Stepper Training

Winter often puts a strain on the will of us runners. Cold, rain, snow and fog make even the most persistent ones give up.


STEP TRAINING

Don’t lose heart! In the heat and dry there is a perfect workout for you that awaits you, right on your landing: step training .
Taking the stairs, with a modicum of method, will be an excellent workout to “scrub” the winter and not lose shape, with the advantage of working on muscle tone, and on aerobic and anaerobic endurance. In short, all “hay in the farmhouse” for your spring runs.


UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS

Here is a tip on how to manage a step training workout up and down stairs. After some warm-up exercises (which should never be missing in your routine) go up and down a few flights of stairs in order to complete your warm-up. The heart of ‘ workout step training course depends on your goals! Always consider that the muscle involvement will be greater, you are not running on the flat, but still uphill. Simulation of a slow : just go up and down the stairs at the pass. Repetition simulation : two fast ramps and two step ramps. Simulation of



FARTLEK ON THE STAIRS

On the stairs we can simulate a nice fartlek in different ways:

– running two steps at a time for two ramps, and going to the step for a ramp
– going up two ramps in a half squat jump (one step at a time), and a ramp at the step
– going up a ramp in a half squat jump with one leg (always one step at a time), a second ramp in a half squat jump with the other leg, and a ramp in step.

Use the descents as a recovery, and always end with a dynamic stretch session.


TIME

The time of ‘workout step training depends on your degree of preparation, given that the climb involves a greater degree of fatigue, and more stress on the heart and breathing, all the muscle groups of the legs, and core . For this reason I would suggest you start with a total of half an hour of training (about ten minutes of warm-up, and about twenty minutes of work, followed by a cool-down). It seems little, but it is not, trust me!
This step training workout it will give you the opportunity to work on muscle tone without loading with weights, a very important element that many runners neglect, but which in winter it is good to train to improve our summer performance.

Now it’s your turn!
Good runs and good stairs!

As mentioned in the previous article , the step is technically represented by a raised base, with variable height, made of plastic material, which determines the birth of a real step. Its use is the result of the evolution process of aerobic gymnastics and the need to introduce a greater number of steps and choreographies within a lesson.

The use of the step in the practice of aerobic gymnastics preserves, and very often intensifies , the characteristics of the work and the benefits that derive from it (in terms of cardio-circulatory, respiratory adaptations, etc.), and also on the coordination front. From the point of view of the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, performing choreographies that involve the passage of the upper limbs beyond the level of the head, determines a further significant stimulation. However, if on the one hand it makes the sessions more intense and sparkling, on the other it also increases the risk of trauma , mainly affecting the joint structures, which predisposed individuals or those who perform work at excessive intensity and frequent may encounter.

The continuous mechanical stress of the sole of the foot, as for running activities, can cause the rupture of the erythrocytes leading, in the most serious cases, to the athlete ‘s anemia . This condition, typical of cross-country skiers, where the continuous impact of the feet with the ground causes mechanical insults to the red blood cells, decreasing their average life due to breakage. The erythrocyte value of the blood decreases and consequently the ability to transport oxygen to the tissues. The primary consequence is a temporary limitation of the resistance to work parameters.

The slide also brought technical, choreographic and physical stimulus advantages to the aerobic gymnastics sessions. It is a mat with an extremely smooth surface, 180cm long and 60cm wide which, through the use of special lycra shoes, allows horizontal sliding on the surface, blocking the leakage beyond its surface, by means of special side edges.

The creation of such a tool stems from the consideration that, in traditional training, injuries to those body structures, such as menisci and ligaments, which are not trained with movements on the lateral plane are relatively frequent ; because the training adopted involves only movements on the sagittal plane or from top to bottom, so the joints of the lower limbs are not subjected to stresses on the laterality. With the slide, on the other hand, working on the sides favors a strengthening of the muscles of the lower limbs, and in particular of the adductor and abductor muscles of the thigh, including the tendons and the affected ligaments, and helps to consolidate one’s perception of balance on a surface other than the usual one, tested by the ability to manage movements in a dimension other than the ordinary one (1) .

As for the practice of “classic” aerobic gymnastics, the use of tools such as the step or the slide, which further affect the degree of commitment required, implies that the start of the lesson is gradual, with an essential warm-up phase. The initial warm-up by its nature fulfills various needs, in the specific case it gradually brings the heart rate to the working range, increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscle structures that will be strongly involved, stimulates the production of synovial fluid, therefore lubrication of the jointswhich, especially in the lower limb, will be strongly called into question. Furthermore, the heating activates the neuromotor system, increases the metabolism and temperature of the muscle structures, preventing any trauma.

The evaluation of the intensity of work can certainly count on the heart rate of the participants which, if in general (and as already stated) should not exceed 80% -85% of the HRM, in subjects with the first experiences it must be significantly maintained at below. The fatigue perception scale is also a very valuable tool.

Borg scale

The Borg scale (2) is widely used to measure the degree of effort perceived by those who participate in motor activities. After having clearly explained its use, it will be necessary to warn those who take part in a work session that, upon perception of a sense of intense or more than intense commitment, it is appropriate to stop. It is likely to be around 15-16 on the Borg scale, which corresponds to a job done on average at 75-80% of the FCM. An excessive value for beginners and untrained subjects.

Degree of perception of effort with respect to the Borg scale

ValueDescription
6no effort
7extremely light
8 
9very light
10 
11light
1260% FCM
13a little ‘heavy
1470% FCM
15intense
1680% FCM
17really heavy
1890% FCM
19extremely intense
20maximum effort

 

Degree of perception of effort with respect to the Borg scale

Acting on the intensity of work, in the case of using a step, can sometimes simply mean using a lower support. Just as a taller tool will help make everything more complex and intense. As the height of the step increases, there is an almost gradual progression of all intensity measurement parameters, from work HR to the perception of the degree of difficulty.

There is no similar correspondence in the growth of values ​​if, above all, the executive rhythm is accelerated, as well as the linear progression between HR and VO2max, typical of aerobic work, in the activity with the step is less evident.

Guide For Making Steps At Home

In this guide to taking steps at home you will find small useful tips to do some movement without the need to leave home and without missing the gym.

At home, in fact, we have everything we need to do the right movement and keep fit even if we are forced to stay indoors waiting for all this to end.

So here is our guide to taking steps at home in safety and having fun and taking care of your body.

Lose Weight By Taking The Stairs

Not everyone has a stepper at home but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to spend two hours a week moving to the beat of music like a real step lesson.

If you live in an apartment building or a multi-story house, in fact, the stairs will be your best allies.

How do you train with the stairs?

Surely these days they would be preferable to the elevator to avoid being in closed and potentially contaminated places.

A very simple workout is to take the stairs every day, especially if you live on high floors.

Obviously pay attention to the training level of your heart and if you feel too much fatigue it means that you are exaggerating.

The goal of taking the stairs is not to vent the lungs but simply to do some additional movement as, due to the quarantine, we are more still than usual.

Stairs training     

Ladders are also great for strengthening your legs.

In fact, you can run up five or six steps and then return down, repeating this movement at least four times.

Of course, you will need to have done some warm-up and stretching beforehand to avoid getting hurt.

Back straight, chest out and leg at 90 degrees and rest with the forefoot.

To warm up, go up one step at a time by bringing the knee towards your chest and repeat for about ten stairs.

 Going up the steps you can also hug your knee if you feel like it but in this case rest your whole foot firmly on the ladder.

Now go up the steps of the stairs but bring the knee on the buttock and then take the next step.

These two exercises are easy and serve to activate the body , that is, to prevent injuries and do a good workout.

Step exercises to do at home

Once you are warmed up, go up the steps by jogging two or three steps on each and then move on to the next.

You can continue a plank by placing your hands on the top step and pivoting your feet on the lowest one.

Sit on a step and place your hands on the ground .

Now place your heels firmly on the lower steps and try to lift your body quickly but without overdoing it.

You need to be able to lift your hips off the ground and then return to position .

If you can, you can also hold the raised position for a few seconds and return to the recovery position.

To complete the session, stand with your legs apart and with your arms crossed behind your neck.

Bring the knee to your chest and bring it to the elbow of the opposite side and return to position.

Repeat with the other leg as well for at least 20 repetitions and then rest for a few seconds.

If you can repeat this session four times , with one minute of rest, you will have completed a great training session on the stairs!

 

The Step: tone up with the up and down stairs

From step to step at home. In the beginning it was the step, almost a revolution in the gym, to follow the climbmill, the “step” version of the treadmill. Getting on and off is great exercise, easy and, when it comes to the stairs at home, even free. Done every day, it strengthens the cardiovascular system and increases tissue oxygenation. The uphill movement strengthens the muscles of the small, medium, gluteus maximus and the entire muscles of the lower limbs, from the calf to the thigh.

 It is ideal as a workout for those who practice sports such as running or skiing, disciplines in which it is essential to have toned muscles to prevent trauma and injuries. But it is an excellent aerobic training, even for those who do not have time to go to the gym: they are about 8 calories per minute, but it can vary depending on the speed, height of the step, individual weight.

In the gym and at home with the step

The mythical step, widespread in the sports halls in the late 1980s, was used to build fast and increasingly elaborate choreographies. Consisting of two separable parts, one upper and two lateral bases (to vary the height), it has become the symbol of the fitness trend of those years: sweating, sweating, sweating. Complete, measures 90 * 40, is 20cm high but can reach 25cm. Today in the gym, as well as in classes dedicated to aerodance, it is used in total workout lessons, where aerobic phases on a musical basis alternate with toning exercises in which the step acts as a support, and in circuit training that combine strengthening. muscular with tools, in aerobic sequences of 2-3 minutes. 

The training does not only focus on the legs and glutes, but also the abs and upper part. Furthermore, being able to change the height, you can easily increase the workload. The position is essential to avoid knee and ankle problems. The foot that goes up on the step must rest on the step with the whole sole. You have to go up vertically, respecting the alignment between ankles, knees, pelvis, hips. Thus the effort is distributed over the whole leg. At home, use it like this: with a mini program of 15 minutes. Warm-up: Get on and off the step, alternating right and left leg. Continue up and down for another 5 minutes and, on the way up, bring your knee up. 

For the last 5 minutes, alternating left and right legs, lift up and open one leg to the side. Coordinate the movement with the opening of the arms at shoulder height. The foot climbing the step must rest on the step with the whole sole. You have to go up vertically, respecting the alignment between ankles, knees, pelvis, hips. Thus the effort is distributed over the whole leg. At home, use it like this: with a mini program of 15 minutes. Warm-up: Get on and off the step, alternating right and left leg.

 Continue up and down for another 5 minutes and, on the way up, bring your knee up. For the last 5 minutes, alternating left and right legs, lift up and open one leg to the side. Coordinate the movement with the opening of the arms at shoulder height. The foot climbing the step must rest on the step with the whole sole. You have to go up vertically, respecting the alignment between ankles, knees, pelvis, hips. Thus the effort is distributed over the whole leg. 

At home, use it like this: with a mini program of 15 minutes. Warm-up: Get on and off the step, alternating right and left leg. Continue up and down for another 5 minutes and, on the way up, bring your knee up. For the last 5 minutes, alternating left and right legs, lift up and open one leg to the side. Coordinate the movement with the opening of the arms at shoulder height. Thus the effort is distributed over the whole leg.

 At home, use it like this: with a mini program of 15 minutes. Warm-up: Get on and off the step, alternating right and left leg. Continue up and down for another 5 minutes and, on the way up, bring your knee up. For the last 5 minutes, alternating left and right legs, lift up and open one leg to the side. Coordinate the movement with the opening of the arms at shoulder height. Thus the effort is distributed over the whole leg. At home, use it like this: with a mini program of 15 minutes. Warm-up: Get on and off the step, alternating right and left leg. Continue up and down for another 5 minutes and, on the way up, bring your knee up. For the last 5 minutes, alternating left and right leg, raise and open one leg to the side uphill. Coordinate the movement with the opening of the arms at shoulder height.

In the engine room: the climbmill

It is also ideal for beginners who have to learn the correct up-down movement. The step, 25 cm deep, has colored indications to position the foot correctly. The ergonomic handles are integrated with the most important function buttons: so you can directly set or change speed, resistance, pause and stop. It can be used for warming up (10-12 minutes), for cooling down, or as cardiovascular training and fat burning by increasing the minutes (from 30 to 45). You need to control your posture: shoulders relaxed and torso aligned with the rest of the body to avoid overloading the back.

The flight of stairs

First of all, use them by overcoming laziness and habits. Getting on and off in the office or at home helps to activate the metabolism and reduce excess fat, tones the muscles especially in the lower body, improves blood and lymphatic circulation. A cure-all against cellulite. To have an effect, you need to use the stairs continuously. It is certainly not enough to walk three floors every now and then. They should be thought of as a personal gym at no cost: at least 30 steps without breaks, 3 times a day, at a normal pace. Diversifying: one or two steps at a time, zig-zag, cross-stepping or moving from one side of the ramp to the other, so as to train balance and coordination as well. The pace is kept high and monotony is overcome. Here, too, pay attention to your posture: bending forward while keeping your back straight, look and head high. The whole foot rests on the step, not just the toe. It is important to wear suitable shoes: jogging shoes are the most suitable. Use the descent as recovery, so without jumping or jumping. And finally, don’t forget the stretching: 2-3 minutes of stretching is enough for quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.