Step Ups: Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus

Author: Lora Packel, PhD, MS, PT & Julia McGlynn, SPT
Last Reviewed: October 12, 2016

Beginner:

  • Stand in front of a step with either one railing or railings on both sides.
  • Step up with one leg onto a step, and then proceed to step down with the opposite leg, returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat starting with the other leg and stepping down with its opposite.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

Intermediate:

  • Stand in front of a step with no railings, or a step with higher elevation.
    • You are ready to step onto a higher step when the previous elevation becomes easy, or you rate the difficulty of the exercise as a 1-2 on a scale of 0-10.
  • Complete the exercise in the same manner as “Beginner.”
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

Advanced:

  • You are ready to add weight when you can perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions with ease or you rate the difficulty of the exercise as a 1-2 on a scale of 0-10.
  • Stand in front of a step with 1-2 lb. dumbbells and step up in the same manner as previously discussed in “Beginner” and “Intermediate.”
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

Precautions/Contraindications:

  • This exercise is not to be completed if bony metastases are present in any of the lower extremity or upper extremity bones utilized during this exercise and its variants.

The following videos demonstrate step ups without and with weights.

Step Ups

Step Ups with Weights

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