women

Skip the gym and work up a sweat at home using your staircase

Is the weather too cold for you to bear leaving the house to head to the gym or go for your daily run? No worries, with our 10-minute tone-up, you can stay indoors and work your body using nothing but your stairs – and no, you won’t just be running up and down them! Here are four moves to help tone and strengthen different areas of your body.

How to do it

Warm up by jogging on the spot and gently punching your arms overhead. Once your muscles feel loose and your heart rate has increased, do the following exercises in order, without resting. After each circuit, rest for one minute to let your muscles recover. Then, if you can, repeat the circuit twice more. Your body will be toned, strengthened and sculpted without you even leaving the house.

1.    Alternating step-ups

Works: Glutes, hamstrings and quads

Reps: 10 each leg

Stand six inches in front of your bottom step. Step onto the stair with your left leg, making sure your foot’s flat (a). Lean forward slightly and push yourself up through the heel of your left foot so your right leg comes up and place it on the stair (b). Step down with your right leg under control. Repeat the same sequence, leading with your right leg.

(a)

(a)

(b)

(b)

2.    Calf raises

Works: Calves, bottom and core

Reps: 10

Stand on the balls of your feet on the first step, heels down (a). Tighten your abdominal muscles, stand up straight and bend your knees slightly, then push up through the balls of your feet and lift your heels as high as possible (b). Hold for three seconds. Lower to the start position.

(a)

(a)

(b)

(b)

3.    Hindu squats

Works: Calves, thighs, lower back, chest

Reps: 5

Stand in front of the stairs with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended out from your chest, parallel to the floor. Breathe deeply and lift onto your tiptoes (a). Then, keeping your back straight, lower your body by bending your knees (b). Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause, then hold for 10 seconds. Lower more until you’re in a deep squat and your bottom is an inch above your heels. Pause for two seconds, then slowly straighten your legs in two, 10-second increments until you’re back to the start position.

(a)

(a)

(b)

(b)

4.    Abs toe tap

Works: Abdominal muscles

Reps: 10 each leg

Lie on your back in front of the bottom step with your arms next to your sides and your palms facing the floor. Lift your legs and bend your knees so they’re at a 90° angle (a). Keeping your back straight and abs engaged, slowly lower your left foot to the stair (b). Tap lightly, then pull your leg back up to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.

(a)

(b)

(b)

 

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