You guys have been asking for a step aerobics workout video for a very long time, and we have finally been able to deliver! However, this is not your typical exercise step workout. Instead of working on the step for an hour or more, we put our own spin on it (don’t we always?) and made the intervals intense enough that you will have broken a sweat and fit in a good workout in less than 15 minutes, saving you time for strength training and/or a nice long cool down and stretching routine.

Part of the reason why it’s more intense than the average normal hour long class is that I wanted to use this workout to really target the butt and thighs. I lifted my step up to three risers on each side, and actually would have used more if I had them on hand, even though that would have resulted in an even-more-purple face and more huffing and puffing (sorry) by the end of the video. I used elements of plyometrics, which are highly effective at increasing explosive strength and speed, not to mention the added benefit that they burn a high number of calories and are great for reshaping the body. There are a lot of hidden squats, jump squats, side squats, and lunge movements in this workout.

All you need for this workout is an aerobic exercise step or any kind of step or bench that is stable enough for you to safely hop up and down on safely. You can use however many risers you need, keeping in mind that a higher bench, as long as form is minded, will make for a higher calorie burn and more work for the lower body.

We start off light enough that you won’t need a separate warm up. There is no cool down in this video so make sure that you find one of our stretching videos afterwards, if you aren’t moving right on to another workout.

Printable Workout
Warm Up Intervals: 50 seconds each, no rest
High Knee March
Basic Step
Butt Kickers
Row + Lift

Aerobic Step Workout: 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off
Side to Side: 3 Knees
Hop + 2 Jack Steps
Side Steps + High Kicks
Center Hops + Squats
High Knee + Push
Crossovers
Lift + Reach
Basic Step

What other workout videos can I use with this one?
This short cardio step workout goes very well with strength training for the upper or lower body. I filmed this one along with a short workout (another short but intense 10 minute routine) for the lower body and it was a great combination to quickly get in a good sweat and burnout the muscles of the butt and thighs.

What did you think of our very first step workout video? Would you like more, and if so, would you like them longer? Easier or more difficult? Talk to us; we want to hear from you and we listen – our viewers are the ones who shape what kind of workout videos we release, so speak up!

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Step aerobics is a great way to get your cardio. To get a complete workout, you should add some strength-building exercises to your routine a couple of times a week, especially for your upper body.

If you like low-tech workouts, or the option of working out on your own in front of a screen, then you will like step aerobics. Because you can easily change the height of the step to fit different fitness levels, step can be a good choice no matter what shape you are in. You also have the choice of enrolling in a class where an instructor can take you through the steps. Think music, dance moves, and stomps.

Step aerobics is not for you if you’d rather be outside. If you want to take a more meditative approach to fitness, walking and yoga are better picks.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, your doctor has likely told you to get up and get moving. Step aerobics is a great way to do this.

If you get into a routine of doing it on most days of the week for at least a half hour at a time, it can help you drop weight and lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as your blood pressure. Lowering these helps prevent heart disease. It can raise your good cholesterol (HDL), too.

If you already have heart disease, check with your doctor first, so you know what activities are OK for you.

If you have prediabetes, aerobic exercise is a proven way to help keep it from becoming diabetes. Step aerobics can also help manage existing diabetes, along with good nutrition and any medication that you are on. Follow your doctor’s diabetes treatment plan for exercise.

If you have arthritis, step aerobics can be a good weight-bearing exercise for you, since you can adjust the step’s height and the intensity of your workout.

If you have hip, foot, ankle, or knee pain, step isn’t for you. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about other activities you could do instead. For instance, swimming takes the weight off your joints while you exercise.

Pregnant? If you have been doing step aerobics before your pregnancy, you can usually continue as long as your pregnancy is going well. Confirm that with your doctor. To keep you and your baby healthy, take these precautions: Lower the step as your belly grows and your center of gravity changes, drink water, and don’t overheat.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t been active in a while.

Gravity happens. And it can affect your backside. But you can fight gravity and strengthen your glutes with the simple step-up. Celeb trainer Valerie Waters recommends this functional exercise “if you have a flat or droopy butt and you need to pick it up.” The move combines the action of the lunge with stepping upward, like climbing stairs, to really target your butt and upper hamstrings. All you need for the move is a short bench, sturdy chair, or solid coffee table to step onto. We’ve broken down the move into three variations so you can find the version that works best for your level of fitness.

Beginner

Before you start, find a step, chair, or bench that when you place your foot on it, your knee bends to a 90-degree angle. The weight benches or plyo boxes are often the right height, but a dining room chair can work too for an at-home strength-training session.

  • To start, place your entire right foot onto the bench or chair. Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your left so you are standing on the bench.
  • Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot, then the left so both feet are on the floor.
  • Complete 15 steps leading with the left foot, then repeat another 15 steps leading with your left foot. Do three sets.

Intermediate

This is a toe-tap variation that will challenge your balance and work your glutes even more. This version works best with a shorter weight bench or a coffee table rather than a chair — prepare to feel the burn!

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  • Start by stepping onto the bench with your right foot.
  • Straighten your right knee to stand on the bench while lifting your left leg so the hip and knee are both at 90-degree angles (shown in the photo above). Keeping your right foot still, bend your right knee as you lower your left foot to tap the floor with your left toes without putting your weight onto your left foot. This completes one rep. Press through your right heel as you straighten your right knee to stand on the box. Essentially, your right glute should be engaged for the entire set of reps. That’s why it burns!
  • Repeat for 15 reps on each leg. Do three sets.

Advanced

  • Try the beginner variation explained above while holding dumbbells — starting with eight-pound weights in each hand and working up to 15-pound dumbbells. If you’re ready for an extra challenge, try the toe-tap version.
  • Repeat for 15 reps on each leg. Do three sets.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Exercise
Guide

  1. Use of the Bench Step:

    1. Construct the desired height of the step using the platform and riser parts of the Bench Step apparatus
      • The height of the step should not require that you lift your leg more than 90 degrees
      • Both sides of the platform should have an equal number of risers and be in proper alignment
    2. The Bench Step should be on the wooden floor to allow the floor to give with your movement upon it
    • The Bench Step can be used on carpet but will be less safe for turns and movement around the bench
  2. When stepping to the bench, allow the entire foot to be placed on top of the platform
    • Wear proper lateral support and notched heel, notched aerobic or cross-training shoes
    • Use peripheral vision when stepping to and from the bench
    • Use music to move to a rhythm (music in aerobic class, your own headset, or the radio)
    • Choose a pace that allows you to move aerobically throughout the exercise time you have set
    • Change the lead leg you use at least every minute; perform only a maximum of 5 repeater steps
    • Hand weights are not recommended due to possible repetitive motion injury to the joints
  3. Checkout an instructional step video for variation on tep technique
  4. Step down and continue slower pace movement to cool-down your body

Exercises using a step

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