What woman doesn’t want nicely shaped glutes to enhance her fit bod? With all the hard work put in the gym (and kitchen – because without the right diet the physique will not follow), a round bubble butt speaks volumes in terms of training and eating well. Which leads me to bringing up the cardiovascular aspect of training your legs and glutes. Running stairs is a great way to hit a few stones at once. Here’s a list of those benefits:
1.) improves cardiovascular conditioning, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, among other health benefits. In itself, this is a good enough reason to run stairs plus its free. Here in Edmonton we have over 50 sets of stairs in our river valley, so access is totally available.
2.) helps lose fat and weight in general. You burn a lot of calories during the workout but also afterwards. The after burn (calories burned after exercise) is higher than from your typical jog or other moderate intensity cardio. Because you use a lot of your fast twitch muscle fibers (think of doing high intensity work like sprinting, or a power exercise like box squats or plyometrics) you end up burning more calories at rest after you’ve ran stairs.
3.) its great for stripping the stubborn fat women tend to carry on their glutes and legs. Running stairs forces your body to use the fat as fuel (assuming you’re eating clean and training hard on the rest of your body) to power the workout.
4.) its fun and you’re not indoors! I love getting outside to do cardio – not only do you get to breathe in the fresh air, nor in one spot running nowhere, but you can get a tan to boot. 😉
A couple of things to consider when you get started:
- more is not better; start slow and build up weekly. ie start with once/week for the first couple of weeks and then add another day in the week. Try to space it out 2-3 days apart. Tendons and ligaments need more time to recovery from exercise and by gradually increasing the load of work you will prevent possible aches and injuries.
- try to do a little more each week. ie. if you get 5 rounds in your first workout, next week aim for 6.
- if you can’t run the full length of the stairs, try walking for 10 steps then back to running and continue alternating between running and walking until you get to the top.
- switch it up! There’s so many things you can do other than running the stairs.
- Try walking up every other stair (great for lifting those glutes)
- hopping straight up or zigzagging
- one legged hops up each stair
- lateral (sideways) hops
- sumo side squats
- jump squats going up (or down) every other stair or three (if you dare)
- ice skaters
- high knees
- make it fun and bring a friend. I used to meet friends for coffee and now its ‘walk n talks’ or running stairs.
- and don’t forget to stretch afterwards and/or take a hot epsom salt bath. Recovery is just as important as the work. If you’re not stretching those tight muscles, you can create muscles imbalances which can lead to injuries. Never a fun thing to deal with.
Hope this encourages some of you to get started on this intense way to get your cardio in and enhance your results!
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