Stepping – Cross Training for Strength

I’m always looking for extra activities to  mix up my routine.

If you are looking for a good cross training activity for strength, and to give you variety in your exercise program, try running  stairs.  Great for when you might have a summer dance moratorium.  Helps keep you in shape during the down time.

Stepping is a great cardiovascular workout, that also gives your legs a workout.  Stepping is a great exercise  that helps strengthen those hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes – and it helps work off that extra cellulite.

Using  two sets of stairs separated by about 20 or 30  feet of bleachers is allyou need.  No expensive gym costs, and no exercise equipment needed.  Just a good set of running shoes and a little bit of motivation.

Since I am not an exercise expert, you should  check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program.

Be careful if you use weights when you step.  I don’t know of anyone whorecommends using ankle weights while running or stepping, probably because they add extra stress on the already weak areas of your body.   I’ve also never heard of a professional runner who uses them either.

When starting a stepping program, it is a good idea to chart how many steps you do per repetition.

Arrows show direction of reps

Here is a simple repetition start up program:

Up 20   steps
-Down 20 steps
-Run across  the bottom row (flat platform)
-Up 20  steps
-Down 20 steps

Five repetitions will give you a pretty good workout if you are doing 20 steps.

Skip steps as you get stronger, and add more reps later on as well.

Number of Steps Number of Columns of steps Repetitions
1 to 2 weeks 5 1
2 to 3 weeks 10 1 to 2
5 weeks 20 2 to 3

Start off with a couple reps, and gradually increase as you get stronger.  Go slower at the beginning  and add steps gradually as you build endurance.

As you get stronger, you can try skipping steps too.

Take a buddy along to keep you company and challenge each other to work harder.

Have Fun!

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