes.
3. Reverse lunges with knee-ups
Lunges are great for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles. According to Fitness, you’ll start this exercise by stepping your right leg back into a lunge so your knees are both at 90-degree angles and your knees are over your ankles. Your left foot should be firmly planted on the first stair. Keeping your hands on your hips, push your right leg off the ground and bring it up in front of you, knee bent, until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Carefully lunge your right leg back to the ground and repeat. Aim for 10 repetitions before switching to your left leg.
4. Plyo push-ups
Push-ups are great because they work your arms, chest, and core. For this move, get into a plank position with your hands elevated on the stairs. Shape says to do push-ups like you normally would, but use a more forceful push to hop your hands off the step, then clap them before landing, and going into the next push-up. This is a seriously challenging variation, so don’t be surprised if you need some time to adjust. For the real show-offs, try the same move with your feet elevated on the stairs instead of your arms.
5. Tricep dips
Incorporating tricep exercises into your workout is essential for strengthening and toning your arms, so give these dips a try. PopSugar has a great tutorial. Begin by facing away from the stairs and placing your hands on the second step, arms straight and legs out in front of you. If you’re taller, you may need to place them on the third step. You can either keep your feet straight out while balancing on your heels, or you can place both of your feet on the ground with your knees bent. Bend your elbows back and lower your body until your butt is just above he ground. Keep your core tight and back straight as you complete this move. Once you’ve gotten as low as you can, lift yourself back up until your arms are straight.
6. Mountain climbers
This full-body exercise will get your heart rate up and tone your muscles. It’s great for working your deltoids, triceps, abdominal muscles, quads, and hip flexors. To complete this workout, Real Simple says you’ll start as if you are doing a push-up on the stairs, as with the exercise above. Your arms and back should remain in this form throughout the whole exercise. Once your body is in proper form, bend your right leg and bring it up to your right shoulder. Then, as you bring your right leg back to starting position on the floor, bend your left leg up to your left shoulder. Continue this motion as fast as possible without losing form.
If you’re looking to engage your abdominals, you’ll want to add the V-up to your routine. Active.com says to start this exercise flat on your back, legs straight out in front of you, with your heels resting on the second step. Begin with your arms extended straight past your head. Lift your arms up, bringing them forward and engaging your core by crunching as you reach your fingertips to your toes. As you’re lifting your body up, make sure your lower back remains touching the floor and that you’re keeping your belly button tucked in. As you bring your body back down to the floor, do so slowly. Complete as many reps as possible.