You move every day. The human body goes through various movements in the day that are apart from fitness and physical activity. You walk, run, jog, bend down, squat, lift, reach, twist, and jump. All these movements are also present in exercises. However, just because you may be doing similar exercises to your everyday movements, doesn’t mean you’ll be benefiting from them in your daily life. This is because specific and targeted exercises often just work the muscles and not the movement. This is where functional training comes in
– it focuses on the movement, not just the strengthening of the muscles being utilized.
One of the exercises that I will show today is the Step-Up!
With all the attention paid to the squat, the step-up often gets overlooked. Indeed, many people simply consider the step-up an “alternative” to that king of lower body exercises — something you do only when you need to switch things up.
That’s unfortunate, considering the step-up is such a powerful total-body muscle builder.
You read that right — we’re not just talking about your legs here. Sure, you’ll nail your quads and glutes, and you might even feel a touch of soreness in your calves and hamstrings the next day. But the secret to the step-up’s effectiveness comes from the fact that it’s a unilateral exercise, meaning that it trains one limb at a time.
Not only will that help iron out muscle and strength imbalances between your legs, but the instability it introduces will also boost muscle recruitment throughout your body.
The more muscle you work, the more you build.
Once you’ve mastered basic step-ups, try one of these five variations.
1. Barbell step-ups: Practice this variation by holding a weighted barbell over your upper back as you go through the step-up movement pattern. You can lift more weight during barbell step-ups than during dumbbell step-ups.
2. Low-box step-ups: This variation puts more emphasis on your quads than a standard step-up. If you want to incorporate more cardio into your step-up exercises, consider using only your body weight and increasing the speed of the movement.
3. Lateral step-ups: Stand next to the elevated surface and step onto it sideways. This variation activates your glutes more than a regular step-up.
4. Goblet step-ups: Perform this variation by stepping onto an elevated surface while holding a kettlebell in front of your chest.
5. High-box step-ups: By using a more challenging step height, this variation activates your hamstrings and glutes more than a traditional step-up.
Thank you for watching!
If this article was helpful, don’t mind sharing the link with a friend and relative! These are functional training tips that help us all towards a healthy life, no age or gender limited!
By Elio Fitness
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