Exercise 101: Stair-climbing
Name of Exercise—Stair-climbing
Type of Exercise—Aerobic
Muscles used—Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip-flexors, calves, and buttocks
Climbing stairs is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness because you can incorporate it throughout your day while at home, running errands, or at the gym on a stair-climbing machine. This will allow you to expend even more extra calories throughout the day.
A note of caution: When coming down a flight of stairs remember to place your foot on a slight angle (in terms of foot placement on the step) so your knees do not go too far over your toes.
Exercise Technique for Using a Stair-climber
Begin with two sessions per week of stair-climbing. Following a 5-8 minute gradual warm-up begin with low intensity stair-climbing for 10-15 minutes. Add five minutes (when able) per week. After three weeks, progress to three times per week for 20-30 minutes at a moderate intensity.
After each workout, stretch the hip flexors, thigh, hamstrings, and your calf muscles. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds.
Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.
American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Sports Medicine
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Provincial Fitness Unit of Alberta
Physical activity calorie calculator. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitn.... Accessed September 27, 2013.
Stair climber, stair machine, stair stepper, stair master. Pro Home Gyms website. Available at: http://prohomegyms.com/stair-climber. Accessed September 27, 2013.
Stairmaster 4000 PT owner's manual. Nautilus website. Available at: http://www.nautilu.... Accessed September 27, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD