Not only is a stairway a good place to perform aerobic exercise, you can also use the stairs to improve your flexibility. When you try to stretch your calves on the floor, for example, your heel never goes below your toes, so you miss out on a great stretch. The stairs can also help improve your ankle flexibility and reduce tightness in your lower legs. Stairs are usually easy to find, but if you're stuck in a one-story domain, an aerobic step makes a great substitute.
Stand on the staircase, using any step. Shift your weight onto your left foot.
Slide your right foot backward until the ball of your foot and toes remain on the stair, while the heel hangs over the edge. Keep both legs straight throughout the activity.
Hold onto the wall or railing for support. Lower your right heel until you feel a stretch in your right calf.
Breathe normally and maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and perform the stretch on your left leg. Repeat the stretch two to four times on each leg.
Place your left foot one or two stairs higher than your right foot. Plant your left foot securely on the step.
Hold the wall or railing for balance.
Slide your right foot backward until your heel hangs over the stair's edge. Bend your right knee. Slowly lower your heel until you feel a stretch in your right calf.
Maintain the stretch as you breathe normally for 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly release your right leg and repeat the stretch with your left. Complete two to four stretches on each leg.
- Warm your legs before you strech with a few minutes of walking, dancing, stair climbing or marching in place.
- If you experience any pain, stop the stretch immediately.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.