The stepper, it is said, maximizes the calorie-burning process of the workouts. These routines are distinguished from other forms of aerobics exercises by its use of an elevated platform called the step (or stepper) and the entire routine is carried forth around the step that you continuously step on to and off from.
Step aerobics follow the same standard as other aerobics activities, through a series of steps and arm movements that are set to music.
Step aerobics has the advantage of an elevated platform, it not only raises the number of calories burned but also intensifies the effects in your leg and buttock muscles. Besides these, this exercise form is also gaining popularity because of the benefits which leads a person to a healthier and a fitter self.
Though step aerobics seem like one of the easiest ways to exercise (they are not), they provide the same fat-burning benefits a cardiovascular exercise would provide. Also, it has been found that step aerobics helps in increasing the good cholesterol and reduces the bad cholesterol in the body.
Step aerobics offer a wide range of exercises that are suitable for all ages. Besides all these, it not only provides the body with strength, flexibility, and endurance, but also helps in reducing the stress levels of a person.
Precautions to Follow
Step aerobics has become quite popular owing to the many health benefits it offers. Many fitness centers now hold classes for beginners and experts.These exercises can be carried out at home as well with the help of workout videos as well.
- As you are stepping onto your platform during your workout, make sure you keep your head up and your shoulders back to avoid injury to your lower back.
- Step onto the platform solidly with your entire foot, and step down close behind the platform instead of lunging backwards.
- To add an upper body workout to your step aerobics routine, you can use free weights for your arms, This is also beneficial to tone your torso.
Basic Step Aerobics Routines
The basic exercises involve the A-step, V-step, Charleston, Hop turn, and diagonal steps. Once you are thorough with these three beginner routines, then you can mix and match them to formulate your own exercise routines.
- While doing this, imitate the alphabet 'A'―both feet will be brought back to the ground by maintaining a wide distance between them.
- Alternate the legs starting with the right, then going to left and change the pace from time to time.
- Next, take the right foot onto the far end of the stepper and follow it up with the left foot on the opposite far end of the step.
- Then bring the feet down to the ground and imitate a 'V' by placing them close to each other.
- To do this exercise, the person stands at a diagonal angle to the stepper.
- Place the right foot on the stepper and stand with the left foot below the stepper.
- Next, move the left foot forward and tap the ground with the toes.
- You can also do a leg raise or a high kick in place of the tap.
- Bring the left foot back to its original position.
- Next, bring the right leg down from the stepper and do a lunge with the same foot.
- Bring the right foot forward and place next to the left foot.
- Switch sides and do the same routine with the left foot placed on the stepper.
- For this exercise, you will be spanning the length of the stepper.
- Place the stepper in front of you and stand at the right, bottom corner of the stepper with your right foot closer to the step.
- Next, step onto the stepper with your right foot by placing it in the center.
- Follow it up with your left foot by taking it ahead of the right foot.
- For the final step, step down from the stepper with your right foot.
- Next, turn around, face the stepper again and continue with the right foot as the lead foot.
- Alternate the legs by using the left foot as the lead foot and carrying forward the routine in the same way.
- Place the stepper in front of you and stand in the center, facing the step from your side.
- Place the right foot sideways on to the stepper.
- Lift the left knee and pivot on the ball of the right foot till you've taken a 180º turn.
- Once you've turned to the opposite side, place the left foot down from the air.
- Next, take your right foot down from the stepper and place it next to your left foot.
- Repeat the routine with the left foot on the stepper.
Other Simple Routines
Other simple step aerobics routines include the following steps:
- Basic Step
- Corner knee
- Repeater knee
- Straddle Down
- Split Step
While step aerobics are great for toning the lower body and burning calories, they are considered high impact workouts. So it is important to take precautions and avoid this form of exercise if you have problems with your knees or ankles.
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.