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You can get a total body workout using only a staircase.
Almost everyone has access to a staircase, whether at your apartment building, a local park or your office. Stairs not only provide an intense cardiovascular workout, they can be used to target the muscles in your upper, middle and lower body for a full body workout. For best results, exercise on the stairs three days a week for a total of 20 minutes, aiming for 15 repetitions of each exercise. Check with your doctor before attempting a stair workout, especially if you have a chronic injury or health condition.
Work Your Upper Body
Target your upper body with stair pushups. Place both of your hands on one stair and get into a pushup position with your body straight, feet hip-width apart and wrists directly underneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the stair. Straighten your arms and push yourself back up to complete one repetition. You can also do triceps dips by facing away from a step and placing both of your palms on the stair behind you. Bend your elbows and bring your buttocks toward the floor until your arms form 90-degree angles. Push yourself back up by straightening your arms. Or do the crab crawl by performing a triceps dip before walking up one step with your hands. Repeat the dip and upward crawl until you are at the top of the stairs.
Tone Your Lower Body
To work your lower body, do split jumps on the stairs by placing your left foot on one stair. Push off the step as hard as you can and jump in the air, switching your feet so that you land with your right foot on the stair. Continue jumping and switching feet. Or do step ups by positioning your left foot on a stair and your right foot on the ground. Bring your right foot up to the stair beside your left, lower your foot back to the floor and repeat. You can also do side step ups by standing parallel to a staircase and lifting your inside leg up onto the step. Lower your foot back to the ground and repeat.
Target Your Core
Work the muscles in your abdominals and lower back with plank twists. Position both of your hands on a stair and get into a plank position so that your body is straight and you are supporting yourself on your toes and hands. Tighten your abdominals and lift your left knee underneath you toward your right elbow. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Or do the ab walkout by crouching on a step in the middle of the staircase. Keeping your feet on one step, walk your hands down the stairs until your body forms a straight line. Hold the position for as long as possible and repeat.
Step With Caution
Always work at your own pace and fitness level. Start out with just a few repetitions of each stair exercise and gradually work your way up to the recommended amount. Immediately stop if you feel any acute, sharp or reoccurring pain while exercising on the stairs. Although you should expect to feel slightly uncomfortable from exerting yourself, exercise should never be painful. To prevent injury, keep your spine in a neutral position at all times -- never arch or round your back.