When looking for a way to add more or less intensity, but also more variety, into your workouts, look to your steps. The bigger the step, obviously more challenge, but little steps can be used to your advantage as well.
Steps can add a challenge to your workouts or take the pressure off.
Have you got pain in your knees? Don’t want pain in your knees? Remember that alignment is key. Always keep your knee in line with your middle toes and watch that the knee doesn’t slide past your shoe laces. Even if you are going fast, you must have good alignment to avoid knee pain or trauma.
When doing leg work on the step, it’s easy to feel your quads engage. Focus on your hips and glutes instead. Slow it down and focus here. With good technique, good intention, you will get good results! Adding a step in your lower body routine usually makes the exercises more challenging.
When doing upper body work, focus on your shoulders. Keep your shoulder blades down and active. Typically, adding elevation to upper body exercises makes the exercise easier. The wrists don’t have to hold as much weight and are usually at a better angle.
This is especially true for push ups. If you want to do push ups, but have pain in your wrists, or want a modified way, try the step. From your toes or knees, the step provides a great alternative.
Remember that your core should always be involved! When doing your leg or upper body work, hold your trunk still at all times. The more movement in your trunk means less work in your core.
Steps can be a great way to add a cardio burst. Quick feet and box jumps will do just that! You can do 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or two minutes! Half way through, switch your lead leg when doing quick feet. You’ll notice that you step up with one foot first then the other. At the half way marker, switch to the other leg to begin the sequence. Stay light on your feet and move as quick and efficiently as possible.
Box jumps are plyometric movements with the most amount of intensity. Make sure your form is good and you are strong enough to complete them. Your squat must be in good form and you should be able to carry significant weight. The box jump adds force to your landing. Your body has to be able to withstand the pressure and your knees must bend on impact to avoid knee trauma. When you are ready for box jumps, have fun with them! Add them from time to time to your routine to get some cardio, power in your legs, and a shake up to your workout!
If you want to learn more about reprogramming your body or need guidance putting a routine together, let me know! I would love to help.