SYSTEM IT WORKS
Cardiovascular System (Heart and Circulatory System)
HOW TO DO IT: Stand behind a step, stair, or sturdy, stationary box. Step your right foot up onto the step, followed by your left foot. Step your right foot back down to the ground, followed by your left foot. When stepping with your right foot, swing your left arm; when stepping with your left foot, swing your right arm. About halfway through the set, change your lead foot to your left foot. Do the step-ups as fast as you can with good form.
SETS & REPS: Do 1 to 3 sets of 25 to 50 step-ups per set.
TIME: Do 1 to 3 sets at 30 to 60 seconds each.
WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE None needed
EQUIPMENT NEEDED Step, stairs, bench, or plyometric box
DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
you have knee problems; if so, make sure the height of your step, stair, or box is no taller than 12 inches
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT
You should feel your heart rate rise quickly during this exercise. To maintain correct form, keep your chest lifted throughout the set, and step your entire foot onto the step.
HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Do the step-ups more slowly or do toe taps instead: Instead of stepping up, tap your right foot onto the step, followed by your left foot. Do toe taps as fast as you can.
HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you can complete a set without getting tired, consider adding repetitions, time, and/or sets. To increase the intensity without adding repetitions or time, there are several variations of the step-up you can try, including step-hops and box jumps.
To do a step-hop, step your right foot onto the step, draw your left knee into your chest, and hop one time once your entire right foot is on the step. When you land back onto the step with your right foot, bend your knee slightly and engage your thigh muscles to insulate the impact of the hop. Then step your left foot and right foot back to the ground. Repeat on the right leg for one set of 20 to 30 reps before switching to the left leg.
To do a box jump, jump with both feet onto a step or box. Make sure you jump up so that you all parts of your feet are on the step/box. You want to land on the box with your feet flat so that the box does not slide away from you as you do more repetitions. Jump or step back down to the floor. Decrease the number of reps to 15 to 30, as box jumps are more challenging.
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