We have all used the stairs at some point in our life, yet the majority of people try avoid them, using lifts or escalators to go anywhere. With rising obesity rates all across the world why should life be made so much easier everyday.

The struggle to get up stairs is real, but struggles are what make us stronger. I personally hate having to make 2 trips up and down stairs, I am that guy who will carry all the shopping up 2 flights of stairs and struggle, but be over the moon there isn’t another bag to be carried. This hardship of sorts is a mini workout in my day, requiring upper and lower body strength, as well as endurance.

Escalators and lifts are embedded in our society now, but that doesn’t mean they have to be used every time. Start using the stairs where ever possible for your own health. My gym has a lift and 4 levels and I still use the stairs all the time. If you work in an office building or somewhere with accessible stairs, please start.


Stair Running Workout Challenges


First challenge: Baby crawl

Finally I am going to shine some light on this under utilised magical object known as the stairs. The first kind of challenge I will be offering you will be the baby crawl. The Baby crawl is something you will see whenever a baby gets near stairs they will try crawling up stairs.

Thats exactly what I want you to do, run up the stairs on your hands and feet as fast as possible then reverse the motion back down taking care. This should be repeated up to 20 times before rest. Minimal rest should be taken between 30-90 seconds, and then repeat the exercise for 5-10 rounds, depending on level of cardio. The bigger and steeper the staircase the better for maximising your workout.

Second challenge: Up is the bunny hop challenge.

Bunny hops are when you keep both feet together and bound step to step up the staircase. Doing this 10 times for 10 rounds should be enough to make anyone drip of sweat and in this case I would recommend a little longer for rest 60-90 seconds.

Now I know all of you love making things harder for yourself, so doing this exercise on 1 leg can be much more of a challenge. Swap which leg you use each round, soon you’ll join in with Elmer Fudd saying, “those pesky wabbits!”.

Third challenge today: Double step challenge.

Just as you must take 2 steps or more at a time when running up the staircase, this goes for the way down as well. Doing this 10 times should burn the leg muscles out and have you dripping of sweat. I would recommend 5-10 rounds again but only 30 seconds of rest for this one. Obviously the bigger the staircase the more you will sweat so try find a large staircase if you can.

Fourth challenge: Back to square one challenge.

For this challenge you need stairs with landings between them, and it’s  a difficult one not necessarily for a beginner. To perform the back to square one challenge, you need to run up to the first flight, then return to the starting position, then run up to the second landing, and return to the start position and to the third and so on.

The more flights of stairs and landings you have the harder is gets. I always look for between three and five landings or more if i can find it. With this being very challenging, I always try get a partner to race. Working out with a buddy pushes us to work harder, but if you don’t have one, time yourself and try beat your time next run. Three to five of these challenges should be enough to have you cursing my name. Rest should be a bit longer, 90 to 120 seconds.

Final challenge: The straight stair sprint

For those of you who haven’t tried this before, it’s awesome for burning fat and getting your cardio levels much higher, as all of these challenges will do for you.

stair running workout_1

Sprint as fast as you can to the top of the stairs, and then walk back down. Once at the bottom, you will sprint straight back up again. Performing this 10-20 times should be enough to get that heart rate racing and be dripping of sweat.

Going for 5-10 rounds of this should be enough for anyones workout, but if you feel its not hard enough, then add in more sprints or more rounds, especially if you’re working with a smaller staircase. Again 30-90 seconds rest between rounds, as we don’t want the heart rate dropping down too low.

Remember to be careful when performing these challenges; the more you do, the more tired you will get. You get as much out of this as you put in, so give it maximum effort each and every sprint. My final point today is have fun with these mix and match workouts. Come up with your own, and get out into the world to find some new places where you can workout. The world around you may have a few hidden gems!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans