Fitness Workouts in 2018. New York City trainer shows you how to get in shape.
Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Step-ups are one of the most effective and functional ways to build lower body strength, improve balance and even increase trunk stability. There are many variations, for example using weights or not, alternating versus not alternating legs within a set and moving the opposite leg and arms in different directions throughout the movement.
Step-ups can be incorporated into many types and phases of training: muscular endurance programs, stability and balance training, high-intensity interval circuits, hypertrophy (building muscle mass) and even max strength training. Excellent place to start is Fitness NYC personal training section.
Some of the keys to a good step-up are:
Push your weight into the heel of your weight-bearing foot. This will help keep your knee from moving too far forward which puts extra stress on the knee joint. It also helps to activate the gluteal muscles and maintain balance.
Maintain an upright posture. Do not lean forward excessively at any time during the movement. If you find yourself doing so, it may indicate that the step-up platform is too high.
Focus on engaging your gluteal (butt) muscles. Your gluteus maximus is one of the body’s
primary anti-gravity muscles (along with the quadriceps), one of the largest muscles in the
body and fundamental in pelvic stability and hip biomechanics. When we fail to effectively
recruit the gluteus maximus and the smaller hip muscles underneath it, we put more stress on the hamstring, the low back and the knee.