Stair Exercises at Home

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Many people think a full-body workout requires expensive equipment and a health club membership. In the privacy of your own home, you can get a great workout. Use your stairs to exercise all parts of your body.

Warm-Up

  • Perform a warm-up and stretch session before exercising on your stairs. You will need to prepare your muscles for a stair workout. Perform any of the following movements for a few minutes to warm up your muscles.

    Step-Ups: Step up onto the first step with one leg at a time. Immediately step back down, one leg at a time. This movement mimics the basic step performed on an aerobic step.

    Knee-Ups: Step up with your right leg onto the first step and raise your left knee into the air. Step down with your left leg, followed by your right. Alternate between your right and left knee.

    Toe Taps: Alternate tapping your right and left toes on the bottom stair.

Cardio

  • Walk up and down the stairs to raise your heart rate and get cardiovascular exercise. Add in variations to keep the stair exercises interesting.

    Stair Climbers: Start by walking up and down one stair. Next walk up and down two stairs, then up and down one stair. Continue this pattern for five or 10 stairs or the whole staircase.

    Running: Use caution when running on stairs. Always keep your hand in contact with the railing to ensure safety. Quickly run to the top of the staircase and back down. Complete this cycle as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Try to beat your number during the second 30 seconds. Adjust the time frame as necessary. Try adding push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks at the top and bottom of the staircase for more variety.

Strengthening Stair Exercises

  • Be sure to exercise all major muscle groups on the stairs for a well-rounded session.

    Push-ups: These work your back, chest and shoulder muscles. Put your hands on a step (first through sixth, depending on your fitness level) with your toes on the floor. Lower your body until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the start position. To do decline push-ups put your feet on a stair and position your hands on the ground below the first stair. Perform a push-up. Put your feet on higher stairs as you gain strength.

    Triceps Dips: Sit facing away from the staircase with your back directly in front of the first stair. Put your legs in front of your body and the palms of your hands on the first stair. This should raise your body from the ground. Bend your elbows until your rear almost touches the floor. Push your body back up to complete one triceps dip.

    Calf Raises: Stand on the balls of your feet on the edge of the first stair while holding onto the railing with one hand. Explode up onto your toes and slowly lower back down. When you are lowering your heels allow them to drop past the stair to get more range of motion. You also can try this move one leg at a time.

    Incline Lunges: Stand at the bottom of the stairs, about a foot from the first step. Step onto the second step with one leg and bend the knee to form a 90-degree angle (your knee should not be in front of your toe). Your back leg should remain straight. Push off with the leg on the stair to return to the standing position. Adjust the step you lunge onto based on your fitness level.

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