When it’s cool and rainy or you’re at the mercy of your tiny little boss’s nap schedule, this all-in-one stair workout will train your upper & lower body in one simple no-equipment circuit!
Stairs & chairs FTW.
Our BB trainers love when our mama clients have a set of stairs to
slave over play on. After all, most of us don’t have a fully equipped home gym, or even a weight bench to sit/lie/step on. Your stairs = the same function as a bench. Combine your stairs with a sturdy chair and you’ve got most of the functions of a bench covered. (Heads up: push your chair up against a wall to avoid slipping when you use it for exercise.) For example:
Step up on bench = step up on 2nd stair or chair
Pushup on bench = pushup on stair
Triceps dip on bench = triceps dip on stair or chair
Seated exercises = this is probably a no-brainer, but that’s what a chair is made for, mama
…and if you’re thinking of a bench press or hip thruster (or other supine/lying down exercise), a long ottoman or chest works wonders. In a pinch, simply lying on the floor will do the trick.
No equipment is no excuse.
The point is, you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. Not having a state of the art treadmill is not the reason for your exercise shirking. Just like not having a Lamborghini doesn’t explain why I’m never on time…
But that’s another post.
Start moving. Start working with what you have. And if you’ve got a set of stairs and 10-15 minutes — and I know you have 10-15 minutes, even if it’s not THE MOST EXCITING THING YOU’D LIKE TO DO WITH YOUR 10-15 MINUTES…welcome to grown up life…sometimes you have to change a poopy diaper or take out the garbage or watch Bubble Guppies or go to a PTA meeting or pack school lunches or exercise — you can strengthen & firm your entire body, plus rev your heart rate.
And if you stop making exercise this big, complicated, perfect thing in your head that can’t be completed without the newest set of BeachBody DVDs or 2 hours per day to hit the gym, you will actually find time to do it. And then it will get easier. And you’ll see it changing your body. And you’ll feel it changing your heart and mind and energy.
And then you will actually be EXCITED TO FIND 10-15 MINUTES TO EXERCISE.
You can start with this stair workout, mama.
Pull out that daytimer and pencil this workout in a few times per week or use it as one of your go-to at home workouts when you aren’t able to make it to a BB class or commit to a longer workout.
Try it in the morning while your coffee brews. Or try it in the very first 10-15 minutes when your little one falls asleep for her nap, before you get distracted with social media or 362 ways to cook chicken breast on Pinterest. Or while your little ones are having their daily dose of Paw Patrol or *gasp* playing on the iPad. It is a rainy day, after all.
Are you ready? All you need is a clock or watch and your stairs!
Warm up (3 minutes)
Walk up and down stairs, one stair at a time. Next, walk up and down stairs, taking two stairs at a time. Repeat for 3 minutes or until you start to break a light sweat if you’re not watching the clock.
Workout (10-15 minutes)
Perform the following exercises, in order, for 1 minute each. Pause for a few seconds and then re-start if a minute is too long to continue with good form. Repeat for a total of 2-3 circuits to complete the stair workout, pausing only as needed for a sip of water or to catch your breath. Try not to break unless one of your little ones needs you!
Push up on stairs – stand, facing staircase, and place hands on 3rd or 4th step (lower to make it harder, higher to make it easier). Inhale as you bend your arms and lower your chest to stair, then exhale and push up until arms are straight again. Repeat for 1 minute.
Step up – stand, facing staircase, and step onto 2nd step with left foot. Ensure heel is on step. Step up, pressing through left heel, and raise right knee up to waist height. Step down and repeat on right foot. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
Stair dip – sit on bottom step with hands on edge of stair, fingers pointing forward. Keep hands close to hips. Lift bum off stair. Inhale and bend arms until elbows form 90-degree angle or bum taps on floor; exhale and press through hands to straighten arms. Repeat for 1 minute.
Uneven squat – stand sideways with one foot on bottom step and other foot on floor, both feet aligned horizontally. Inhale and squat until thighs are parallel with floor; exhale and press up through heels to straighten legs. Repeat for 30 seconds on each foot.
Jumping jack – stand with feet together, arms at sides. Jump until feet are wide and land on toes; at the same time, lift arms out to the sides and up overhead until they touch. Return to starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.
Cool down & Core (2 minutes)
Walk up stairs and down stairs, one at a time. Repeat for 1 minute.
Next, assume plank position on floor for 30 seconds, or use an elevated surface like a stair or countertop if you are not ready for a full plank. Repeat for 3 sets each.
Still feel like you need more cooling down? Continue slowly walking up and down stairs until your heart rate is lower.
Now arm everyone with raincoats and boots. Mama’s had her workout and it’s puddle jumping time!