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8 Simple Stair Exercises for Beginners (Stair Climbing Workout)

People add stair workouts to their routines for lots of reasons. Usually, these reasons include improving health. Stair exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can be used to lose weight, gain strength, and improve overall health and wellness. In addition to achieving these goals, stair climbing is good cardiovascular fitness.

When people use stair climbing for exercise, they promote heart health as well as burning calories and building muscle.

The goal of this article is to get your heart rate elevated to burn calories. Since stair climbing is a cardiovascular exercise, it is effective at getting your blood pumping.

Recommend Stair Workout Video:

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8 Beginner Stair Exercises

When you live in an apartment it can be hard to exercise at home. This is especially true if you don’t live on the first floor. It’s not practical to do jumping jacks on a second- or third-floor apartment because of the disturbance to the downstairs neighbors. That’s where stair climbing workouts come in.

This section outlines eight stair workouts you can use to achieve your health and wellness goals. These exercises are easy enough for beginners but they can be adapted for all skill levels and fitness needs.

1. Walk-ups

Walk-ups are probably the easiest and simplest exercise you can do on your apartment stairs.

Target Muscles:
These exercises work the legs, including the calves, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and abdominals, depending on the height of the stairs.

To do a walk-up exercise:

  • Walk up the stairs, one at a time, at a comfortable pace
  • Walk down the stairs, one at a time, at a comfortable pace
  • Repeat the process as many times as desired, increasing the pace as you are able
  • When you are ready for an additional challenge, you may decide to go up the stairs two at a time instead of one at a time.

2. Squat Jumps

Squat jumps (also called jump squats) is a higher intensity workout for going up the stairs. These exercises work the core, lower body, and parts of the upper body.

Target Muscles:
The muscles that benefit from squat jumps are quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, and lower back.

To do squat jump exercise:

  • Start on the ground in a squat position. This requires your feet at approximately shoulder width, your knees bent, and your back straight.
  • Clasp your hands in front of your face or chest with your elbows out.
  • Jump with both feet to the first step, returning to the squat position. You may use your hands for balance during the jump but be sure to return your hands to the clasped position at the end of the jump.
  • Repeat the jumps to the top of the stairs.
  • Walk or jog down the stairs and repeat, if desired.
  • It is important to be aware of your balancing abilities for this exercise. Those with balance problems should not do this exercise.
  • If you want to challenge yourself further, try jumping up two steps at a time instead of one step at a time.

SEE ALSO: Is Horizon Fitness Treadmills A Good Treadmill Brand for home use?

3. Single-leg Hop

The single-leg hop is a combination of walk-ups and squat jumps.

Target Muscles:
These exercises work the calves, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and abdominals, depending on the height of the stairs.

To do a single leg hop exercise:

  • Start on the ground with your right foot on the ground and your left foot lifted so that your shin is parallel to the ground.
  • Place one hand on the stair banister.
  • Jump up one step, remaining only on your right foot when you land.
  • Repeat this jump to the top of the stairs.
  • Walk or jog down the stairs.
  • Repeat the process with your left foot on the ground and your right foot lifted.
  • It is important to be aware of your balancing abilities for this exercise. Those with balance problems should not do this exercise.

If you want to challenge yourself further, try jumping up two steps at a time instead of one step at a time.

4. Incline Pushups

Incline pushups are a variation on a standard pushup, which can be done at a staircase.

Target Muscles: 
This exercise works the chest, shoulders, triceps, and back muscles. Because of the angle of the incline pushup, the chest and back muscles get a greater workout than the other muscles or in comparison to a standard pushup.

To do incline push up exercise:

  • Place your hands on the bottom step.
  • Lower yourself into a plank position with your feet on the ground.
  • Bend your arms and lower yourself as close to the ground as possible, keeping your back straight.
  • Straighten your arms to push yourself back up.
  • Repeat for a minimum of ten pushups or as many as desired.

An alternative to this exercise is the decline pushup. In this variation, your feet are on the bottom step while your hands are on the ground. This variation gives your upper chest and front shoulders (deltoids) a greater workout than the incline or standard pushup.

5. Sprint Up and Jog Down

Sprinting up and jogging down the stairs is a more advanced workout than simply walking up and down the stairs.

Target Muscles:
This cardiovascular exercise works the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus.

To do sprint up and jog down exercise:

  • Start at the base of the stairs.
  • Run up the stairs as quickly as possible, lifting your knees. Use your hand on the rail for balance, if needed.
  • Run down the stairs more slowly.
  • Repeat as desired.

It is important to be aware of your balancing abilities for this exercise. Those with balance problems should be careful not to sprint or jog too quickly and use the handrail for support.

When you are ready for an additional challenge, you may decide to go up the stairs two at a time instead of one at a time. It is recommended that you jog down the stairs one at a time instead of two at a time for safety.

6. Stairs Mountain Climbing

Mountain climbers are a good exercise to work almost every muscle group in the body.

Target Muscles:
This includes the deltoids, buttocks, biceps, triceps, obliques, abs, chest, quads, hips, and hamstrings. This is also a good exercise to raise the heart rate for an effective calorie burn.

To do stairs mountain climbing exercise:

  • Place your hands on the third or fourth step with your feet on the ground. Your body should be stretched out but not as far as you can.
  • Keeping your hands where they are, jump your right foot to the second stair.
  • Jump your right foot back to the ground and simultaneously jump your left foot to the second stair.
  • Keep alternating feet as quickly as you can for a minimum of ten repetitions, or as many as you need.

7. Bunny Hops

A bunny hop is similar to a squat jump but the jumps are smaller and faster.

Target Muscles:
Like the squat jump, the bunny hop works quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks, abs, and lower back.

To do bunny hop exercise:

  • Start with both feet on the ground.
  • Your feet should be no wider than shoulder-width apart but as close together as possible.
  • Squat and hop with both feet to the first step. You can use your arms to help you balance as you hop.
  • When you land on the first step, bend your knees to a squat.
  • Immediately straighten and hop to the next step.
  • Repeat until you reach the top of the stairs, hopping as quickly as possible on each step.

The primary difference between the bunny hop and the squat jump is in the speed between hops. Your feet should also be closer together in the bunny hop. Because this exercise focuses on speed instead of height, you should only hop up one step at a time. If you want to challenge yourself, you can increase the speed of the hopping or squat lower between each hop.

It is important to be aware of your balancing abilities for this exercise. Those with balance problems should not do this exercise.

8. Step-up to Reverse Lunge

Reverse lunges are a good exercise to work your core and lower body. Adding the stairway gives you the opportunity to take reverse lunges to the next level.

Target Muscles:
These exercises work your gluteus maximus, inner thighs, hamstrings, and calves.

To do step-up to reverse lunge exercise:

  • Start with both feet on the first step about shoulder-width apart.
  • Step back and down with your right foot to the ground, lowering into a reverse lunge.
  • Bring your right foot back to the step.
  • Repeat the process with your left foot.
  • Complete a minimum of ten repetitions or as many as you want for the workout.

As you do this exercise, be sure to keep your back straight and your knee over your ankle.

The Takeaway

Just because you live in an apartment instead of a house doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout in. Whether you want to exercise to strengthen your body or for weight loss, a workout using the stairs takes advantage of your surroundings to give your body what it needs to achieve your health goals.

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Topic: Apartment Workout