YORK COUNTY, Pa. — No matter our age or stage in life, trainers at the York JCC say it's essential to focus on movements that help daily life functions as small as taking the stairs.
“The most important thing about step ups is not using that back leg to push yourself up. The focus is on the leg that’s on the step to bring yourself up to a standing tall position. [Then] get your balance at the top and lower yourself down,” Anderson said.
Anderson says that this move is super versatile no matter what fitness level the gym goer may be at.
“Cardio, strength, it's functional training, balance work as well," Anderson explains.
Plus, you can add and subtract weights to make it more or less challenging.
Adding the step up to your routine can really help the strength of the knee, so no matter the age, it can help when you try to use the stairs, go up or down the bleachers, avoid a curb, or guide yourself into a car.
“Step ups are [generally] also good for the glutes, the thighs, your hamstrings, and your calves. You are also engaging your core because again [there is] that balance piece. Core, you’re engaging it to keep your stabilization, along with ankle stabilization because you are balancing on all the joints in that one leg," Anderson says.
Take the step up slow at first and get a feel for the height of the step selected for the desired workout. The move can be a timed element or counted depending on your goals.
One example includes timing the exercise for 30 seconds with each step going at a slightly faster rate for a high-intensity style workout. You break for 30 seconds to a minute and start again, repeating this pattern 3 times. Another may be trying 10 to 20 step ups on each leg, slow and controlled with added weight if interested.
Anderson also reminds us that when placing the foot on the bench, step, or box, that it's firmly situated and centered on the top, to avoid falling or injury when completing the movement.
You just got better!