We hear you: Sometimes, going to the gym just sucks. So what do you do when you know you need to work out, but you just don't want to deal with the travel and the crowds? Find a flight of stairs, and have some sweaty fun with our 15-Minute Stair Workout. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a good plan!
Here's one of our favorite stair workouts. It's quick, tough, and will challenge you in unique ways. Use a flight of stairs that has at least 10 steps. (More is better.) Perform each exercise for 3-5 sets. Rest as much as you need, but remember that limiting rest helps increase your heart rate so you can burn more calories.
If you're newer to fitness, some of these exercises may seem a little scary or difficult. We only ask that you try! After that, do what you can. If you're more experienced, bring the intensity and you'll still find this routine gives you the challenge you want!
15-Minute Stair Workout
1. Warm-up: 5 minutes
- Try alternating joint circles, downward-facing dog to cobra, jumping jacks, walking the stairs, or whatever else gets you warm.
2. Stair run: 3-5 sets
- Run up the stairs. Try to go faster each time. Run or walk down.
3. Stair squat hop: 3-5 sets
- Stand at the bottom of the stairs with your legs hip-width apart. Squat down. When you come out of the squat position, jump up to the next step. When you land, squat down as far as you can. Continue to squat and jump to the top of the stairs. Run or walk down. If this is too difficult, jump to the first stair and step down.
4. Stair side step: 3-5 sets
- Stand at the bottom with your right side facing the stairs. Bend your legs so you're in a half squat position. Step sideways up one stair with your right leg. Stay in a squat position. Bring your left foot up to meet your right. When your left foot lands, step up again with your right foot. Continue in this fashion until you reach the top. Run or walk down. Switch your lead leg each set.
5. Stair glute raise: 3-5 sets
- Stand facing the stair with your feet hip-width apart. Step up with your right leg. Squeeze your left glute and bring your left leg up and out behind you. Hold for a beat or two. Bring your left leg down, then step up with your left foot to the next step. Repeat until you're all the way up the stairs. Run or walk down.
6. Stair push-up: 3-5 sets
- Stand at the foot of the stairs. Walk with your hands up the stairs until you're in a push-up position. Do 5-10 push-ups. Walk your feet up to your hands, and then walk your hands back out until you're in a push-up position. Do 5-10 push-ups. Keep going until you reach the top of the stairs. Run or walk down. If push-ups are difficult for you, do fewer of them.
7. Stair crawl: 3-5 sets
- For this exercise, you'll need a little bravery. Start at the top of the stairs on your knees. Walk your hands down the stairs. When your hands get far enough ahead, start moving your feet. Crawl down the stairs slowly and with control. Your shoulders and abs will get a great workout. Run back up.