What are step exercises?

We all take walk up steps in our daily routine. This works as a cardio workout that pumps our heart and burns some calories on the side. 

The same principle applies to step exercises. And the plus is that these exercises can be choreographed with your favourite music! Also known as aerobic step exercises, step exercises are movements done around a step box. 

Aerobic step exercises activate and challenge almost all the muscles in your body including:

  • Hips
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

Which are some of the most effective step exercises?

There are several effective exercises using a step for beginners and those who have experience exercising. 

Here are some of the best step board exercises for you to include in your workout regime:

  1. Low step-ups: This is one of the best aerobic step exercises for beginners or those who have low fitness levels. This exercise can also be easily done by seniors and is a great way to strengthen your lungs and cardiovascular system.
  • Place the step box in the front and step onto it with your right leg first followed by your left leg.
  • Step off the box with your right foot followed by your left.
  • This is one repetition.¬†
  1. Box squat jumps: One of the best steps exercises for beginners, this makes for an excellent compound movement and helps strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • Sit on the step box with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold out your arms in front for balancing yourself.
  • Breathe out and jump from your feet.
  • Propel your hands backwards for balance and extra elevation.
  • Land with your knees slightly bent and lower back to the starting position.¬†
  • Repeat the movement without allowing too much rest in between.¬†
  1. A-step move: This side step exercise is perfect for beginners and helps in improving functionality and flexibility.
  • Stand straight next to the bench.
  • Step on the centre of the bench with your left foot.
  • Now lift the right foot to meet the left one.¬†
  • Step back down from the bench and repeat with the opposite foot.
  1. Lift and reach: This is a great stepper exercise for weight loss that engages your core and works on your glutes, hamstrings, and deltoids.
  • Stand tall with the step box in front of you. Keep your arms down by your sides.
  • Put your right foot on the box so that your toes face at an angle of 45-degrees.
  • Extend your left leg back up and move your arms up in a smooth arc. Ensure that your arms reach shoulder level.
  • Lower your body to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  1. Weighted step-up knee drive: This is an advanced step workout that challenges your quadriceps and core with its additional weight. This is also one of the best step exercises to stabilise your forearms and traps. You can use either dumbbells or plates to do this exercise.
  • Stand with the step board in front of you.¬†
  • Hold dumbbells or plates in each hand.
  • Place your right leg on the step box and drive your body upwards by pressing your feet.
  • Bring your opposite leg up in a bent-knee position. Go as high as you can and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.¬†
  1. Lateral step box jumps: This is a great side step exercise that ups your fitness levels. It also improves your balance and coordination.
  • Stand on the right side near the length of the box.¬†
  • Keep your feet together and your arms on the side.
  • Jump on the box laterally and land yourself on the left-hand side of the box.
  • ¬†Repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

What are some benefits of step exercises?

Step exercises have amazing benefits not just for your physical health but also for your brain. Here is a roundup of some great reasons why you should include these exercises in your workout routine:

  • These exercises give you an excellent cardio workout and help you burn loads of calories. Stepper exercises for weight loss when done with medium-intensity are said to burn 300-400 calories per hour. They work as great weight loss exercises that tone up your body and help prevent obesity-related health issues such as hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney problems.
  • Aerobic step exercises work wonders for your heart health. They promote better circulation and improve your resting heart rate. This improved oxygenation prevents the risk of cardiovascular problems.
  • When performed with weights, exercises using a step promote better bone density and muscle mass. This prevents fractures and reduces the risk of conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Step board exercise help release endorphins and reduce the production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. This not just reduces anxiety and stress but also regulates your mood.
  • By challenging and strengthening the muscles in your legs and abdomen, step workouts give you a strong core and improve your balance and coordination.
  • Step workouts are quite versatile and can be modified depending on your fitness level, age, and health.
  • It is easy to do step exercises at home. All you need is a step board and you can do these exercises practically anywhere, making them a great addition to your workout at home.

How to do step exercises safely?

Here are some tips for doing step exercises safely:

  • Never raise your intensity levels while doing step exercises for beginners. Start slow and build up your practice gradually.
  • People who have knee problems or are prone to injuries, must not do step workouts at home that involve jumping.¬†
  • Use a non-slip board.
  • The height of the step must be adjusted to match your skill level. This prevents injuries while doing step workouts at home.
  • Add arm movements to increase the gains from step exercises.
  • Never start doing step exercises at home without consulting your doctor.¬†

Takeaway

‚ÄćThese exercises are fun, effective, and can be done with a group of friends. The key to gaining benefits from step exercises is to keep trying out new variations and challenging yourself.

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Posted 
December 31, 2021
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