Unlike the step up classes of the 80’s and 90’s this step up exercise requires a lot more control, muscle strength and balance.
Similar to the previous two exercises we recently featured on The Fitz Factor this too can be easily modified to focus on the desired result you may be looking to achieve; balance for an older adult, general strength building for a recreational exerciser, or power and strength for an athlete.
And with some adjustments to the step height and step angle this exercise can build excellent strength and power not only in the quads but the glutes and hamstrings as well.
Additionally, the step up challenges your balance and strength unilaterally to equal out those strength inbalances from left to right.
Check out the videos below to see the several variations of performance depending on your goals:
The first video shows the exercise being performed for maximum glute, hamstring and quad development and power.
Note the height of the step is 20” which is approximately 90° knee flexion of this exerciser as she holds additional weight to increase the load on the exercise.
You may adjust the height to positions above 20” for taller individuals however, it is not recommended to perform this exercise past a 90° knee flexion position.
The exerciser is also stepping slightly diagonally, placing more emphasis on the glutes.
The second video shows a direct step up, focusing purely on the balance portion of the exercise.
Step height here is 10” and the exerciser holds the top position for 2 to 3 seconds to focus on balance.
Here a light dumbbell may be held in the opposite hand to increase the balance challenge.
The third video shows the step at a moderate height of 15” with a dumbell curl being performed at the top of the movement to increase the balance challenge. A dumbell shoulder press may also be performed at the top of the movement for an even greater challenge.
Well there you have it..!
Several excellent examples of how to use the same exercise in different ways depending upon your goals.