Step ups can be a fantastic exercise. But you can get the biggest bang for your buck by tweaking the exercise very slightly.
So how do we improve the exercise?
First of all you should be using a box / bench or other equipment that allows your leg to be at a 90 degree angle as you drive up onto the platform.
This angle allows you to target the glutes and the hamstrings optimally. The exercise will be harder, but it is results you want? So make sure you do the exercise properly.
Secondly to make the exercise an efficient one, I want you to use a medicine ball / dumbbell / kettle bell / weight plate and hold it above your head while you do your step ups. Not only will this increase the amount of work your shoulders have to do to stabilize the weight above, it also places a large demand on your mid-section.
When a weight is extended above the head, it automatically increases the demands placed on your core. Your abdominals, oblique’s and lower back have to work extremely hard to stabilize your trunk and stop you from caving over.
If you have poor flexibility overhead and struggle with the exercise, use two dumbbells and hold them by your side. You can still increase the demands placed on the lower limbs without performing the overhead version of the lift.
By implementing these two advancements to the exercise, you can now optimally work your glutes and hamstrings (which was the desired goal) but also your shoulders, triceps, abdominals, obliques and lower back are brought in to the exercise. You are now getting the biggest bang for your buck and turning the step up into a full body exercise.
Simple ways to advance exercises that have a positive effect on your body composition.
More to follow……..