Fast and Effective Staircase Circuit Workout

OK, so you slept in and didn’t make it to the gym. Maybe you don’t even have a gym membership. That’s no problem because bodyweight exercises like these that use stairs are terrific for helping you keep your body toned, increasing your strength and getting fit in general. If you can find a set of stairs in your home or at your office building or local park, then you have everything you need. Here are four excellent full-body moves you can do at lunch or midday break.

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#1 – Classic Push-up

Begin in a kneeling position on the bottom step of your stairs, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and knees. Extend your arms and place your hands on the stair. Contract your core and bend your arms to lower your upper body down, and then straighten your arms to complete a push-up. Repeat the movement.

Classic Push-up

Start with one set of 8 to 10 reps. To add to the intensity of this exercise, add one or two more sets of 8 to 10 reps.

These push-ups are excellent for back, arm, and shoulder strength as well as core engagement. Be sure not to let your elbows bend past 90 degrees as it puts unnecessary strain on the front of your chest and shoulders.


#2 – Alternating Lunge With Knee Drive

Stand upright on the bottom step of your stairs, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Engage your core and tighten your glutes. Step up with one leg. Follow with your other leg, driving your knee up toward your chest as you counter the movement with your opposite arm. Step down to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Alternating Lunge With Knee Drive

Start with one set of 8 to 10 reps. To add to the intensity of this exercise, add one or two more sets of 8 to 10 reps.

You can get your heart rate up a bit by increasing the intensity and frequency and focus on driving your knee up while activating your straight leg and glutes. Keep your core tight, make sure to use your arms and keep your chin tucked and your spine as straight as possible.


#3 – Tricep Dips

Sit upright on the bottom step of your stairs, with your hands placed at your sides for support. Engage your core and lift your seat away from the stair, and then drop your seat toward the floor. Push back up to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Tricep Dips

Start with one set of 8 to 10 reps. To add to the intensity of this exercise, add one or two more sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Make sure that your elbows do not extend past 90 degrees. To make this exercise a bit easier, bring your knees closer to you. Conversely, for a more challenging intensity, walk your feet out further.


#4 – Air Squats

Begin in an upright standing position with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Engage your core. Bend your knees and hinge through your hips to move into a squat position, touching your seat on the stair. Raise back up and repeat the movement.

Air Squats

Start with one set of 8 to 10 reps. To add to the intensity of this exercise, add one or two more sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Bring your rear end as close to the stair as possible. Move back to a standing position in a smooth, controlled movement with your back straight and your gaze forward. Keep your knees tracking straight, engage your core and exhale on the way back up.

You can do these exercises three to five times per week, and they only take 15 to 20 minutes at a time, which also happens to be the minimum daily recommendation for exercise. Don’t wait any longer. Get started on these four bodyweight exercises. Remember that mobility prevents disability.

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