Many of us don’t have a full gym at home.
Although we still can to go out and exercise – one walk or run per day – many of us are choosing not to, or are unable to.
That means we’re all going to have to find a way to stay fit without leaving our own homes.
Thankfully, if you’ve got a staircase at home, you’ve got yourself a valuable piece of fitness equipment.
And for those of you who live in an apartment or bungalow, you can perform most of these exercises using a step, stool, or even a chair if you’re careful.
Here are a few tips to build yourself a challenging workout using only your stairs and your bodyweight.
Always take care when performing these exercises, particularly if you have problems with your knees, and stop if you feel light-headed or unsure.
Stand on the very bottom step, facing upwards as though you were ascending.
Take a firm grip of the bannister, and edge your heels out beyond the edge of the step so that you are standing on the balls of your feet.
Slowly, with control, raise onto your tiptoes, then lower back down so that your heels drop and you feel a nice stretch along the calves.
Perform ten repetitions, then rest, and do two more sets.
It’s a great way to strengthen and shape the calves, but also to improve ankle health and stability.
Climbing up flights of stairs is hard – that’s why there are entire machines in gyms dedicated to walking up them.
It’s great for cardiovascular health and endurance and can burn more calories than even jogging.
It’s also a good habit to build for when you go back to work, so that you’ll never need to use the lift again.
As before, why not walk up and down ten times, take a minute rest, and repeat.
Step ups are a great compound lower body exercise, utilising the strength in your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves all at once.
It’s pretty simple – just put one foot two steps up, then drive through the heel to bring your other foot alongside.
You can either walk all the way up the stairs, two at a time, in this way (go slowly, push through the heel, and squeeze your glute at the top of each movement), or just work one leg at a time to really feel the burn.
For an added glute burn, drive your non-standing knee up to hip height as you push through your standing leg.
Not everyone can execute a full push-up with proper form – it’s an exercise that requires chest, shoulder, arm and core strength and a lot of practice.
You could perform them down on your knees, or you can make the most of your stairs to work on them.
Standing on the floor at the bottom of your staircase, rest your hands on the edge of a step that puts them at around the same height and width as your ribcage.
Then slowly lower down into a push-up (try not to hit your face on the step above), pause, and push back up to your starting position.
The body position is the same as above, but this time position your hands close together, aiming for your thumbs to be touching.
When you lower into your push-up, really think about pinching your elbows to your sides.
As you push back up, you should feel your triceps working hard.
Sit on your bottom step, and rest your shoulder blades against the edge of a higher step (you may need to shuffle off your bum to get your shoulders in the right position.)
With your feet planted firmly on the floor at hip distance, drive through the heels to thrust your hips up into the air.
Squeeze your glutes at the top, and think about keeping your core engaged tailbone tucked under.
It’s best to focus on a point in front of you to keep your spine and neck neutral.
And don’t make eye contact with anyone while you thrust.
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