If you have a set of stairs at home or in your apartment building, you’re fully equipped for this full-body workout.
Combining both cardio and strength training, stair moves can do twice the work in half the time, giving a sweat-inducing workout that targets all your muscles.
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Try these moves for an easy stair workout you can do at home. Do each of these moves for one minute, then take a 30-second break before moving onto the next exercise. If this is too difficult, begin with 30 seconds for each move and work your way up from there. And feel free to skip the breaks if you’re in the mood for a challenge!
Take a minute rest at the end and complete the circuit one more time for a complete workout (two more times if you’re advanced).
1. Mountain Climbers
You probably already know how to do mountain climbers on the floor. Get down on all fours, raise yourself into a plank position, and keep your arms steady as you alternate bringing one foot in toward your chest and then the other, like you’re running or climbing. Mountain climbers on the stairs are the same, but offer an incline for added resistance. Put your hands on the second or third step up, keep your body in a straight line, and alternate bringing your feet in toward your hands. You’ll feel the burn in your shoulders, arms, legs and core in no time!
2. Stair Sprints
Get a huge cardio burst by sprinting to the top of the staircase and walking back down as many times as you can. Be careful – you’re on stairs, remember – so be careful not to trip, and jog carefully coming down.
3. Skip Ups
Here’s another cardio move that you’ll definitely feel in your legs. It’s the same as running to the top of the stairs and then walking back down, except this time you’re going to skip a stair every time you make a step up the staircase. (Do not skip stairs coming down; continue to walk carefully.) As you become more advanced – and depending on the size of your stairs – you may be able to start skipping two stairs for a bigger challenge. This will really target your glutes.
4. Tricep Dips
Depending on the size of your stairs, use your lowest or second lowest step to support yourself. Face away from the stairs with your hands on the step. Bend your knees to make the exercise easier and straighten your legs for more of a challenge. Bend your elbows to your lower your body toward the ground, then straighten them to pull yourself back up.
5. Step Hops
Use only the bottom step for this move. Balancing on one leg, hop up onto the first step and down onto the floor. Go as fast as you can and try to do 10 before switching legs. Repeat the move on your other leg.
6. Plank With Knee-To-Opposite Elbow
This is very similar to mountain climbers, but with a small twist (literally). Place your hands on the step that allows you to get into a full plank position with your body in a straight line and your feet hip-distance apart. Use your core to pull your right knee toward your left elbow. Alternate and bring your left knee toward your right elbow. Keep yourself in a straight plank throughout the entire move.
7. Incline Push-Ups
Incline push-ups target your chest, and are excellent for those who find full push-ups a little too challenging. The higher the platform you use for the incline, the easier the incline push-up will be. A kitchen counter push-up, for example is much more manageable than a push-up done on the lower step.
Want a real challenge? Do them the opposite way, with the incline working against you.
8. Side Step-Ups
Target your hip abductors by approaching the staircase sideways. This is the same as running straight up the stairs, except you’re facing sideways and stepping from the side. Make sure to alternate so both legs are the lead legs during the exercise.