20-minute stairs workout

20-Minute Stairs Workout 

Quickly ramp up your fitness with this quick cardio workout.

By Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty

Photos by Stephanie Heymann Photography

Model: Joyce Emily Laszloffy


Incorporating a staircase into your workout is an excellent way to help you improve your stamina, strength, and overall fitness level. Don’t get fixated on having to complete a one-hour workout if you have limited time. Try this 20-minute series using stairs to ramp up your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, and burn fat and calories in a short amount of time. Repeat the series of exercises three to four times for the best results. Bonus, almost everyone can find access to stairs and they are typically free to use.


Stair Sprints

Set Up: Start at the bottom of the stairs after you are warmed up and ready to sweat.

Action: Run at full capacity up the stairs, then jog or walk back down. Repeat run/walk for 2 to 3 minutes. Take stairs two at a time, if your fitness level permits.


Stair Dips

Set Up: Facing away from the stars, place your arms on the end of the stairs and keep them straight. Make sure your butt is off the bench and your legs are straight in front of you.

Action: Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows as close as possible throughout the movement. Use your triceps to raise your body to starting position.

BOX (pointing to the Stair Dips) Optional Challenge: Raise one leg for half the reps, then switch legs. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.


Stair Push Ups


Set Up: Place your hands on a step, shoulder-width apart, making sure shoulders are directly about your hands. Step your feet back until there is a straight line from your feet to your hands.

Action: Keeping your back straight, bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest toward the bench; slowly push back up and repeat for 12 to 15 reps.


Optional Challenge: Raise one leg for half the reps, then switch legs.

Stair Lunges

Set Up: Stagger your feet and elevate your rear foot on a step. Make sure your front heel is firmly on the ground and your torso is erect. Place your hands on your hips.

Action: Slowly lower your body as deeply as possible, keeping your front heel firmly on the ground. Lift your body up to start position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps before switching sides.


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