I was in the gym on Monday and was doing my step-ups when a trainer approached me. He, yes he, suggested that I engage my butt more by altering, just slightly, how I was doing the step-ups. The moment he said “ENGAGE MORE OF THE BUTT” I was listening. Before I go any farther I want to say that one of the things I enjoy about “working out” at a gym that I do not work for is learning from other well meaning trainers. I’m constantly seeking new ways to do things especially when it comes to glute training.
I want to share with you today three ways to do the step-ups. I’ll start with what I believe to be the easiest to the most difficult.
1. UP UP DOWN DOWN: That is exactly what you do. Grab a plyometric box or bench and step up with your right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down. Step up with the same leg for about 25 reps then switch your lead leg. This will also challenge your cardiovascular system too. By the end of your 50 reps you should be winded. You will do 3 sets.
2. ONE LEG STABLE: Place your right foot onto the box and step up with your left leg. Tap the left foot and lower your left leg all the way to the ground. Your right leg never moves. Continue this for 25 reps then place your left foot up on the box and do the step up with your right leg. You will feel a bigger burn in the thighs and glutes. You will perform 15-20 reps/3 sets.
3. ONE LEG STABLE MODIFIED: In this exercise you will do the same as above but when you bring the moving leg down to the ground DO NOT rest it on the ground. Just barely tap your toes on the floor then immediately come back up. This is advanced. You may find that your thighs are too weak to do this at first. If so, try doing the step ups by a wall or object so you can use it to help you stabilize on the way down. This is a slow and controlled movement. Do about 15-20 reps/ 3 sets. This is the exercise the trainer had suggested. I immediately felt the glutes more engaged and it was definitely harder than the other exercises.
Remember, you are choosing one of these to add in your routine. Do not hesitate to change up your step-ups from one kind to the next. Your muscles will benefit from that greatly. Have a great butt workout.