The Stair Down: An Adjustable Stair Workout

We get it. Whether you’re traveling, home for the holidays, or just not feeling spending an afternoon in the gym, sometimes getting to a gym is not in the cards. Despite that, your need or desire to workout does not have to go ignored. And before you roll your eyes about “another functional bodyweight workout” relax. I’m suggesting something much more brutal: a stair workout.

Stair workouts are an excellent way to train your glutes, hamstrings, and thighs, while also giving you a brutal cardio blast. The best part? You can find a set of stairs anywhere and it’s an excellent form of exercise. Don’t have a stairwell in your building or home? Go to a local park and use the bleachers. 

The other bonus of stair workouts? They are completely adjustable. For example, today’s workout Is commonly referred to as a ladder; a workout that grows in reps as you go. You can repeat this ladder as many times as you can safely take it or have time for. 

And trust me, it doesn’t take much to get a great workout in this way. Even one round of the following workout would be an excellent micro workout during a vacation or holiday!

So let’s get started, and don’t be fooled by the simplicity, I guarantee you’ll be walking funny the rest of the day.

And remember, you can modify this based on how many flights of stairs you have available.  (Hint: if you’re doing this stair workout on the bleachers, a typical flight is 12-13 steps!)



personal training for dancers



For this workout, do not rest until after the third set. 

Set 1:

Sprint up one flight of stairs. Walk or jog back down. 

Set 2: 

Sprint up two flights of stairs. Walk or jog back down.

Set 3: 

Sprint up three flights of stairs. Walk or jog back down. 


That’s all there is to todays stair workout. It’s really that simple.


“BuT WaIt ThAt’S ToO EaSy”

To modify this workout to be longer or more challenging, rest after the third set. Then, repeat sets 1-3 three or four more times. 

Another modification, if you have the stairs available, is to continue the ladder all the way up to five flights. 

Only have one flight of stairs available to you? Repeat set one 5 times, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat the 5 reps of set one again. Repeat this pattern as many times as you like or are able!

When I say adjustable I mean adjustable. Tailor this workout for your time frame and ability. But be careful! Once your body is exhausted it’s much easier to miss steps and trip. Be honest with your body about your limits on this one. 

Want more workouts like this one? Follow along on the Dancers Who Lift Blog for weekly workouts, technique tips, and weekly deep dives into fitness questions dancers- or anyone- might have. 


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