It's no secret I'm an outdoor runner. Even though dear old 'Milly (my almost 18-year old treadmill) is always available, I seldom ever want to play with her. In all honesty, I don't think she is too fond of me, either. After all, she's heard all the nasty things I've said about her (as well as the numerous explicatives I've said in her presence).
Besides, it's (currently) my off-season, and I don't need (or want) to run excess miles for the time being. Since I am running less, I still need (and want) some additional cardio and my preferred form of indoor fitness is found on my stairway!
Since I'm running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in April (in DC), I won't be doing the Fight for Air Climb (scheduled for the same day, but in Iowa). Kind of a bummer, but I still plan to do some stair training through the winter months. Why not? It's a great cardio option and doesn't require extensive workout equipment.
Here's a sampling of some options for stair workouts. Not only have these workouts given me some great sweat sessions, my entire body has been worked over and kept in check by doing them.
Option 1 - There's the basic single-stepping or double-stepping routine.
Option 2 - How about a lower-body burn?
The lower body moves I usually use are: weighted forward lunges for each leg (1st & 6th circuit), weighted reverse lunges for each leg (2nd & 7th circuit), 1-minute wall sit (3rd & 8th circuit), weighted sumo squats (4th & 9th circuit), and weighted walking lunges for each leg (5th & 10th circuit).
The arm moves I use are: hammer curls (1st & 6th circuit), bicep curls (2nd & 7th circuit), upright rows (3rd & 8th circuit), triceps extensions (4th & 9th circuit), and shoulder presses (5th & 10th circuit).
Option 3 - Let's not forget the upper body!
The arm moves I typically utilize are: hammer curls (1st circuit), bicep curls (2nd circuit), lawn mowers (3rd circuit), cross-body bicep curls (4th circuit), and triceps extensions (5th circuit). You could substitute in other upper body moves, or increase the reps if you wish.
Option 4 - Push-ups can also be added in...as a recovery set
Option 5 - Lastly, it is possible to combine intervals on the stairs with intervals on the treadmill.
Here's what happened:
*10 sets of steps (one set = going up one flight and then coming back down)
*1/4 mile on the treadmill (incline on 2, pace set at 6.0)
*15 sets of steps
*1/4 mile on the treadmill (same as above)
*20 sets of steps
*1/4 mile on the treadmill (same as above)
*15 sets of steps
*1/4 mile of the treadmill (same as above)
*10 sets of steps
*cool down (I walked for 5 minutes, but adjusted the pace setting to 4.0)
As you can see, this involves a little bit of running back and forth...but that can be utilized as recovery time. Total flights climbed amounted to 70, and total mileage on the treadmill was only one mile. Each of these intervals could easily be lengthened (more flights of stairs, longer treadmill distances, or both) as your time or energy level allows.
Care to give any of these a try? All you need is a stairway, a few hand weights, and an open mind. And a willingness to sweat.
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This is brilliant! I dash up and down my stairs as a warmup but I need to do this. Esp at the moment, as next door (whose own stairs are just the other side of the wall from ours) is empty! What an inspiration you are!ReplyDelete
Awh, thank you ;-) As you know, the treadmill is not my favorite indoor device, so I turn to the stairs when I'm craving some cardio and it's too icky outside.Delete
Glad you've found a way to train indoors. I don't think my knees would do well with all that climbing.ReplyDelete
Knock wood, it works for me. I'm glad I have the stairway because 'Milly is just not my gig these days (unless I'm power walking).Delete
I'm a huge Stepmill fan but I don't do stair workouts at home...unless I wanna be chased by a certain Ozzy...ReplyDelete
Ha! A certain Max gets confused when I'm doing my stairs...follows me up and down for the first several flights LOLDelete
I never think about doing a stair workout inside. When I think of stairs I think of stadium ones. but this would be a great workout in the winter.ReplyDelete
Well, we don't have any stadiums in close proximity with substantial steps to conquer....so I have to keep it inside...Delete
Your workouts always sound like killers! No wonder you are so fit!ReplyDelete
Well, thanks ;-) I get bored easily, so I try to find new ways to mix things up and work different muscle groups. I guess it keeps me young (?) ;-)Delete
Stair stepping is no joke! I should use my own more often. I like how you incorporated the upper body exercises in there too. Great idea!ReplyDelete
Well, maybe when I'm in DC, I can give your stairs a whirl ;-)Delete
i'm going to try to incorporate some stair workouts next year. You've inspired me!ReplyDelete
Glad to hear it!! The stairs are your friend, after all ;-)Delete
When Dallas got the ice storm before the super bowl, I ended up doing stair workouts in my apartment. My stairs were inside, and I was stuck at home since no one could drive anywhere.ReplyDelete
Stairs are a great (free!) exercise option that a lot of people shun. You don't have to do long workouts for them to be effective!Delete
Triple steps, LOL...I don't think my short l'il legs can even reach that far!ReplyDelete
Well, maybe the double steps would be more suitable ;-) My legs are l-o-n-g LOLDelete
I moved into my apartment six years ago, a 5th floor walkup. I have a love hate relationship with my stairs, especially after my first half. Which reminds me, I need to get my laundry before work tomorrow which means down and up and down again pre coffee. LOLReplyDelete
Your workout is shades of high school indoor track where we would do the inverse pyramid of steps down from the gym to the locker rooms.
I started doing stair training several years ago when I registered for my first Fight for Air Climb. I realized climbing stairs (whether by walk or run) was basically like doing a steep hill climb. It's not only a great lower-body workout, but crazy cardio as well!Delete
You always have such great stair workouts! Sadly (fortunately?) I live in a one story house so I can't partake. But I can enjoy your work vicariously!ReplyDelete
Well, that's fair. I have no beautiful desert trails to run here, so I get to do that vicariously through you ;-)Delete
This sounds like a great workout - one that will get you sweating and your heart rate going in no time! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Oh yes...plenty of sweat and fast heart rates!Delete
I am up & down the stairs all day long, but I rarely use them as a form of formal exercise.It's definitely great cardio!ReplyDelete
It's really great cardio....I'm always surprised at the number of seasoned runners who don't utilize a stair workout for cross-training, especially for hills!Delete
I’m an outdoor runner as well. I always take the stairs instead of an elevator when I can. That’s it though. Kudos to you.ReplyDelete
I even "climb" the escalators if that's my only option LOLDelete
A stair workout sounds interesting! I've never done one. Something to look into to do in school since there are lots of stairs there.ReplyDelete
The stair workouts do not need to take long because they're pretty intense!Delete
stairs are SO good for runners! I have a friend in England who SWEARS by his stair workouts! Unfortunately I live in a 4th floor apartment so I'd have to do stairs in the stairwell and ... that's not going to happen. I have thought about doing stairs SO MANY times influenced by your posts (and my friend). It may actually happen at some point. :)ReplyDelete
I have said it before...most runners train on hills, and stairs are pretty much really steep hills LOLDelete