Stairs Workout 1

Ultimate Stairs Workout

Stairs Workout for Killer Cardio and Toning

A stairs workout can be done in many ways and different styles. Choose indoors or outdoors depending on where you live and the weather. This activity kicks your butt (literally), tones you all over while you firm up your whole backside and shed serious calories. Not bad for a completely free cardio intense workout.

In Los Angeles, there are more than 200 public staircases all over the city. For this workout, I chose the infamous Santa Monica stairs at Adelaide and 4th Street. There are actually 2 sets of stairs (approximately 160 steps), the wood ones or the cement ones pictured here. Most people have a preference. Some people go up one set and down the other with some push ups, pull ups or sit ups in between. For people that live anywhere else in the country, you can find stairs at the local high school or college stadium. You can use the stairs at your office building or apartment. The benefit of using stairs in a building is you can walk up and take the elevator down if you have any issues with your knees.

5 Keys to a Great Stairs Workout

  1. Have good posture. Make sure you stand up tall, shoulders down, keep your core tight, and your foot should land on each step solidly. Take a moment to picture those people on the stair stepper holding on to the machine for dear life. Don’t let that be you!
  2. Vary your exercise. This helps with targeting muscles in different ways. Walk straight up, then every other step. Sidestep, switching every sides every minute. I like sprinting up because it helps it get finished faster. Hehe! To take it up a notch, jump up each step and do a squat.
  3. Listen to great music. It definitely boosts energy and motivation.
  4. Make it a full body workout by doing pushups, pull-ups, planks or sit-ups.
  5. When you feel like you just can’t do any more, do one more set.

Sample Stairs Workout Beginner (based on 160 steps) – 30 minutes

  • Warm Up – 1 x Walking up and down single steps
  • 5 Minute Stretch
  • 1x walk up / walk down
  • 10 push ups, 20 sit ups, 2x 30-second planks
  • 1x side step up / walk down
  • 10 push ups, 20 sit ups, 2x 30-second planks
  • Cool down – 10 minute stretch

Sample Stairs Workout Advanced (based on 160 steps) – 60 minutes

  • Warm Up – 1 x Walking up and down single steps
  • 5 Minute Stretch
  • 2x every other step up / walk down
  • 20 push ups, 50 sit ups, 2x 1-minute planks
  • 2x sprint up / walk down
  • 20 push ups, 50 sit ups, 2x 1-minute planks
  • 2x side step up / walk down
  • 20 push ups, 50 sit ups
  • 2x sprint up / walk down
  • Cool down – 10 minute stretch

Stairs Workout Planks

Stairs Workout 3


The best part about a stairs workout is that it’s a free, calorie torching, muscle building exercise that only takes 30-60 minutes. It also builds killer endurance. If you want to see huge results in a few weeks to a month, this is your jam. This is a great workout for beginners to advanced (as long as you don’t have knee issues). Do it outside or use the stairs in your favorite tall building. All you need is a little motivation. For other great workouts, try this Rowing Workout or Hiking Workout. For some great staircases in Los Angeles, check out this article.

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