Hit the Stairs For This Bodyweight Cardio and Strength Workout That Works Your Whole Body

Advice

Stair workouts aren’t just about running up and down dozens of flights until your legs melt. Sure, that’s certainly an option, but you can also save your joints while working cardio and strength, at the same time, using just a couple steps and a few simple moves.

For that, we turn to Jennifer Nagel, ACE-certified personal trainer and CEO of the online health and fitness coaching company Figured Out Fitness. “Steps are a great way to add variety to a strength training workout,” she told POPSUGAR. The extra height forces you to incorporate and adapt to level changes, “which can help you work your muscles from multiple angles.” Hitting those different angles stimulates the fibers in different areas of your muscles, building strength in all parts of the muscle.

This workout also combines strength training with cardio, Nagel said, thanks to the heart-pumping squat jumps you’ll be doing in between resistance moves. All you need is an exercise step or some stairs (but if you don’t have either, these moves can be done without). Check out the full workout ahead, and let’s get sweating!

Cardio-Strength Step Workout

Equipment needed: Stairs, a bench, or a sturdy, solid box. For safety, Nagel recommends wearing shoes during this workout to ensure you have firm footing.

Directions: Warm up with 10 minutes of light cardio, such as walking or a basic step (shown ahead), and dynamic bodyweight movements. Complete the designated reps and sets for each exercise before advancing to the following exercise. You’ll see a range of reps for each move, so you can adjust the workout for your level, doing fewer reps if you’re new to the moves or a beginner. Rest for 45 seconds between each set. Cool down afterwards by walking in place for 30 seconds, then stretching.

Exercise Reps Sets
Prisoner squat hover 12 to 16 reps 2 sets
Squat jump onto step 8 to 10 reps 1 set
Incline push-up row 12 to 16 reps 2 sets
Squat jump onto step 8 to 10 reps 1 set
Incline side lunge 12 to 15 reps per side 1 set
Squat jump onto step 8 to 10 reps 1 set
Elevated tricep dip 10 to 12 reps 2 sets
Squat jump onto step 8 to 10 reps 1 set
Crab kick and reach 8 to 10 reps 2 sets

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