Winter weather have you feeling stuck indoors, unmotivated or bored with your routine? Step up to a leaner, fitter, stronger YOU and hit the closest stairwell for a quick burst of energy or a total body workout!
Whether you have 2, 5, 10 or 20 minutes, taking advantage of the stairs at your home, school or office is a great way to mix it up and torch more calories while strengthening your core and lower body. For a quick burst of energy or exercise, alternate jogging up the stairs & walking down with stepping up every other stair by doubling up stairs on the way up. For a longer workout, continue alternating jogging up the stairs with doubling up and add in bottom stair squats, lunges, push ups, dips and planks every other stair climb.
Heel to Toe - Be mindful of not "tip toeing" up the stairs and be sure to press your heel, activating more of the glute and hamstring muscles in addition to the quads, as well as protect your feet.
Bring Booty Back - Be sure to activate (squeeze) your glutes and back side when pressing through your heel to step up to the next step. As I tell my ladies, take advantage of this booty lifting opportunity when taking the stairs!
Double Up - When taking the stairs, take two steps at a time to recruit more muscles in your glutes and hamstrings and burn more calories. Be sure to engage your core to activate your back and abdominal muscles as well. A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning concluded that taking stairs two at a time was better at maximizing caloric output and increasing muscle activity. Swing Your Arms - for added benefit and power behind the movement.
*(Update to my tip on "Double Up On The Stairs" posted January 2014)
As always, remember to take it One Bite At A Time, One Step At A Time & One Day At A Time!