You’re heard “take the stairs, not the elevator,” a thousand times. But what if instead of it just being a healthier way to get around, the stairs became your new favorite toning tool? This workout is going to take you up and down a set of stairs—in your home, or wherever you want—while adding sculpting moves in between. Since moving up a flight of stairs forces you to work harder against gravity, you’ll build strength and power in your lower body while your heart rate soars. The mini cardio intervals will help you burn calories at a higher rate for longer after you finish, and the quick toning moves will fire up up your arms, back, butt, and thighs. At the end, you’ll be sweaty, stronger, and thanking the stairs for a free but fierce workout!
Here’s how it works: Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Perform as many reps as possible with good form. It doesn’t matter how big your flight of stairs is; just go for time. After the first time through, rest for 2 minutes. Repeat the entire circuit once more, and you’ll have yourself a 10-minute strength and cardio workout in one. Remember to use the handrail if needed and watch your feet, so you don’t trip.
Cardio: Stair Run
Time: 30 seconds
Start facing the bottom of the stairs. Run up quickly using each step. Pump your arms next to your sides as you move quickly. Walk down the stairs carefully. Repeat.
Strength: Walking Lunge
Time: 30 seconds
Targets: Glutes, legs, core
Start facing the bottom of the stairs. Step your right foot onto the next step and bend both knees as you lower into a lunge, keeping your front knee tracking over your shoe. Push off with your right foot and use your arms to help you propel your left foot onto the next step and lower into another lunge. Continue alternating legs until you reach the top of the stairs. Walk or jog down as usual. Repeat.