Runner’s Corner: Running Stairs Guide

If you desire a demanding exercise routine that will bolster your speed, might, and aerobic health, running up and down stairs is the ideal choice.

Incorporating stairs into an agility training plan is advantageous, as it helps build agility, speed, and footwork. Moreover, it is a great way to get a sprint-style workout. The following is an overview of running stairs and why it is beneficial for your training program.

Going upstairs has a lot of advantages for individuals of any age. Regular exercise with your legs can help to bolster muscle strength, develop balance, and raise stamina.

Running stairs is an exercise with many benefits. It can be accomplished in any location, be it at home, a place of employment, or a fitness centre. Exercising can be done on its own or incorporated into a broader fitness regime. Strengthen the core, lose weight and develop endurance simultaneously.

Running stairs melts fat. This type of activity is practised by track athletes, martial arts specialists, as well as basketball and soccer players. It boosts stamina and assists with running short distances more quickly.

Stair Climbing as Exercise (Proper Stair-Climbing Technique)

Find Your Rhythm

Some people argue that running up a flight of stairs and skipping every other step is better.

Taking two steps with each stride can guarantee a suitable cadence and maximize speed. This technique doubles the workout, aids in creating balance, and encourages muscle growth. This exercise is great for toning up the muscles in the front of the thighs, the quadriceps, as well as the butt.

Apart from toning your leg muscles, this exercise is also great for your heart as it requires you to use your own body weight to work against gravity.

Good Climbing Posture

It shouldn’t be only legs getting the workout. Engage the entire body. Bend forward from your hips, making sure to keep your back nice and straight. Never round the lower back area. Arms should be in full motion.

Keep them semi-flexed. Elbows in and shoulders down. Don’t let your chin drop. Keep your gaze fixed on the top of the stairs while still monitoring the steps below. Avoid bending the head throughout the exercise.

Push with your thighs and avoid extending your legs. That will put too much strain on the knees. Move forward by taking strides with your knees slightly bent and legs semi-bent.

Use the Toes

Press down between the toes and the mid-foot. Remind yourself constantly to not land on the heel.

The Role of the Posterior Chain

The back of the body contains a sequence of tendons, muscles, and ligaments called the posterior chain. Many of them are important to running stairs. When going for a jog or a run, anticipate that the calves, thighs, and buttocks will take charge of the majority of the activity.

The glutes, aka gluteus maximus, are responsible for shaping the contour of the backside. All these muscles should be in play. Don’t push through the knees alone. Use the posterior and extend the hips.

Mental Preparation

Climbing stairs is an uncomplicated yet demanding activity for remaining physically fit. If not executed cautiously, there is a potential for harm, ranging from strains to torn ligaments.

Going Up

When a bodybuilder lifts weights, they envision it as a display of strength. Each stride should be regarded equally.

Engage all of your muscles and use all of your body to climb. Drive yourself to the top step and beyond. Demonstrate the power needed to perform a movement involving simultaneous elevation of the knees, hips, and ankles.

Triple extensions require preparation. Jog on the spot in front of a full-length mirror. Are you extending at the ankles, hips and knees?

An experienced athlete understands that even the slightest adjustment to the ankles can have a major effect on strength and protection. If performed correctly, the manoeuvre can amplify your potential from five to fifteen per cent every workout session.

Be sure to land on your feet correctly. For each step, pull the toes toward the shin. Touching down the heel first and turning it upward can cause pain and injury to the tibia, hamstring, hip flexor, and knees.

Eventually, this can lead to issues with the back and other core problems. Attempt to take every stride with the toes pointing up, keeping your weight on the middle of the foot, energetically pushing through the leg.

Coming Down

A lot of problems occur when we reverse direction. Since we become tired, we are less likely to pay attention to how something looks. This could result in a lack of concentration and just letting the force of inertia carry us.

There is a possibility that our ability to recover quickly and efficiently will be impaired if we are not careful. It is important to remember that issues such as bad posture caused by gravity and incorrect body mechanics can make tightness worse and result in muscle aches.

There are ways to avoid this. As we descend, our knees generally endure the majority of the force. It should be going to the hips. Reduce the chances of sustaining an injury by concentrating on having the gluteal muscles bear the force of the impact instead of allowing the foot to hit the ground.

Do keep the knee aligned with the second toe. As previously mentioned, allow the hip to move in sync with the feet.

When we take a step, we usually raise the hip on the opposite side. Make sure your hips are behind you, standing in the same position as when you lifted up. Take hold of the handrail while going down the stairs until you become used to the correct way of using your hips.

When In Action

Have a light meal. Don’t consume too many carbs, since this is not a lengthy event. A nutritious protein shake accompanied by a banana would give you adequate energy.

Start out slow: walk the stairs. Or jog. The biggest blunder that inexperienced mountaineers commit is to hurry their ascent and tire themselves out prematurely. They go to extremes and eventually become unwell. You need to develop momentum.

Wait for a period of 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat the exercise. Gradually increase speed and repetitions. Doing an up-and-down motion once is equivalent to one repetition.

How well you’re doing should be gauged by time. The more reps you can perform over an extended period. After the exercise session, it is important to cool down, which basically consists of walking around.

Drink water during and after the stairs running sessions. If you experience feeling flushed, lightheaded, nauseous, or confused, these may be signs of hyperventilation.

How Often to Run Stairs

In any running program designed for sustained endurance, the objective is to have 80% of the days being at an easy intensity and 20% at a more challenging level. You should make sure that stair workouts occupy only a small amount of your whole exercise program and that you also do speed drills and long-distance runs.

Even two short stair workouts every week will have a considerable effect! If you haven’t been running many miles, consider adding three stair sessions per week instead of more mileage.

How to Incorporate Running Stairs into Your Routine

If you are just beginning to use stairs or to run, you can easily incorporate it into your exercise program. Begin by taking the stairs regularly to slowly strengthen your cardiovascular system over several weeks. Gradually pick up the pace to a run before sprinting up the stairs.

  • Start by adding one stair workout per week
  • Incorporating up to three per week as desired (just remember to alternate easy and hard workout days)
  • Stair workouts are great finishers for any run and will help build fatigue tolerance by performing a high-intensity workout at the end of a run.

Instead of doing hill workouts, you can add stair workouts as an alternative.

You can replace your strength-training routine occasionally with the first half of an easy run, or even with the middle of a longer run. You should keep an eye on how hard you are working out by assessing the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) or keeping track of your heart rate.

How to Ensure Safety While Running Stairs

Without a doubt, there is a risk linked to going up or down stairs, particularly the risk of tripping and tumbling. It is significant to stay concentrated and not let your thoughts drift while using the stairs.

If you start slipping a bit when you’re climbing or descending due to exhaustion, it is wise to take a break between reps or to quit the session entirely if needed.

Before your exercise routine, it would be wise to examine the stairs you intend to utilize, especially if they are outdoors. If surfaces have icing or snow on them or have become wet and slippery, it is advised to not use them until they are in a secure condition.

You should try to find a staircase with treads wide enough for your entire foot or most of it to rest on.

One should always take into account the needs of other people who are using the stairs. Allow those going up the steps to have priority and inform anyone ahead of you if you plan on overtaking them.

How to Run Stairs (According to a Running Coach)

Exercising on stairs can be simple, but you must be cautious to prevent any hurt. Here’s what to do to get started:

If you are a beginner at climbing stairs or running, begin by walking up and down the stairs so that your heart and lungs can strengthen over some weeks. Increase to a jog before committing to stair sprints.

  • Start by adding one stair workout per week
  • Incorporating up to three per week as desired (just remember to alternate easy and hard workout days)
  • Stair workouts are great finishers for any run and will help build fatigue tolerance by performing a high-intensity workout at the end of a run.

Warm Up

Start off any exercise session with a warm-up by taking a light one-mile jog. Then complete a series of speed-focused agility exercises, such as jogging and quickly kicking your buttocks, swiftly lifting your knees in an alternating pattern, moving sideways like a chicken, and running in long strides.

Be careful when descending the stairs if you have injured your knee, as the impact on the joint is greater than it is when going up. Try going down at an oblique angle to lessen any discomfort.

Basic stair running workout

Search for a stairway with a minimum of 10-12 steps that will require roughly 10-20 seconds to climb.

  • Sprint to the top of the stairs, then jog or walk back down
  • Repeat 5 times, resting for about 10 seconds in between each set.
  • Perform 2 to 3 rounds, with a one-minute break in between

Attempt to climb the stairs two steps at a time, slowing down as needed.

If you’d like to increase the difficulty of your stair exercise routine, there are many options you can use to do so. Here are some standalone HIIT workouts for the stairs:

  • This short, but intense stair sprint workout from Women’s Fitness
  • Incorporate strength with your stairs with these workouts from and Men’s Journal
  • If you really want a crazy challenge, my pal Danielle Pacente is no joke.

Make Up Your Own Stair Climbing Workout

Decide what your major goal is for the workout. Are you aiming to strengthen your legs to boost your uphill performance, or focusing on developing your ability to generate strong bursts of energy to increase your pace…or possibly both?

Strength-focused movements:

  • Side stepping up and then back down will work those inner and outer thighs that are neglected in the forward motion of running
  • Calf raises on each step – ensure you lower your heels below the step for a full range of motion
  • Walking up taking two or three steps at a time
  • Walking backwards up the stairs (have a railing nearby)
  • Doing cross-over lunges – you’ll be standing sideways and use your bottom foot crossing over the front to step up

Speed-focused movements:

  • Sprint up the stairs and walk back down
  • Stair squat jump from one to the next – go crazy and jump up two stairs
  • Fast feet on one single stair-stepping up and down quickly for up to 1-minute rounds
  • Fast foot taps on a single stair – instead of stepping up you are quickly taping the stair with alternating feet

Benefits of Running Stairs

Making use of stairs for exercise brings a wealth of physical and well-being perks. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of stair running one by one:

Improves Strength and Power

Stair running is a type of exercise that calls for muscles to rapidly push out and pull in repeatedly with all their might. This kind of physical activity is often referred to as ‘explosive’.

Going up a staircase necessitates that you struggle against the gravitational force, which leads to a gain in your strength and vigour. As a form of exercise, this type of movement helps increase speed, coordination, ability to jump high, and strength.

Improves VO2 Max

When going upstairs, your pulse will speed up quickly, prompting quicker breaths to enable more oxygen intake. Consequently, your VO2 max, which is the maximum level of oxygen you can utilize during strenuous physical activity, raises.

Increases Cardiovascular Fitness

Analysis of research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reveals that engaging in regular stair-climbing, even for brief periods, over a week can result in improved cardiorespiratory fitness and increased longevity.

Research has revealed that sprinting upstairs is an effective method to help increase one’s cardiovascular and respiratory health in brief stints.

Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Going up and down stairs has revealed a decrease in blood sugar levels. A 2016 study discovered that a brief stint of stair-climbing 3 minutes long done 60 to 180 minutes after a meal was capable of diminishing the blood sugar levels of individuals struggling with type 2 diabetes.

Stairs Climbing For Weight Loss

Using the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator offers additional health advantages apart from burning calories and keeping your weight in check.

Ascending stairs can boost aerobic fitness while also toning and strengthening the calf, thigh, gluteal, and hamstring muscles. As well, you can generate robust bones, which might guard against falls and fractures, and lower your chance of getting osteoporosis.

The findings of one research project revealed that it takes approximately 0.09 calories to go up one stair. Take the number of calories and multiply it by a regular walking pace of 1,400 steps per kilometre – that should give you an output of 126 calories burned. If you hike with more intensity, it is possible to burn more calories.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button