Step-ups are a great way to bring a little cardio and endurance training into your everyday exercise routine! 

Done with a stair or sturdy blocks, this easy-to-do exercise is one that can greatly benefit individuals of all levels. Additionally, it’s a great way to tone and cool down after a more intense workout! 

A Brief History Of Step Aerobics

The step-up is considered a common exercise move today, but it actually has roots in the late 1980s!

Step aerobics was created by Gin Miller in 1989. After dealing with a knee injury, Miller was told that she could strengthen the muscles that support her knees by stepping up and down from a milk crate. 

Miller took this information to heart, soon developing the step-up routine that is used in many aerobics classes today. 

There are many different moves and techniques involved with step aerobics, and the step-up is just one of them! Considered a “basic” step, the move has evolved to be done on any number of sturdy surfaces, and in some cases may include the holding of dumbbells for an extra workout. 

The great thing about this particular move the fact that just about anyone can do it. It’s an easy way to bring some cardio into your routine, and can even help positively impact your overall stability. 

Something to note, however, is that if you have problems with balance you may want to consider speaking with your doctor or physical therapist before taking part in this move. 

If you’re slightly off-balance, you can use something like a chair or the wall in order to help you keep yourself standing straight while you do the exercise! 

A Lower-Leg Booster 

In addition to getting your heart rate up, step-ups can seriously improve the strength and stamina of your lower-body. The muscles that are most impacted by this kind of exercise include: 

  • Gluteus maximus 
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

But your muscles aren’t the only star of the show! Your joints, such as your hips and knees, are incredibly important to the execution of this particular exercise! 

Step Up To The Step-Up 

Sound like the perfect exercise for you? Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that: 

  • You have enough room to perform the exercise. 
  • You have the right crates, steps, or sturdy blocks to step on too. 

Remember, the steps you use should be stable and secure. You don’t want to be stepping on to something that will break and could injure you, after all! 

Performing The Exercise

To do the step-up: 

  1. Face the step and put your right foot on top of the box. Make sure your hip, knee, and ankle are at 90-degree angles. 
  2. Push into the box and bring yourself upright until your leg is straight. Keep your left foot in the air. 
  3. Lower yourself to the floor. 
  4. Bring your left foot on top of the box and repeat steps 1-3. 
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the desired number of repetitions. 

Bring Balance To Your Routine 

In addition to the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of the exercise, step-ups are a fantastic way to work on your overall balance. You can train each side of your body individually thanks to the fact that you are stepping on the box with one foot at a time. 

Level Up Your Step-Up 

To take your step-up to new heights, you may want to consider the use of weights. You can hold these weights in each hand as you go through the exercise to provide an added benefit to your upper-body, particularly the triceps and biceps muscles. 

Start Your Step-Up Routine Today 

Adding the step-up exercise to your workout regiment is a great way to build strength, balance, and stamina all in one move!

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