Step Up Your Cardio

Escalate your calorie burn with this fat-torching stair workout.

Photo: Robert Reiff

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Psst! There’s a piece of cardio equipment in your house you could be using right now to burn up to 800 calories an hour. Hint: It’s not the stationary bike you’re hanging clothes on in the basement. It’s your staircase.

“Stairs are an often-overlooked but hugely valuable addition to any bodyweight workout,” says Jen Sinkler, a certified trainer in Minneapolis. Stairs can help train your posterior chain, sculpting your hamstrings and glutes like nobody’s business. And because you use these large muscles to propel your bodyweight upward against gravity while climbing stairs, they burn mega-calories and are one of the most effective tools for leaning out your lower half.

This fun and intense workout targets your lower body and core and challenges your coordination. After a 10- to 15-minute warm-up combining light cardio with dynamic stretching, go through the routine three times for a 25-minute session. Do each exercise as a sprint, going as hard and as fast as you can from the bottom to the top, then jog or walk back down and rest at the bottom for the designated time. Note: As you progress through your sets, your rest time increases so you can power up again with more gusto. Finish up with a 10- to 15-minute cool-down, then stretch and you’re done. There, now you’re one step closer to optimal fitness!