List of Step Bench Workouts
Step-up workouts energize your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps, all while improving your balance and coordination. The higher the platform is raised, the more difficult the workout becomes. You can add a step-up circuit to a regular workout you enjoy or opt to perform longer solo step-up workouts every two to three days. Start at a height that challenges you but doesn’t compromise your form after a few sets. For more advanced athletes, add free weights to the mix to raise the level of difficulty. Always get a physician’s approval before starting a new exercise program.
For a cardio step-up workout, you can choose several basic moves. You may step up with one leg and stand on the platform, or step up and kick the opposite leg out, which demands more balance and coordination than the first basic step. Many newcomers to step-up workouts opt to alternate legs on each step. However, you may choose to add free weights, such as dumbbells, to your routine and go through several reps on one side before switching to the opposite leg.
Leg Circuit Workout
Step up on the platform with your right foot leading. Make sure to make full contact with the platform with your right foot and lean forward to bring the left foot up. Place it next to the right and step the right leg down with control. Lead with the left leg for the next step. A right and left step is one rep. Complete 20 reps. Hold a dumbbell in each hand for a challenging workout.
Increase Step-up Intensity
Step onto the platform with your left leg, swing the right leg up to your chest and drop it down with control back to the floor. Keep the movement fluid, alternating sides for 20 reps. As you raise the intensity of your step-up workouts, you burn more calories because you’ve increased your heart rate. However, don’t push yourself to the point of losing good form. You could get hurt if you are leaning forward and wobbly.
Add Jump Ups
Without rest, add 20 plyometric jump steps to the circuit. Plyometric step-ups build muscle strength through a series of quick muscle extensions and contractions during jumping and rebounding. Jump on to the platform with the right leg leading, resting your body weight on the right forefoot. Touch the left leg to the floor lightly. Push off the right foot and alternate sides—left foot onto platform, right foot to the floor. Unless you are an advanced athlete, don’t use dumbbells when doing jump ups. If you discover that jump ups are too challenging, lower the platform.
Beginner athletes should stand facing the right and place their feet together so they are parallel to the bench. Step up with your left foot, raise the right off the ground, and return both feet to the ground with control. Perform 15 reps on each side, for three sets. Pump up the challenge by raising the height of the bench. You will feel the burn in your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
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