Step aerobics is often offered as a group fitness class in gyms. However, you don’t need a gym membership to get all the benefits of stepping up and down. In fact, you don’t even need to do aerobic exercises to get heart-pumping, calorie-burning results.
All you need is your favorite step stool and a little space in your living room.
Benefits of Step Exercises
A step stool is a highly versatile exercise tool that you can use in different ways to get your upper body, lower body, and core in shape.
Here are some of the benefits of using a step stool in your exercise routine:
- High-intensity without high-impact
Step aerobics can be a high-intensity workout that ramps up your heart rate and scorches calories. Unlike other high-intensity activities, such as running or jumping, step aerobics doesn’t stress your joints.
- Instant mood booster
Research shows that people who participate in step exercises report being in a better mood with less anger and stress than those who do not participate in step exercises. Using a step stool can help your body move oxygen around and release endorphins, which give you an instant mood boost.
- Full body workout
Even though you step with your legs, your entire body gets into shape when you use a step. That’s because you need to rely on your core and upper body to stay balanced while you’re on the step. You can also use a step for upper body exercises, like push-ups. So, you can get a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment!
5 Step Stool Exercises to Try at Home
The best part of using a step for exercise is that you can get into shape without ever leaving home.
Anyone can use a step, from beginners to advanced exercisers and elite athletes. They tend to range in height from around four inches to 12 inches.
Use a shorter step stool to increase intensity for upper body exercises and a higher step stool to increase intensity for lower body exercises. Get both sizes if you want to vary your workout intensity.
Exercise 1: Step up, step down
This simple exercise can get you sweating in no time. Plus, you can easily do it as part of your workout or for a quick burst of fitness while watching TV or taking a break from work.
What to do:
- Step up with your right foot, then your left foot.
- Step down with your right foot, then your left foot.
- Repeat at least 20 times before changing your starting foot.
- For a variation, hold onto a light set of dumbbells as you step.
- For an added mental challenge, use a two-step stool and alternate which one you step on each time.
Exercise 2: Sidestep and balance
This move will work your hips along with your legs and core. In addition, it provides a mental challenge as you work on your balance.
What to do:
- Stand with your bench to your right side.
- Step up with your right foot and hold your left foot for balance (or lightly tap your left foot on the bench).
- Step down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.
- Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
Exercise 3: Step and lunge
This move works your glutes and quads along with your core. Start slow, then work on transitioning between legs quickly without losing your form.
What to do:
- Extend your left leg straight behind you.
- At the same time, step your right foot on the bench and bend your right knee 90 degrees.
- Switch legs.
- Repeat 10 times per leg.
Exercise 4: Push-ups
Work your arms, chest, back, and core in one move. A lower step will make this more intense, while a higher step will make it less intense. Beginners should try this with a higher step.
What to do:
- From the ground, come into a push-up position. Keep your hands on the step under your shoulders. Knees should be on the ground (for beginners) or get into a plank position (for advanced).
- Bend your elbows, lowering your body as far as possible while keeping your form.
- Push up to starting position.
- Perform up to 10 repetitions at a time.
Exercise 5: Glute bridges
This exercise targets your glutes and core. (Beginners may want to practice it a few times from a flat position on the floor before adding a step.)
What to do:
- Start with your back on the ground and your feet flat on the step.
- Put your hands at your sides, palm face up.
- Move your glutes close to the step, keeping a comfortable angle in your knees.
- Push through the heels of your feet to slowly raise your hips.
- Hold at the top for a second, then lower your hips to the start.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Find Your Step Stool at StrongTek
At StrongTek, we believe that getting stronger should be simple. Step stool exercises are an excellent way to strengthen your entire body without leaving home.
Shop our collection to find your favorite step stool and other products that can help you on your fitness journey.