You don't need complex exercise equipment to get an effective workout; even something as simple as a set of stairs can help you achieve athletic greatness, weight loss or whatever your goals may be. Sprinting up the stairs will provide ample intensity for reaching a variety of goals. Complementing your sprints with other exercises can provide a more well-rounded workout program, but you may see results with stair sprints alone.
Weight loss can be difficult, but sprinting up stairs can help you shed pounds efficiently. It's an effective way to torch calories, as a 180-pound person burns 1,286 calories per hour when performing this activity. This means that even if you only put in 20 minutes of stair sprints throughout your entire day, you'd still burn 429 calories, the same number you'd burn with an hour of low-impact aerobics. The high rate of calorie burn from stair sprints makes it easier to achieve the calorie deficit required for weight loss.
Stair sprinting isn't just for dropping weight -- it may also help you put on muscle mass. According to the website for Muscle & Strength magazine, sprinting is the best exercise for increasing muscle mass on your quadriceps, the large muscle group on the front of your thighs. And, sprinting up the stairs will work your hamstrings and calves, so you'll get a workout for all of your leg muscle groups from this one activity. If you opt for longer flights of stairs, you'll increase muscular endurance as well as strength.
Speed and Footwork
Practice makes perfect, and sprinting is no different. Sprinting up stairs can help you improve your sprinting speed, as running on a flat surface will seem easier after the incline. Keeping your knees high and focusing on initial acceleration can help improve your quickness for sports, and having to hit steps at the right place with every stride will help improve your footwork and foot speed, which can be helpful for sports like soccer and boxing, as well as running.
Sprinting up stairs can offer admirable results but it can also be perilous. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear so you have enough traction to prevent slippage. If possible, avoid hard surfaces such as concrete and metal to avoid injuries, and only sprint on stairs when they are dry and free of debris. You should also take a slow walk up the stairs before you sprint on them so you can get a feel for the stairs and find the correct stride length.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.