Step-Ups Form



by Becca Egan, BS, NASM-CPT

Exercise: Step-ups

Muscle Groups Targeted: Lower body - quads, hamstrings, glutes, core


This movement is a functional movement that you do most likely everyday, multiple times a day. Ie: stairs, getting into or out of vehicles, stepping onto a latter or step to reach something.

Proper Form:

  • Using a flat bench, box, platform, or the aerobic steps; place one foot up all the way on the top of the surface. Make sure surface is STABLE.
  • Once your foot on the stable surface, push through your top foot and squeeze that glute.
  • Stand all the way up before placing your opposite foot on the surface. Your opposite leg should not help you stand up at all.
  • Once you are standing all the way up on both feet, you can either switch feet and come down on the opposite leg, or come down the same way you went up. It's all preference of what is easier for the client mentally to do (stay on one leg, or alternate).

Start the step low for beginners so they are confident they can make the step without falling down or otherwise hurting themselves.
Once they are confident they can start raising the height of the step and adding weight.
Make sure you are engaging the core and keeping the back strong and chest up. You should never be hunching over during the movement.
You can add weight by holding dumbbells at the shoulders or to your sides, holding a kettle bell in the goblet position at your chest or down to one side, the opposite side of the leg your stepping up with.

Sample Workout:

3 rounds:

200 meter row
10 step ups (per leg)
10 jump squats
.10 mi sprint
5 step ups (per leg) with weight at one side
5 jack squats

Follow Us