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A Quick Step Workout for Beginners

feet on a stepper
This step workout for beginners will target the lower body — and give you a great cardio exercise!

Hoping to give the muscles of your lower body more attention? Look no further! The step-up is a simple move that can effectively target key muscle groups in the area. The exercise also lends itself to a great cardio workout.

Whether you're looking to work out at home or get comfortable with aspects of the PF 30-Minute Express Circuit, here's everything you need to know about step-ups — as well as suggestions for a great step workout for beginners!

What Equipment Do You Need?

If you like the idea of exercising at home, you can purchase an athletic platform to do step-ups, but a sturdy stool can work as well. If you prefer working out at the gym, the PF 30-Minutue Express Circuit is a great way to get your step-up fix. Whatever platform you choose, make sure the height allows you to easily place your foot on top of it.

How to Do a Step-Up

To begin, stand behind your platform. Place one foot on top of the surface, pressing into your heel as you step up. Bring your other foot up to meet the first on top of the platform. Return your second foot to the floor, followed by the first. Repeat with the opposite foot and then continue alternating.

Why It's Beneficial

Step-ups are great at targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Lower body strength is more important than you might think — your legs are the foundation of your movements and are naturally responsible for functional activities like walking, sitting, standing, and jumping.

Incorporating step-ups into your fitness routine can help strengthen your foundation, stabilize your core, and improve the quality of your workouts overall!

A Step Workout for Beginners

Below is an eight-minute step workout for beginners that you can do in the comfort of your own home, or wherever you can find a sturdy surface. If you're looking to increase the intensity, consider holding a pair of dumbbells for an added challenge.

  • One minute of walking in place: Walk behind your platform (not on it) at a quick pace while using your arms to get your heart rate up.
  • 30 seconds of butt kickers: This is essentially running in place but with more intensity (while still positioned behind your platform). Make sure to tap your rear end with your heels as you run to ensure you've lifted your legs high enough.
  • One minute of knee lifts: Step onto the platform with one leg and bring your other knee in close to your chest. Step back down and repeat on the other side, continuing to alternate knees for 60 seconds.
  • One minute of running in place: This is your active recovery. As before, complete this step while positioned behind your platform.
  • 30 seconds of jump squats: Jump with both feet onto the platform and squat, making sure to keep your core engaged. Take a break whenever you need to!
  • One minute of lateral step-ups (aka Over the Top): Stand to the side of the platform and step up onto it with one foot, and then bring the other foot onto the platform. Step back down with the first foot and return to the starting position. Next, switch it up so you're stepping up with your other foot. Repeat for 60 seconds.
  • One minute of lunges: Step forward onto the platform with one leg (keeping the other foot on the floor) and lower yourself toward the floor until both knees form 90-degree angles. Then, slowly shift your weight to the heel of your forward foot, coming back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 30 seconds of butt kickers.
  • One and a half minutes of walking in place.

Once you've finished your workout and completed your active cool-down, take a moment to reflect on a job well done! With the addition of this step workout to your exercise routine, you'll likely find yourself one step closer to achieving your fitness goals!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.