By Liz DiAlto

Whether you’re lucky enough get outside and climb the Santa Monica Stairs or are relegated to the stairwell in your office building, taking flight and hitting the steps can be one of the best ways to blast that body. Plus, they’re (almost always) easily accessible and free, making stairs one of the most underrated and effective pieces of workout equipment.

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So, hit the outdoor staircase at your favorite park, the stairs in your apartment building or the stair climber at your gym and get toned in just 20 minutes!


The Steps (literally!)…


Minutes 0-2:  Warm up by walking up/down the stairs (get to a level 5 on an exertion scale of 1 – 10)

Minutes 2-4: Jog up/down the stairs (level 6/7)

Minutes 4-6: Walk up/down skipping a step on the way up (level 7/8)

Minutes 6-8: Jog up/down the stairs (level 8)

Minutes 8-10: Jog up/down the stairs skipping a step on the way up (level 9)

Minute 10-11: Push ups on the bottom step, with your hands on the bottom step (level 7/8)

Minute 11-12: Walk/jog up/down (level 7/8)

Minute 12-13: Split squats on left leg (with your left side facing the steps, place your left foot on the first step and keep your right foot on the ground as you squat.) (level 8)

Minute 13-14: Split squats on right leg (with your right side facing the steps, place your right foot on the first step and keep your left foot on the ground as you squat.) (level 8)

Minute 14-15: Plank step ups on bottom step (Stary at the bottom of the steps on a high-plank position, with your hands on ground, immediately below the fist step. Step up with each hand, then down with each hand, maintaining the plank position with your lower body, flat back, neutral neck, core pulled in nice and tight, feet together or shoulder width apart) (level 9)

4 ways to mix-up the plank!

Minute 15-16: Tricep dips (sit on bottom step, place hands just outside the width of your body, keep shoulders down and away from your ears. Bend at the elbows to lower yourself until your butt is about to touch the ground, press up through your triceps.  Legs can be bent for an easier dip or straight for a more challenging dip.) (level 8/9)

Minutes 16-18: Walk/jog up/down skipping a step on the way up (level 8/9)

Minutes 18-20: Walk up/down to cool down (level 6)

As always, we recommend listening to your body when determining your pace (because you know your body better than we possibly could!). If you need to slow down, take a break or recover for a minute or two, please do (and kudos for your hard work!).  As you continue working, those breaks will get shorter and eventually you’ll be powering through the workout without stopping.  If you’re more intermediate-advanced, pick up the pace lady, and kick this workout’s butt!

Do you really need a mat to practice yoga?