Monday, January 2, 2012

Stairs - Combo Advantages

It is wintertime and some days it may be difficult to get out and get to a gym. Don’t let this stop you from working your way toward your personal goals. One of the most underutilized pieces of "equipment" exists in most homes and offices -- the stairs.

I initially started stair climbing for cardio (raise my heart rate, endurance, breathing). I soon realized that it is an outstanding lower body exercise for strength, power, flexibility and core strengthening.

Your legs are the largest and strongest muscle group in your body. When used in strength training they release the most hormones for building muscle. These are the same hormones that are potent fat burners (more on this later posting).

Simply walk up the stairs without holding on. Do not run. Walking up the stairs will work the quad muscles. Walking down the stairs you should step with control. Do not run down. This works the glutes and hamstrings. Both directions work the calves and your core. Walk looking straight or up but do not look down.

If you are more advanced, pick up some weight and walk carrying it up and down. Do not lean as it gets heavy as this will put stress on your back. Extra weight will help further the workout intensity.

I attempt to do stairs twice a week with a backpack with 45 pounds in it. I go up a big flight of stairs and then back down and then up again. I aim for 20 flights (each direction) and I get an incredible cardio AND an exceptional leg workout.

Try the stairs………….. Stay tuned.

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