Stairway To Health

I’m a big fan of stair training, it can be quite challenging but it’s an excellent workout with great benefits. Stair training can be as easy or as difficult as you make it, even if you’re not particularly crazy about running, walking stairs can help you achieve numerous health benefits. Depending on what your training goals are it can be used to build your endurance (a longer workout with less effort) or your speed and strength (a shorter workout with an increased effort).

Here are a few facts about the benefits of stair training and a couple of training ideas and venues around Sydney.

The Benefits of Stair Training:

– improves cardiovascular fitness

– increases core muscle strength

– it can help improve bone density & strength as it’s a weight bearing exercise

– increases metabolism – as a result of the increase in heart rate during the workout you’ll get an increase in metabolic rate during and after your workout

– increased strength and power – stair training works your lower limb muscles harder than normal running

– improves muscles tone – calves, gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings & core muscle groups

– even walking stairs can increase your Vo2 max by 17% demonstrated by a study published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine

– burns more calories than normal running

– it’s a very efficient way of exercising in a short amount of time for the time poor individuals

– it’s free!

Stair Training Ideas (some will depend on the number of flights of stairs)

– straight up and down – walk or run with a hard effort to the top, and recover on the way down.

– run up 1 flight, walk up 1 flight, continue to alternate till the top.

– run single steps all the way to the top, run every second step all the way to the top. Continue to alternate.

– for longer stairs – Run up 3 flights, run down 1, run up 3 flights, run down 1, continue till the end.

– pyramid – run up 1 flight, back down 1, run up 2 flights, back down 2, run up 3 flights, back down 3 flights etc… till you have reached the top, then work your way back down.

– run/walk each set of stairs add in an exercise at the bottom or top of the stairs e.g. push ups, sit ups, tricep dips, skipping etc…

– train with a buddy – one person run’s a set of stairs while the other one rests or does another exercise e.g. sit ups

– even incorporating sets of stairs on your normal runs is a good way to improve your fitness

– for more advanced runners – double jumping all the way up to the top as a finishing set or alternating between normal sets of running is a good challenge

Over time you’ll be able to increase the length of time you can train on stairs for and/or the effort you exert during training.

For the more experienced runners you can add in specific running and recovery times, as well as using a heart rate monitor to ensure you’re achieving the best results.

Popular stair training venues around Sydney

– Barangaroo stairs on the headland

– Walsh bay stairs

– Woolloomooloo stairs

– Cooper Park stairs – Bellevue Hill

– Cranbrook stairs – Rose Bay

– Tamarama Stairs

– Botanical Garden Stairs

– Observatory hill stairs

– Ballast Park Stairs -Balmain

– Coogee stairs – not for the FAINT HEARTED!

Stair training will effect your cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal systems, so be sure to be cleared by a medical professional if you have any health problems prior to commencing training. If you’re interested in getting the most out of your running training, book in with one of our resident running specialists Blake & Ben for a Bend + Mend Running Assessment.

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