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30-Minute Stair Machine Cardio Interval Workout

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30-Minute Stair Machine Cardio Interval Workout

There’s no doubt that stairs are a great way to exercise, but it’s also a great fat burner. The American Council on Exercise says that running stairs can burn three times the number of calories as walking for the same amount of time. Add intervals into the mix, and you’ll boost your fat-burning efforts.

This 30-minute stair climber workout from Activewear USA varies intensity from two to 10 in its intervals. It’s called Rate of Perceived Exertion, where you estimate the level based on how you feel. And the intervals are timed, instead of counting steps.

The first five minutes are a warmup, at a level four intensity. Then for the next three minutes, the intervals alternate between six and five levels of intensity. There’s a brief half-minute at level eight, and another half at four. By the nine-minute mark, you’re going between levels six and seven for four minutes, and you finish off the first half of the workout with two minutes on level five. You repeat those same intervals for the next 25 minutes and finish off with a five-minute cooldown at level two or three.

The Workout

Time

Rate of Perceived Effort

0:00 – 5:00 / Warm-Up

4

5:00 – 6:00

6

6:00 – 7:00

5

7:00 – 8:00

6

8:00 – 8:30

8

8:30 – 9:00

4

9:00 – 10:00

6

10:00 – 11:00

7

11:00 – 12:00

6

12:00 – 13:00

7

13:00 – 15:00

5

15:00 – 16:00

6

16:00 – 17:00

5

17:00 – 18:00

6

18:00 – 18:30

8

18:30 – 19:00

4

19:00 – 20:00

6

20:00 – 21:00

7

21:00 – 22:00

6

22:00 – 23:00

7

23:00 – 25:00

5

25:00 – 30:00 / Cool-Down

2 or 3

 

Other Tips:

1. Maintain Good Form

Amy Gantwerk, a certified personal trainer at The Sports Club/LA in Boston, tell’s Women’s Health: “Keep your body upright, with your hips centered over your legs. Place your hands gently on the machine, elbows bent at 90 degrees, or by your sides, moving back and forth as if you’re running. Press your entire heel down on the step. This forces your glutes and hamstrings to work, instead of just the calf muscles. Avoid pushing the step all the way down or letting it come all the way up. This can make your pelvis sway up and down, which can lead to soreness and injury. Form slips when your mind drifts. Stay focused on squeezing your glutes every time you press your heel into the step.”

2. Be Safe

Since the stair climber is a machine with moveable steps, you’ll want to be careful not to get hurt or injure yourself. Here are a few of Indiana University’s climbing safety tips:

  • Listen to your body to avoid injury. Stop exercising if you experience any sharp pains.
  • If you need support, hold onto the rail when walking up and down the stairs. To avoid wrist or arm injury, do not use the rail to pull yourself up.
  • Maintain a straight posture to avoid strain to your lower back.
  • Be aware of your knee alignment as it can cause a knee or ankle sprain.
  • Drink sips of water before, during, and after exercise even if you aren’t feeling thirsty.

3. Understand Levels of Intensity

We talked a bit about Rate of Perceived Exertion above, but Cleveland Clinic offers this helpful scale:

“When using this rating scale, remember to include feelings of shortness of breath, as well as how tired you feel in your legs and overall.”

0 – Nothing at all, like sitting in a chair
1 – Very light
2 – Light
3 – Moderate
4 – Somewhat heavy
5 – Heavy
6 – Heavy
7 – Very heavy
8 – Very heavy
9 – Very heavy
10 -Very, very heavy (activity is very difficult)

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