There are many different ways you can work out at home nowadays, and to be honest, you don’t really need to join a gym at all if you are just looking to improve your fitness, tone up and lose a bit of fat.
I have already discussed how fitness DVDs can help you fulfil these goals, but you can also do lots of intense exercises on your stairs that will deliver the same kind of benefits.
These are particularly popular with stay-at-home mums, for example, and with people who work from home, and although many people are sceptical at first, you will generally find that they will burn a lot of calories and will be just as challenging as a cardio workout in your local gym.
There are lots of these stair workouts on YouTube, but here is one that I particularly like from Brenda Vance, a certified personal trainer and health coach:
Although Brenda doesn’t demonstrate the whole workout routine in this video, she does demonstrate each and every exercise. So it is easy to follow along to, but not as easy to complete because you are supposed to do 3-5 rounds in total, depending on your current fitness level.
Here is a guide to the exercises that are included in this stair workout, along with my thoughts on each one:
2 Stair Hops
The first exercise basically involves jumping up your stairs two at a time (with both feet). After you reach the top, you should run back down and repeat the process once more. This is not too demanding, and is a quite a gentle exercise to ease you into the workout.
10 Stair Jumps
The next exercise can be completed at the bottom of the stairs because you basically need to do 10 stair jumps. Here you just need to jump to the second or third stair with both feet, similar to the first exercise. Once again, this is not too difficult to complete, and is good for your legs and glutes.
6 Wide Runs / Hop In Hop Out
This two-part exercise involves wide runs first of all, where you are running up the stars one at a time with legs wide apart, followed by a hopping run up the stairs, where you are pushing your legs outwards and bringing them together with each stair you climb. This is where it really starts to get intense because you are supposed to do six rounds of each one.
5 Stair Sprints
The next exercise is one that we will all have done many times in our everyday lives because it basically involves running up the stairs one at a time. However in this case you are supposed to do this five times, which makes it a lot harder.
100 Toe Taps
The next exercise can be completed at the bottom of the stairs and involves a series of 100 rapid top taps on the first and second steps (10 at a time on each one). This looks fairly easy, but this will really get your heart pumping (if it isn’t already).
10 Push Up Tuck Ins
By this point the last thing you will want to do is a push up, but that’s exactly what the next exercise entails. Furthermore you actually need to do 10 push ups using the second step, followed by a squat thrust to the first step after each one. This is hard to do, but it will help to tone up both your upper and lower body.
20 Side To Side Squats
The penultimate exercise involves 20 side to side squats (no stairs are needed at this point), and you should find that this is a little easier, and will give you a chance to recuperate from your earlier exertions.
40 Run Ins / Cross Twists
The final exercise that is included in this stair workout is a real killer because it involves leaning forward on the first step with both hands and bringing your feet up to the bottom of the stairs one at a time in a running-type motion. After you have done rep on each leg, you need to twist to the side and bring your knee forward and repeat with the other leg. You should aim to do 40 reps in total.
You should find that just completing one whole round of this workout is a challenge in itself but Brenda recommends that you do 3-5 rounds in total, before finishing with a 5 minute low plank hold to strengthen your core.
I would imagine that just one round will be enough to get results to begin with, especially if you are not in great shape right now.
However you should definitely aim to do more rounds as your fitness improves because this will of course provide even better results in terms of toning and weight loss, and will inevitably improve your overall fitness level as well.