So, you are training your body to fire up the right muscles when you practice sideways. Believe it or not, climbing up the stairs versus climbing down the stairs are two very different movements. Instead of going all the way up the stairs and back down, we will just go up and down the bottom stair repeatedly. This can ease pressure on several of the muscles and nerves that travel in and through your knee. When you are dehydrated, your muscles are more likely to spasm which can cause micro-injuries you may not notice at first. If gyms aren’t your thing or you don’t have access to a step machine, you can get just as good a workout outdoors – in fact better. Warming up is integral to a stair climbing routine; it can save you many aches and pains down the road. They’re recommended for seniors with severe mobility or balance issues who want to use the stairs in a safe way. For safety, walk down the stairs normally. Step up. Safety Tips. This exercise is weight-bearing so it helps build bone density and strength. We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. #4 Point your toes outward just slightly. He once taught: “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen.” Why is exercise king? Make them double unders to really crank up the intensity. Lower-Body Toning Workout. When it comes to stair climbing, like any other type of exercise, practice good form. Coach Todd teaches exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help people get rid of joint pain quickly and naturally. The same thing is true for stairs. Isometric exercise can improve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. “Ok, maybe I should go at a slight angle this time.”, “Or maybe… if I put more weight on the railings.”, “Nope. It makes the trek up and down each day–actually, a few times a day–way more bearable. Why? #10 Practice slowly. But since it’s an isometric (you are not moving the joint), it puts less stress on the knee. #8 On days where your knees feel good, practice! Start with the leg that often gives you trouble. When you go up the stairs, you place indirect stress on a bent joint. What has your doctor told you about your knee issues? Hold this position for 20 seconds and do 3 sets. Thankfully, strengthening your knee using a few key exercises can make climbing up or downstairs easier and pain-free. Pushing your body up stair after stair against gravity is also a great cardiovascular exercise that burns lots of calories, while developing both strength and power. Stay balanced: For most clients walking upstairs facing forward holding on to both handrails works well. It can also burn off calories — about 65 calories in 15 minutes. Stair climbing burns calories more efficiently than nearly any other form of cardiovascular exercise. Sit down and stretch your leg muscles for five minutes before you begin. That is, put pressure on your outer portion of the heel and keep the knee over the second toe. I have seen a lot of people denying to work out at the gym just because they are … Keep on going up one landing at a time until you reach the top. Climbing stairs exercises the same muscles you use to keep your balance as you rise from a chair. This is the key stabilizer muscle when going down the stairs and an important helper muscle when going up. And interval training is one of the best was to burn fat and take your fitness to a new level. Have you noticed improvement with exercise? It improves balance. You’ll be hard pressed to find a workout that combines cardio, strength and calorie burning as awesomely as does stair climbing. Two reasons. Using a stair climber - also known as a stair stepper - can be a great way to add a low-impact, calorie-burning workout to your fitness routine. Your hands will be nice and toasty. #7 On days where your knees are especially achy, lead with your better knee. Stretch after every workout; use the foam roller on your IT band and glutes. Try to press up while putting pressure on the outer portion of your heel. Bear-crawl up the stairs to get your upper body in on the action. Coach Todd is one of the world’s leading knee pain specialists and injury prevention experts. Basically, the tendons and ligaments in your knee have to stretch in order to get into the next step. Avoiding the elevator at work or at the mall adds up and can go a long way to adding much needed exercise to your daily routine. Nothing on this website should be considered medical advice. You are pressing your toes against the wall, so it’s good to have shoes that will absorb the pressure, not your toes. Take a jump rope with you and do 50-100 rope turns at each landing. When you are ready to step down, follow the same process. 4. Going at a faster pace or carrying heavier items can burn even more calories. Suitable exercises include kettlebell swings, dumbbell curl to press, thrusters, sumo squats and lunges. Push your heels into the ground while simultaneously squeezing your glutes. When you tighten your core, you help tilt the seesaw back toward a neutral position. Sideways Stair Run. Line your heels up so they’re underneath your knees. Practice these individually so you build a habit around each of them, and your body will remember to do them like brushing your teeth. The mind is a powerful thing. Yes, They Are Real! 4. Try these exercises 3 … Strengthening these core muscles can reduce your risk for falling. It engages multiple muscles. This will provide greater stability and strength. On a scale of one to ten, stair climber machines and step-ups score an okay 6-7 whereas storming up the stairs at your local stadium will score a fat torching 10! This will help you build strength around your knee and prepare you for stair climbing. This can happen when you do strenuous movements like climbing stairs. This will help your knees track as well and help prevent your knees from collapsing inward. That you’re in way better shape because you climb these flights to get back home every night. Stair climbing is free – all you need is access to a set of stairs in the public arena. Climbing stairs is a great form of cardio exercise. Research has shown that exercise, especially isometric, no-movement exercises can reduce pain. When you do the exercise at three different angles, you are strengthening different parts of the quad. Stair-climbing exercises engage more muscles than walking, jogging or running on flat terrain, Hunt says. The Benefits of Stair Climbing Exercise. This will again, help prevent your knees from collapsing inward. This muscle group is really important for stabilizing the knee when going down the steps and is one of the key muscles to help you climb up. Stand with your back to a wall. A bear crawl is performed with your belly facing the floor and traveling head first, whereas a crab crawl is performed with your belly facing the ceiling and traveling feet first. If you are strong and brave enough, you can also bear crawl back down again although, for safety you’d be better off crab crawling instead. I’ll sing the Hokie Pokie and change the key on each step. 5. Stair climbing isn't for novices, however. Make it feel like your glutes are doing all the work to propel you upward. But to save you coming up with your own ideas – and help you find your inner Rocky – here are 11 stair climbing workout ideas to try. Do a set of push-ups, squats, burpees or sit-ups on each landing as you ascend. Ok, one last tip for you. I don’t think I need to remind you where your rump is located. I think it might have started with my great uncle Al, but I can’t be sure about that. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 1 thing she … Take it turns to select the exercise to be performed at the bottom of the stairs. Five Ways Seniors can Improve Health and Fitness. Go get an index card so you can write these down – seriously. He is the founder of, a community of people 50 and over that are dedicated to natural pain relief. And remember to hydrate, especially in the summer. When you tighten your core, you help tilt your pelvis up just a smidge. When your 3-year-old grandbaby Emma is cuddling on your lap, she’s resting on your quads. Think about each and every recommendation. And as no staircase is never ending, once you get to the top and walk carefully back down, you end up interval training without even realizing it. For example, regular stair-climbing sessions improve endurance and strengthen leg muscles at the same time. You’ll be able to workout harder and reduce the likelihood of injury. At 70 years young, good ol’ Jack swam 1.5 miles in strong currents while pulling 70 people on 70 boats. It will make your legs bigger and bulkier. Find and take stairs wherever you go. Likewise, we do not offer legal or financial advice. Stay with me and I’ll teach you a handful of exercises to bring even greater balance to your pelvis, but let me address a few common questions about knee pain and stairs first. This activity strengthens your leg muscles making it a rather strenuous exercise. Stair crawl. Remember, these crucial muscles are stabilizers in this movement. Start small by doing the above exercises 3-4 times a week. Then rest for 5 seconds. The number of repeats will depend on your fitness level and the length of the staircase you are climbing. Use a phone book or a 3- to 4-inch step. Stair lunge. Now, I doubt you have any desire to do anything so crazy. Other studies have shown that climbing stairs also: Lowers death risk. Why? Step out about two feet from the wall. How to Improve Your Endurance. Run up to the first landing and then back down. Do you struggle climbing stairs – up or down? Each can be used as a standalone workout or combined with others to make a mega stair climbing program. In terms of overall value, we think this stair … Practice caution and don’t rush. So, it’s less direct stress on the knee joint itself, but it’s added stress on the ligaments and tendons around the knee. But there is more to it than that. Tightening them will help build strength in proper form and prepare you for “game day” aka, your staircase. Now on to the king knee muscle for stair climbing. Learn more. And soon, you’ll catch yourself opening that armoire in the attic realizing you floated up those stairs like you were riding on a feather. Climbing stairs for exercise burn more calories per minute than jogging. Stair climbing might just be the best workout you’re not doing. But it’s not just the potential to improve health and fitness that makes stair climbing such a great workout option. Yep, that should do it.”. Keep them in line with your second toe, and you’ll do just that. #3 Line up your knee with your second toe. It’s gentle, but it’s still a drop. This exercise is also an isometric stabilizer, so it is safer on the knee joint but strengthens the all-important quadriceps muscle. Don’t let those stairs defeat you. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Stand up fully. Remember that stair climbing is a strenuous form of exercise so. Scooch your chair backward a third time and repeat. Fitness trainer Dave Reddy, a member of the Signature Trainer Network, discusses how to improve balance and coordination by working on stair steps. Extend your leg out while pressing your foot against the wall. Any personal trainer will proclaim “keep your core tight.” But why is this important…. And of course, strengthen the entire knee making climbing stairs much easier. Give it a try. Have you tried side stepping? Why? Expert in exercise and sports science Professor Brad Cardinal said stairs climbing or raking the leaves is as good for your heart as going to the gym. Do 5 sets. Sit down in a chair with your spine neutral (not slumped over and not arched back). Ease into stair exercises without taking a step. Changing the direction of you stair climbing will work different muscles. Make sure you have a chair on the other side for balance. This is from one of the greatest fitness inspirations of all time, the late Jack LaLanne. The short burst of activity throughout the day is just as beneficial as regular workouts in the gym. Stair-climbing exercise, whether done on a workout machine at the gym or using actual stairs, provides an excellent overall workout with ... Anaerobic Workout.