Our Toronto physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists field a lot of questions about exercise and how to stay in shape. Our clients include professional athletes, but they also include people whose work life involves many hours sitting at a computer.
The question becomes: how can I stay fit with limited time and resources?
The answer is easy: work out at home, using stairs to add to the impact.
The Stair Advantage
Stairs give you a way of adding variations and more challenging levels to your home workout routine. Here’s why.
- Taking a flight of stairs (10-12 steps), up and down, at a brisk pace, burns 2 to 5 calories.
- For a person weighing about 55kg, climbing stairs for 30 minutes will burn about 235 calories.
- Climbing up and down a 10-storey building five times burns about 500 calories.
When it comes to form, remember to:
- Keep your eyes ahead, not down at your feet;
- Lean a little forward;
- Pump your arms to add momentum;
- Drive your knees up.
Note: It’s probably best to do stairs at the beginning of your workout rather than at the end.
Exercising With Stairs
Running or walking the stairs is one simple way to use them in your workouts. Alternating 2 to 5 minutes of stair running with 30 to 60 second rest periods for five to ten iterations will give you a great workout.
Note: Before you begin any new exercise regimen, it’s a good idea to check with your Toronto physiotherapist or other medical practitioner to ask about how it might affect any existing conditions.
Here are some other stair exercises you can try:
1. Stair Push-up
- Take a plank position with your hands on one of the stairs. Your hands should be placed right under your shoulders.
- Inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your body down.
- Exhale while straightening your arms until your body is back at the start position.
2. Stair Crawl
- Start in a crawl position with your arms under your shoulders and knees below the hips, with your hands and feet on the ground.
- Crawl up the stairs by moving your opposite arm and leg forward at the same time.
3. Side Steps
- Stand parallel to the stairs, with the right side of your body closest to the staircase.
- Keeping your core muscles taut, slightly bend your knees and hips.
- Step up the stairs sideways, one foot at a time, starting with the right.
- Avoid crossing your feet.
4. Crab Walk
- Sit on the top stair with both feet two steps below you and slightly apart.
- Place your hands behind you on the step.
- Raise your hips off the step by tightening your glutes.
- Crawl down the steps, moving opposite arm and leg at the same time.
- Avoid raising your shoulders.
5. Stair Hops
- Stand on the lowest step, and lower your hips into a squat position.
- Jump forward off the step and onto the ground.
- Control your landing by bending your knees.
If you have any questions about exercise or getting in shape, our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors and other sports medicine specialists are available with answers. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics for a consultation.