Body weight-only routines have become the new “excuse-busters” for fitness, as you can no longer avoid exercising because you don’t have the money, time or equipment.
Many exercises will give you variety and target different muscle groups. Solid stairs (preferably outdoors) provide lots of options. You can walk, run or lunge up stairs as often as you like. Adding the incline of a stairway forces the body to work much harder for the majority of movements performed.
But there are different ways to use stairs for all parts of your body. Stair push-ups help strengthen upper body and arms. If a standard 10 repetitions is relatively easy, increase the workload with a clap between each push-up.
A rear foot elevated squat builds balance as well as strength. Keep your chest up and your front foot flat on the ground. Put your rear foot toe-first on the stair behind you, then lower yourself down until your back knee nears the ground. Walking lunges up stairs also stretch your groin and trailing leg hip flexor.
Another exercise that helps strengthen upper body and improve cardio fitness is to drop to a push-up position along a lower stair and effectively perform a burpee. When you arrive at the crouch position, instead of pushing out into another push-up, jump up to the next stair and do another burpee. Then drop back to the lower stair and repeat.
Broad jumps up stairs from a standing position build power in your legs and core. Drop into a quarter squat and drive your arms down and back. Jump up to the next stair, explosively throwing your arms forward. Try to stop softly on the balls of your feet and balance ready to repeat immediately.
To strengthen your abs, sit with your hands by your side gripping the edge of the stair. Brace your midsection, lift your body entirely off the ground and point legs straight out in front of you so they hover. Hold for 15 seconds, relax then repeat.
Remember to mix upper and lower body movements for best results. If you can’t get outside regularly, here are some exercises you can do with chairs.