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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Step-Stool Workout

Having 3 kids, we have a lot of these little step-stools around our house - maybe you have them too? If not, they are super cheap and can really add some intensity to your workout!


The key to finding a good step-stool is to find something that is solid, not flimsy and won't slide.  Choose a step-stool of low height and the base that you step on should fit one of your feet.  The step-stool you are using should be level and not rock at all when you step on it (you don't want it to flip over!).  Also, rubberized feet and platform will help to prevent slippage. Remember not to 'rely' on your step-stool for total support...it isn't meant for exercise...but when used safely, it is an easy and inexpensive way to ramp up your fitness routine!


Warm-Up: 3-5 minutes of cardio (if you feel comfortable, you can even step up and down off your stool to increase your heart rate)


STEP-STOOL WORKOUT
Squat - One Foot on Top
20 reps with left foot on top - 10 pulses at the bottom
FORM: Stand to one side of your stool and put one foot completely on top (you MUST have your heel all the way on). Other foot a few inches from the stool. Sit back into your heels (press down on the stool) into a squat keeping your core engaged and shoulders relaxed.


Squat with Knee Lift/Side Leg/Back Leg
5 rounds (1 knee, 1 side, 1 rear) with left foot on top - 10 pulses at the bottom
FORM: Same form as above but as you raise out of your squat add a knee lift. Lower back down and the next raise a straight leg lift to the side. Then lower back into your squat and raise up to a rear leg lift.  Keep repeating that pattern.


Stationary Lunge - One Foot on Top
20 reps with left foot on top - 10 pulses at the bottom
FORM: Put one foot completely on the stool (again, make sure your heel is all the way on) with your other foot behind you (heel lifted and all ten toes forward). Lower into a lunge with weight in front heel - make sure to go down and not forward keeping your front knee over your ankle.


Rear Lunge with Knee
20 reps with left foot on top - 10 pulses at the bottom
FORM: Same form as above but as you raise up out of your lunge come to a stand on top with your back knee lifted.  Make sure to be careful that you don't roll or rock to the side - you don't want the stool to tip over.


*REPEAT ALL 4 EXERCISES WITH RIGHT FOOT ON TOP*


Hand Plank with Opposite Knee
20 reps 
FORM: Grab the sides of the stool and go into a hand plank (or the 'up' position of a push-up). Keeping your body flat/horizontal with core engaged, bring your opposite knee to your opposite wrist. Keep alternating.
Dips
20 reps 
FORM: From a seated position, grab the outsides of the stool and lift yourself off a forward. Keep your feet in front of your knees and bend your elbows down and up.


Seated Extensions
20 reps
FORM: From a seated position, grab the outsides of the stool - lean back (keep back straight!) and lift feet off the floor. Tuck your knees into your chest then extend out into a 'V' shape.


Push-Ups - One Hand on Top
10 reps with right hand on top & 10 reps with left hand on top
FORM: Place one hand on the stool and the other one on the ground so hands are a little winder than shoulders. Engage core and keep a flat back, lower and lift in a push-up (can also do on your knees if needed).


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