Step-Up Exercise

You can lose weight, strengthen your muscles, and give your body a more toned look by performing step-up exercises with regularity and discipline. Learn about step-up workouts and how to perform them by reading the following article.
FitnessVigil Staff
Step-up exercise is a form of aerobic workout. It started gaining popularity among fitness-conscious people in the early 1980s. These workouts are easy to perform, can be performed almost anywhere, and are observed to cause a number of beneficial effects on human health and appearance. These are the reason that makes it recommendable by health and fitness experts to the beginners of exercising.

How to do

For performing step-up exercises, you need a step platform or a step box that is 4-12 inches high. This is the basic step-up workout equipment. If you don't have one, then you can use stairs or a very sturdy box for the purpose. Let's now learn how to do step up workouts by assuming a step box as a platform. Stand straight at a distance of about 5-6 inches from the step box. Place both your hands on the sides. Lift your right leg and place it on the step box. Now, lift your left leg and place it on the step box. Allow this position of the legs on the platform only for a second. Bring your right foot back on the floor. Immediately, move your left foot back on the floor. Again, do not allow the placement of both the legs together on the floor to exceed a second. Perform these steps rapidly, but at a pace comfortable to you.

Begin this workout with a count of 20. Gradually, try to increase the count to 50 in a week's time.The number of counts depends only on your comfort and requirement. You can make the exercise sessions more interesting and entertaining by lining the movements with some music. As you become adept with the movement and feel confident with the technique, you can add arm punches, twists, jumps, etc., to the basic step-up exercise.

Precautionary Measures

There are certain precautions that you must take while performing these exercises. You should make complete contact between the entire sole of your foot and the platform. Also, avoid staying on your toes while your leg is up on the step box. Secondly, stay at a comfortable distance as you step down. Perform all the step-ups gently and softly, and do not unnecessarily strain your legs and feet. Avoid flexing your knees beyond 90° while stepping up. Choose a step box with the recommended height only to avoid over flexing. Finally, keep the upper part of your body straight while doing this exercise to get good results for leg strengthening and toning.

Benefits

This workout increases the rate of heartbeats as you move your body at a rapid pace. The heartbeats faster to pump more blood so as to meet the requirements of the legs and other parts of the body. In the process, the body utilizes its fat deposits. As you lose fat, you lose weight as well as drop your size. Therefore, the foremost benefit of step-up exercises is weight loss. You become slimmer and fitter by performing these workouts regularly and properly.

Step-up exercises are considered to be one of the best for all the leg muscles. When you perform a step-up workout, your legs' movement resembles that of running and jogging. The benefits include increased strength of leg muscles and bones. You also increase your stamina of walking, running, or jogging. You tend to tire less by standing, walking, or running for long durations. You lose fat from the legs and strengthen the muscles. These are the basic requirements of toning a body part. Since these requirements are getting fulfilled for your legs, they keep getting toned with increase in duration of the exercise.

Furthermore, the benefits that you derive from this workout are numerous, so you must consider including it in your exercise regime. In case you are a beginner or have just started working out, you can start with step-up exercise. However, discuss your medical condition with your doctor. Look forward to step-up workout only if he/she gives you a go-ahead. A doctor's permission is necessary to keep yourself on the safer side.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.