While my yoga mat is hugely responsible for my sanity these days, my fitness routine needs a change of pace. So, I’m taking my workouts to new heights with the staircase.
“Stairs are functional – they can be used for so much more than just simply helping us to reach our step goals,” says Beth Perez, a NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of MB TwinFit.
She’s the mastermind behind the balance-improving, full-body staircase circuit I never knew I needed.
“The next time you take down a load of laundry, I challenge you to give this circuit a try,” Perez says.
But first, warm up your body by walking or jogging up and down the stairs three to five times to elevate your heart rate.
Once you’re ready, perform the following circuit three times, resting as needed between rounds.
Toe Taps or Run Steps
Stand facing the base of the stairs. Place your right foot on the first or second stair (whichever is safest for you) and the left on the ground.
Take a split stance as you jump (or step for a modified version) and tap the left foot to the step and right foot to the ground.
Continue alternating sides between step and ground. Make sure to engage your arms (as if you’re jogging) to push the body through the momentum of the movement.
Continue until you complete 20 taps per side, working as fast as you can while maintaining control over your movements.
Squat to Step-Up or Jump
Begin facing the stairs. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, chest up, shoulders back, and head straight forward in a neutral alignment.
Lower down into a squat position. Lead with your butt as you push your hips back, keep your knees in line with your ankles, and maintain a strong core.
As you come out of your squat, jump, or step onto the bottom step. Feel free to challenge yourself with a higher step if you can do so safely.
Jump or step the feet back down to the ground and repeat, landing softly with each rep.
Continue for 20 reps. If stepping, complete 10 steps per leg.
Facing the base of the stairs, get into a plank position with your arms extended. Your bodyweight should be supported by your hands (not forearms) and feet.
Engage your core while aligning your wrists with your shoulders and your feet with your hips.
While maintaining this plank position, walk your right hand up to the first step, followed by your left hand.
Then, bring your right hand down to the ground and follow with your left.
You can challenge yourself by adding a push-up or plank jack when both hands are on the step.
Complete 10 full reps (up, up, down, down) leading with each side.
Stand with your back facing the staircase.
Bend at the knee and place your right toes on the bottom step.
Jump or step a few feet forward with your left foot, keeping your left leg in line with your hip.
Slowly lower down into a lunge, while keeping your left knee in line with your ankle.
Keep your core engaged, chest up, and gaze forward.
Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
Complete 10 reps per leg.
Side Step-Up to Knee Drive
Begin facing sideways to the stairs. Place your right foot on the first step and lift both arms overhead.
Push off from the ground and lift your left knee while simultaneously bringing both arms down to meet your knee at your center. Dig through the right heel that is still placed on the step.
Return to the starting position with your left foot to the ground and both arms overhead.
Complete 10 reps with your right foot on the stairs. Do so as quickly and safely as possible before repeating on your left side.