Stair Climbing for Beginners

Warm up properly to avoid injuries.
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Stair climbing provides a topnotch workout for someone who doesn't want to be stuck in a gym setting, or who doesn't have access to a gym. This exercise regimen combines both aerobic and strength training, and can be done anywhere with stairs. Beginners can start by using stairs in their workouts once to three times weekly for approximately 30 minutes. Once a routine is established, you can do the exercises more often and for longer times. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have knee problems or other health concerns.

Warm Up

Warming up is integral to a stair climbing routine; it can save you many aches and pains down the road. Sit down and stretch your leg muscles for five minutes before you begin. Focus on your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Begin your workout by slowly walking up and down the stairs for five minutes to thoroughly warm up your muscles. Starting slowly can help you avoid injuries. Stop immediately if you feel any knee pain.

Beginner's Workout

There are many exercises you can do once you have finished your warmup. Speed walking or jogging up and down stairs are common exercises to try when you start your routine. You can also do lunges, in which you take more than one stair per step, but go slowly until you master the exercise. Walking up the stairs sideways will work slightly different muscles than when you face forward and go up the stairs. Experiment and find a routine you are comfortable with. Whichever you choose, keep your feet firmly planted on the stairs at all times to avoid injury.

Gradually Increase Goals

When you begin stair climbing, go slowly. After you warm up, you can pick up the pace up and down the stairs, trying different beginners' exercises. Continue this type of exercise for 15 minutes. Do this two to three times for the first week. Each week, add five minutes of stair climbing to your routine until you reach 45 minutes to an hour total. This gradual increase will help you avoid injuries as you move from beginner to intermediate stair climber.

Cool Down

After you have completed your stair workout, spend five to 10 minutes slowly walking on a flat surface. Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves to avoid tightness or pain in those muscles. You can use the stairs to help stretch your muscles by placing your legs on the stairs, one at a time, and bending over them. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds for maximum impact.

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