Remember when I said that almost every building in the U.S. has a workout area—it’s called the stairs? As I mentioned before, it’s one of the best ways to keep in shape and tone all the muscles. You can do this at a very low level starting out, or you can customize it to receive a very high-level workout. You can do it at your home, gym or the park. All you need is an elevated level like a stationary step, the stairs, or even a park bench.
I created the video above to show how easily it can be done. Besides working the leg muscles, you may not realize it, but you’re also working every muscle in the body. By swinging your arm up to lift the leg, you’re working the chest and shoulder muscles. I found this out when my chest muscles were a little sore the next day and I couldn’t figure out why. I also noticed that my stomach muscles were leaner and more defined. I figured this out when I put my hand on my stomach and lifted one leg–I could feel my abdomen muscles flex. Finally, if you think your butt is losing its shape, this is one of the best exercises to tone it up. Even though walking is a great exercise, your glutes are not being used as much. If you lift your leg, more of the butt muscles are being worked. The higher you lift your leg, the more of the glutes are worked. You can start with just a simple stepping up movement. But if you really want definition in the glutes and abdomen muscles, try lifting your legs as high as possible. It also helps if you reach up two steps instead of one. Make sure you do each leg. I tend to do reps of ten, but you can do whatever is comfortable. The best part of this exercise is that it doesn’t create any pounding and stress on the muscles or joints.
Just to review, this exercise strengthens your:
- blood flow
- oxygen in the lungs
Make sure you stretch beforehand. Not only will it lower the chances of injury, you’ll get a better performance by loosening up.
After I do these drills, not only am I not physically drained, but I feel like superman the next day. I have the urge to jump or get up and do other activities. I feel an extra spring when I walk, go up the stairs, or even getting up from a chair.
Try doing a couple reps a day. Let a few days go by and try doing a few more. After a while, you’ll notice your body getting stronger and you’ll have the strength to power through the day.