Is the Stair Climber Good for Weight Loss?

The stair climber is a low-impact cardio workout machine that allows you to keep going, and going, and going until you have reached the highest height that you want to. We love this machine because it is low-impact and will help you build strength in your legs and core. Moreover, the stair climber is good for weight loss. We are going to step into that subject in this article. So, read on to find out more:

Is Weight Loss The Goal?

While we don’t believe weight loss should always be your number one goal when starting a health and wellness routine, it is one of the most common reasons for people to join the gym. Becoming more consistent with a fitness routine can help in more ways than that, though. Some non-scale victories include better sleep, better mood, more energy, and exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety, to name a few. So, first, think about if weight loss is really what you need from your fitness routine. Sometimes weight loss is simply a byproduct of something greater.

Calories as a Base Line

If weight loss is your goal, then the easiest way to calculate weight loss is to track calories in and calories out. This is not the perfect system because other factors come into play like genetics and hormones, and weight loss, unfortunately, is not so black and white. But, an excellent place to start is by writing down everything you eat, calculating your calories, and seeing where you are. You could be overeating, and you could be eating too little. It is about having a healthy and well-balanced diet to keep you fueled and full. Once you know that nutritional baseline, you can then adjust and work out accordingly. By working on a machine like a stair climber, you will burn calories and hopefully have fun while doing it.

The Stair Climber

When you toured the gym, you probably noticed the giant machine in the cardio equipment section that had people walking high above you. That is the stair climber. It is a tall revolving staircase that goes on and on for as long as you can. The machine is fun and simple to use, but don’t let the simplicity fool you—it is difficult. If you decide to try out this machine for the first time, give yourself an attainable goal like 5 minutes, and work your way up from there!

Builds Muscle

Have you ever had to walk three or four flights of stairs due to an elevator being down? We have. And, it definitely makes you feel the burn. Since it takes strength in your glutes and hamstrings to push each leg up the stairs, you are building muscle. Many cardiovascular exercises, like using the elliptical, are not so efficient at muscle building, but building strength is key in weight loss. As we build muscle, our bodies burn more calories. This is because muscles take energy to build. So, as you rest after a strength-building workout, your body is working to recover and repair your muscle fibers using the calories you consumed as energy. In turn, you will continue to burn calories long after your stair climber workout is through. The muscle-building capabilities of this machine are one of the several stair climber benefits that we love.

It’s Fun

Your success in your fitness goals and fitness routine is going to rely on a few things: a healthy diet and staying consistent. By finding a workout that is fun for you to complete, you will be more likely to remain consistent, keep your routines, and crush your goals. So, let’s say you’ve been running, but you dislike it and can only run for 5-10 minutes. But, you have grown to love the stair climber and can stay on for 30 minutes, or sometimes longer when you are feeling extra bold. Well, even though running burns more calories per minute, just the fact that you can stay longer, and—more importantly—enjoy stair climbing more, makes this workout more efficient. Conversely related to running, this workout is low impact, so you will be able to complete this exercise for a longer time with less impact on your body, which is a total win/win.

If you like your workout, you work out. So, try out the stair climber, and see if it is something you could consistently do. Remember, like other exercise machines, this one may be difficult at first. So, give yourself a few weeks of trying. What you don’t like on your first try might just become your favorite workout over time. We have a stair climber machine at all of our locations. Stop in, say hello, and if you need help, grab someone from the front desk! We would be happy to show you around!

Does Walking and Climbing Stairs Help With Losing Weight?

If you are going to lose weight, you need to either burn more calories, consume fewer calories, or a combination of both. Both walking and climbing stairs are forms of aerobic exercise that are effective at burning calories. They also can be performed at different intensity, depending on your fitness level and the amount of calories you wish to burn. Consult with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program.

Calculations

A safe weight loss is between 1 and 2 lbs. each week. Keep a record of the amount of calories you consume over a two-week period. Be sure to include all beverages. After the two weeks, determine the average amount of calories you consume daily. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. By maintaining your average daily intake of calories — and burning an additional 750 calories each day — you should lose approximately 1.5 lbs. each week. Keep in mind, that walking and climbing stairs can help you lose weight as long as they put your body into a caloric deficit.

Walking

Walking is a good form of exercise if you are a beginner. It requires very little in the way of equipment or technique. Generally, it is best to gradually increase your speed and the distance that you walk. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that if you are a healthy adult under 65, you should perform at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. However, if you are trying to lose weight you may need to do more. The amount of calories you burn walking depends on the terrain, how much you weigh, and how fast you walk. For example, a 155 pound individual burns approximately 334 calories an hour walking at 4 mph. The same individual would burn approximately 596 calories an hour while race walking at approximately 5 mph.

Climbing Stairs

Climbing stairs is an aerobic exercise that also strengthens the muscles of your lower body. When you climb stairs, you are working against gravity, which causes the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and calves to work harder than they would on level ground. You will burn more calories climbing stairs than you will walking because it is a more vigorous aerobic activity. For example, a 155 pound individual burns approximately 446 calories in an hour walking up stairs. If you have a history of knee injuries, consult with your health care provider before beginning a stair climbing program.

How To Master Step-Ups

Unless you are fanatical about taking the lift and standing stock still on escalators, all of us do some form of step-ups every day when climbing stairs. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect doing the exercise in your workouts. On the contrary, it just shows how useful a move it is because it trains your body to tackle the movements it needs to perform every day – which is the central tenet of functional fitness.

Step-ups hit all the major muscle groups in your lower body. The quads bear the brunt of the action but the move works your glutes, hamstrings and calves too. That means that as well as improving your stair-climbing game, step-ups will improve your strength and resilience for sports like running and cycling.

How To Do Step-Ups

There’s not a whole lot of subtlety to this exercise – you just need a bench or platform. Make sure it isn’t too high; just under knee height is about right. Stand tall facing the bench with your arms by your sides. Put the whole of your right foot on the bench, then drive up through your right leg and stand on the bench with both feet. Lead with your left leg as you step back down and return to the starting position. We suggest alternating the leg you lead with if doing reps for time, or you can opt to do all the reps on one leg and then switch if you’re doing sets.

Step-Up Variations

Dumbbell step-up

This is the most common step-up variation and one that even beginners will be able to progress to very quickly. Adding weight increases the difficulty and the benefits of the exercise, and the easiest way to do that is by holding dumbbells by your sides while you perform step-ups.

Side step-up

Approach the move from a whole new angle – and elist your inner thigh muscles as well – by stepping up from the side. Stand side-on to your bench, either with or without dumbbells, and place the nearer foot on the bench, leaving enough space on the bench for your other foot. Drive up and stand with both feet on the bench, then step down to the same side you came up from. Do all the reps on this side, then turn around and lead with the opposite leg.

Step-up and drive

Once again, you can do this variation with or without dumbbells, but we’d recommend trying it without weights the first time at least. Stand facing the bench and step up but, instead of planting the trailing leg, drive your knee up towards your chest, and then step straight back down. This more explosive version of the exercise builds power in your glutes and is especially useful for those using step-ups to train for sports. You can even go straight into a jump with your step-ups to maximise the plyometric benefits, but ideally not on a bench – you need a bigger platform to land on safely.

Rotational step-up

Add a twist to your step-up to improve the strength and mobility of your hips, something that will benefit you in all manner of sports. Stand side-on to your box, holding dumbbells. Lift the foot nearest the box and as you bring it up, rotate it 90° towards the box so when you place it down it is perpendicular to your body. Then twist your body as you bring the other foot up so it lands facing in the same direction as the first foot. Reverse the motion to step down. Do all the reps on one side, then switch.

Barbell step-up

More advanced stepper-uppers can increase the challenge by holding a barbell on the back of their shoulders while performing the move. Aside from the barbell, the form is the same, but having the weight on the back of your shoulders makes it far harder to drive up on the front leg.

Overhead step-up

This is an advanced weighted variation of the step-up and involves holding either a weight plate or a barbell overhead while doing the exercise. Hold the weight with your arms fully extended above you, then step up onto the box or bench as normal. Your core will have to work harder to keep you stable with the weight overhead and this variation also enlists your shoulder stabilisers. Needless to say it’s one for confident gym-goers who have mastered other weighted variations of the step-up, because if you’re not strong enough for the overhead step-up you can end up toppling off the box.

Try This Free, Foolproof Stairs Workout

If you’re a no-equipment-workout kind of guy or gal, you know that after a while, plain ol’ bodyweight moves can get a little dull.

Ready to spice it up? Look no further than a set of stairs.

Whether you have a flight of stairs in your home or you live near some park or stadium steps, this foolproof (and free) stair workout will challenge your whole body, plus give you a good dose of cardio.

We’ve detailed eight you can do using stairs and outlined a 30-minute routine using just the stairs and your bodyweight. Are you ready to step up?

Tip: Wear sneakers with a good traction and grip, especially if you’re using wood or marble stairs, to avoid slipping or falling.

30-minute routine

  • Warmup (3 minutes). Walk the stairs, taking them one at a time. Climb at a leisurely pace. “Walking” stairs is a great warmup for a stair workout, as you’ll be waking up all of those leg muscles — like your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves — as well as your hips and core.
  • Run stairs for 1 minute. Pick up the pace here, running up the stairs, to continue loosening up your legs and getting your heart pumping.
  • Strength and cardio. Complete three 30-second sets of each of the moves listed below with 30 seconds to 1 minute of rest in between. Complete as many reps as you can in those 30 seconds.

The moves

1. Every-others

via Gfycat

Taking the stairs two at a time (every other stair) requires a higher and deeper step up than one at a time. And because you’re still traveling forward and upward, your core will be working to help you stabilize as well.

To perform:

  1. Start at the bottom of the stairs and step up two steps with your right foot, bringing your left foot to meet it.
  2. Immediately step up two more steps, leading with your left foot.
  3. Repeat this sequence for 30 seconds. Go as quickly as you can safely here.
  4. Return to the bottom of the stairs and repeat for 3 sets.

2. Pushups

via Gfycat

Pushups are a full-body exercise, but obviously require lots of upper-body strength. Stairs provide an effective prop to assist you here.

To perform:

  1. Face the stairs and assume the pushup position.
  2. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the first, second, or third step, depending on the stairs’ steepness and your ability. The more elevated your hands, the easier the pushup will be.
  3. Maintaining a straight line from head to toe, slowly lower your body down, allowing your elbows to bend to a 45-degree angle.
  4. Aim to touch your chest to the step, then extend your arms, returning to the starting position.
  5. Start with 3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Bulgarian split squat

via Gfycat

Challenge your quads and glutes as well as your balance and stability with Bulgarian split squats. By targeting one leg at a time, this exercise will uncover muscle imbalances.

Plus, it requires mobility in your hips. The closer your stationary leg is to the stairs, the more this exercise will target your quads.

To perform:

  1. Start at the bottom of the stairs, facing away about 2–3 feet in front of the bottom stair.
  2. Lift your left foot onto the second or third stair so it’s at about knee height.
  3. Rest your toe on the stair and assume a lunge position. Lower down on your right leg, keeping your torso straight and hips square. Ensure that your knee doesn’t fall over your toe.
  4. Extend your right leg, then repeat.
  5. Switch legs after 10–12 reps.

4. Step-up

via Gfycat

Step-ups on stairs are a no-brainer! Targeting your quads and glutes among other leg muscles, this exercise won’t only provide aesthetic benefits — hello, round booty! — it’ll help you with daily tasks.

To perform:

  1. Start with your right leg. Step onto the third step (or whatever is knee height). Push through your heel, and bring your left foot to meet your right.
  2. If you’re up for a challenge, lift that left leg behind you when it’s on the way to meet your right, squeezing the glute in the process. Make sure you keep your hips square to the stairs here to really get the most out of this hip extension.
  3. Once your left leg is safely back on the step, repeat. Lead with your left leg, stepping up the same number of steps and again adding that kickback if you can.
  4. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

5. Side squat

via Gfycat

Moving in the frontal plane — or side to side — is important for your mobility, so why not take advantage of the set of stairs in front of you and take your squats to the side?

To perform:

  1. Turn so the right side of your body is facing the stairs.
  2. Step your right foot up to the most comfortable step, keeping your body and foot sideways.
  3. Squat down, putting your weight into your left leg, then stand up.
  4. Repeat 10 reps on this side, then switch so your left foot is up on the step.

6. Triceps dips

Hit the back of your arms and triceps with a dip off the stairs. The further away your feet are from your bottom, the harder this exercise will be. If you need more support, bend your knees and walk your feet in.

To perform:

  1. Position yourself at the bottom of the stairs, facing away from them.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the bottom step, fingers pointing toward your feet. Extend your legs out in front of you.
  3. Place your weight in your arms, and lower your body down by bending your elbows, ensuring they stay “pinned” to your sides.
  4. When your upper arms reach parallel to the ground, or when you can’t lower down anymore, extend your elbow and return to start.
  5. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

7. Mountain climbers

via Gfycat

Get your heart pumping with mountain climbers. This is a great move for a burst of cardio using your own body weight.

To perform:

  1. Face the stairs, and place your hands on the second or third step, whatever feels comfortable but challenging, to assume a high plank position.
  2. For 30 seconds, alternate driving each knee upward toward your chest. Keep your torso stationary and your neck neutral.
  3. Go as fast as you can go here while maintaining good form.
  4. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2 more sets.

8. Crab walk

via Gfycat

Have some fun with this one! You’ll be climbing up the stairs on all fours in a reverse position, so it does require some coordination — but you won’t even feel like you’re working out with this playful move.

To perform:

  1. Assume a reverse tabletop position with your heels on the first step.
  2. Begin by walking your feet up the steps, one at a time, then follow with your hands, moving your body upward.
  3. Keep your core engaged and your butt off the steps throughout the movement.
  4. Crab-walk up for 30 seconds, then slowly and safely lower yourself down to your starting point.
  5. Rest and repeat for 2 more sets.

The takeaway

All you’ll need is a set of stairs to complete this workout. Each time you execute this routine, try to increase the reps you do during the 30-second sets. That way, you’ll know you’re progressing and constantly challenging yourself. Keep climbing!

Nicole Davis is a Boston-based writer, ACE-certified personal trainer, and health enthusiast who works to help women live stronger, healthier, happier lives. Her philosophy is to embrace your curves and create your fit — whatever that may be! She was featured in Oxygen magazine’s “Future of Fitness” in the June 2016 issue. Follow her on Instagram.

How To Do Step Ups Correctly – One Of The Best Exercises For Your Body

One of the best exercises, for butt strength, is the “Step-Up”. Like all exercises, though, you’ll want to know how to do step ups correctly.

What are step ups? A “Step-up” is simply performing the movement of stepping up onto a box or platform. You can’t go wrong with this one!

I come from a long line of flat butts; my sisters have flat butts, my mum has a flat butt, not a bubbly butt to speak of for generations. (Now, next time I see you, you are going to be looking at my butt, aren’t you?) As “flat butt beholders” we focus our exercise endeavors toward glut strengthening to create some semblance of form to our backsides. I don’t do regular gluteal strengtheners because I want to “better fill” out that cute bikini bottom, although that is a nice bonus, but because I know that having solid glute muscles is the foundation for a strong back and posture.

How to Do Step Ups Properly

Simple Step ups: Find a platform or box. Find something that is stable and not going to move out from under you when you step up onto it.

With your hands at your sides and feet pointed straight ahead about hip distance apart, simply “step-up” onto the box with the right foot.

Keep the right heel planted on the platform. Lift your body up onto the platform, by tightening your glutes and your abdominal muscles.

End by placing the left foot next to the right foot on the box. Keep your posture erect and do not let your knee go past your ankle when elevating yourself up onto the box.

Step down with the right foot and follow with the left back to the starting position.

Do fifteen repetitions stepping up with the right foot and then fifteen repetitions using the left foot to step up first. Perform this exercise for three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)

STEP-UP WITH NO WEIGHTS

Moderate Step ups: With a weight in each hand repeat the simple version of the exercise explained above. Make sure to keep shoulders back, or retracted, during the entire movement of the exercise. You should still be able to perform fifteen repetitions per side, but it should now be a little more difficult with the added weight. Perform three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)

MODERATE STEP-UP WITH EQUAL WEIGHT

Advanced Step ups: Take a weight in your left hand that is twice the weight you were holding before. For example: if you were holding a ten-pound weight in each hand then you will hold a twenty-pound weight in your left hand for this exercise. (Left hand is holding weight, right foot steps up on the box first.) Once on the box bring the left knee up to chest height before placing it down on the box next to the right foot. Do fifteen repetitions per side. Repeat this exercise for three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)

ADVANCED STEP-UP WITH SINGLE HEAVY WEIGHT

The step up exercise is a “life” movement that we will need forever. Practice this move regularly in your workout and you will find that your glutes will get stronger (less flat-butt!) and your hamstrings, quads and posture will benefit as well.

Step-Up BONUS: Aside from the obvious curvy butt benefit, the step-up motion is one of the first movements we lose as we age. If we can practice this movement with great intention throughout life than that day when we can’t do stairs or get ourselves up into a vehicle may never have to happen.

I do step-ups everywhere. This video is a “Step Up” tutorial from Sintra, Portugal

RESOURCES:

  • VARIETY TRAINER
  • POP SUGAR
  • MENS HEALTH
  • NATIONAL ACADAMY OF SPORT’S MEDICINE

This week I challenge you to try some “Step-Ups”. If you don’t workout at a gym use a park bench or a concrete barrier while out on your walk.

If you liked this article you will go crazy over these!

How To Do A Tabata Workout And Why You Should Be Doing Them.

A Stairs And Strength Video To Kick Your Heiny

Photo: Zoltan Kovacs

Running up and down stairs is great cardio, but for the next installment in our stairs-themed fitness challenge, we’re going to get some strength work in. Let’s do some push-ups.

The classic push-up is done with your hands and feet on the floor, but you can make it easier by raising one end of your body or the other. Wall push-ups are the easiest option, and are a great place to start if you’re totally new to the exercise. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a beast, you may be able to do handstand push-ups.

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So let’s do a little progression with stairs. Find a staircase with some flat space at the bottom. Outdoor stairs in a park or plaza might work well, or just the stairs in your house. Then try this:

  • Stand on the ground and put your hands on the highest stair where you can comfortably do a push-up. (For me, that’s the fourth step from the bottom.) Do a rep here.
  • Take a step back, and put your hands on the next step (third from the bottom, in our example) and do a push-up here.
  • Continue until you reach the ground, and do one regular push-up.

Stop wherever you can’t keep good form. If you can’t do a full push-up on the ground, you might be able to do the fourth, third, and second steps. Great! Go back to the beginning of the sequence and do two reps per step, then three, and so on until you get tired or bored.

If that was easy, keep going! After your regular push-up, turn around and put your feet on the first step. Do a feet-elevated push-up. Now put your feet on the second step, and work your way up.

How to feel comfortable doing stair push-ups

When your hands are on the stairs, you’ll probably find yourself pushing against the corner of the step. If this hurts your hands, use some padding—your sweat towel is perfect.

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When your feet are on the stairs, you have two options for how to do the push-up. You can try to mimic the movement of a regular push-up, keeping your body flat as a plank and bringing your chest almost to the ground. (Your nose will touch before your chest does.) Or you can pike your butt up in the air, so that your upper body is vertical and doing what’s basically a handstand push-up minus the weight of your legs. Choose whichever feels best to you; they’re different exercises but both are good.

Finally, if the push-up movement is awkward or if you just want a change of pace, try holding a plank position on each step. Just like with push-ups, hands-elevated planks will be easier on your upper body and feet-elevated will be tougher. Enjoy, and tell us how it goes!

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This baby can do a one-armed pushup – why can’t you?

The pushup is one of the most timeless, absolutely essential bodyweight exercises there is. Along with squats and a few others, the pushup in some for or another is the foundation of every bodyweight strength training regimine out there – or at least every worthwhile one. If you want to get in shape, and you don’t have access to free weights, you better be able to do pushups.

So, what if you can’t?

What if you’re too weak or too overweight to do even a single standard pushup? No problem! There are lots of alternatives that you can use to work your way up to it. All of these have been tested and proven both by myself and Caroline. I was the kid that got laughed out of gym class for being too fat to do a single pushup, and Caroline was the yoga nut who weighed next to nothing but had never done a day of strength training in her life. Between the two of us, we know these should work for everybody.

Anyone can build the strength to do push ups if they follow the right progression. (Tweet this!)

The Staircase Progression

Staircase progressions are the method I used to get my 55 year-old mother, who I don’t think had even done one single pushup in her entire life, to get to the point where she was doing full sets of standard pushups on the ground. We’re not quite to one-armed pushups yet, but we’ll get there.

How it works:

All strength building works on the principle of progressively increasing resistance. Your body adapts, you up the resistance, it adapts again, etc. So if you’re not strong enough to do even one pushup, you need to start with something easier and work your way up to it progressively.

Making a pushup easier is all about physics. As excited as I get about physics, I’m not gonna go into details here – let’s just say the higher your head is in relation to your feet, the easier the pushup is and vice versa (this is also a handy way to increase the intensity, when you’re ready). A staircase provides a perfect platform to progressively increase the resistance on your pushups. You can find one just about anywhere, each step is equally spaced between the one above and below it, and you can easily measure your progress.

Start with your hands on the highest step you can reach with your arms straight out in front of you and your toes down on the floor touching the bottom step in a standard pushup position. Lower yourself to the stair as if it were the ground and you were doing a regular pushup. If the highest step you can reach is too easy, and chances are it will be even if you can’t do a single pushup on the floor, go down to the next step and repeat. When you finally hit a stair that’s low enough that you can’t do at least five pushups in a row, stop and take note of the stair one higher than that one.

That stair is where you’re going to start your actual workout. Now you may have an existing strength training routine, though if you can’t even do one pushup I’m guessing you don’t. If you do, you can work it around your pushup training routine which will be as follows – 3 days per week, with at least one rest day between each, you will do five sets of five pushups on the stairs. The first week you will start on the last stair that you were able to do five consecutive pushups on. The second week, you’ll move down one stair which you should then be able to do five consecutive pushups on. The following week you move down again. Eventually, you hit the floor – and I don’t mean from exhaustion – and can start doing pushups there.

Take a moment to congradulate yourself, and then get ready to start learning one-armed and handstand pushups…

Tips and Tricks

If you don’t have any other strength training routine, such as what might be included as part of a beginner’s fitness plan for example, then I would suggest taking around a 30 to 45 second rest between each set. That is, do five pushups, rest for 45 seconds or so, and then do another set of five. If you find that 45 seconds is too short, and you can’t do 5 full pushups with good form, then increase the rest time until you find your sweet spot.

If you find yourself requiring excessively long rest periods (2 minutes or more) then you may want to try an incidental training pattern. On your strength training days, everytime you go up or down the stairs stop and do one set of pushups. With the longer and more variable rest periods, you don’t have to worry about stopping at five total sets for a day, but do still give yourself the rest day. Then just bump down a step the following week like normal.

When doing the pushups, it helps the most if you lower yourself very slowly (count to 5 from top to bottom) and push back up very quickly (faster than you can count to 1). This will help build the necessary strength up as quickly as possible. Try not to rocket your upper body off the staircase. You can work your way up to plyometric and clapping pushups when you get to the ground.

Getting Negative

Don’t worry, I don’t mean mentally. In weight training, a negative is the part of the movement when gravity is doing most of the work – in our case, the part where you’re lowering yourself back toward the ground. Negatives are the way that I went from no pushups to handstand pushups.

How it works:

The negative is also called the eccentric contraction and, unlike eccentric relatives, is extremely beneficial and something you should get better acquainted with. A majority of the strength building activity in an exercise occurs during the eccentric phase of the movement. That means that if you just do that part, you can still get a majority of the benefits.

To do a negative pushup, you start at the top of the standard pushup position on the floor. Then, you lower yourself down as slowly as possible. Seriously, I want your arms shaking a little by the time you get to the bottom. Once you’re at the bottom, instead of struggle and fight and try to push your way back up with your arms, just get up. Yep, get back up on your hands and knees and put yourself in the top position and lower yourself down again. It’s that easy. If it seems like cheating, well, it kinda is – but it works.

Do five sets of five negatives three days a week with a day of rest between each training day and 30 to 45 seconds rest between sets. After one full week of training, try to work one single standard pushup into each set of negatives as the first rep. If you still can’t do it, increase each negative by five seconds, i.e., lower yourself five seconds more slowly with each rep, and try again for one pushup per set the following week.

Once you go a week of doing one full pushup in each set, go for two full pushups in each set for the next week. Keep increasing each week and before long, you’ll be doing five sets of five full pushups on the ground with no problem.

Tips and Tricks:

This method is pretty straightforward, so there aren’t really a lot of tips and tricks to it. If you’re concerned that you’re so weak you’ll get about halfway down the first negative and then plant your face into the floor like a scared ostrich, by all means put a pillow or rolled up towel between your face and the floor.

If you are having that much trouble with the negatives, you an also try the old fashioned knee pushups, where you use your knees as the fulcrum for the pushup instead of your toes. In my experiences, however, it’s hard to make the jump from knee pushups to standard pushups. What I did, back in my whale days, was to do negatives with my hands on a slightly elevated platform. In my case it was an office chair jammed up against the wall so it wouldn’t roll out from under me. A set of stairs, as mentioned above, makes a nice choice too. Anything stable that gets your hands a little higher than your toes will work.

There you have it – you now have no excuses for not being able to do pushups. Once you master this movement, you’ll be well underway to having the basics of bodyweight exercises under your belt. At least, until you decide your ready to go one-armed…

Anyone else have any helpful tips or tricks to add, or some other method they used to build up to standard pushups? We’d love to hear it!

Step UPS on stairs

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