It’s time to channel your inner Rocky and take your training to the steps! Playing the song “Eye Of The Tiger” while you do so is entirely up to you.
Get ready to become a “street athlete” and kick your normal workout routine up a notch by hitting the stairs of some of Lower Manhattan’s landmarks, monuments, and famous buildings. Just be aware, stair training is significantly more challenging than its indoor counterpart, the StairMaster. So once you get started, be prepared to see some serious results.
BENEFITS OF STAIR TRAINING:
- No equipment? No problem! All you need are your sneakers and a staircase. Consider this your fat shedding, go-to workout when you are away on vacation, business travel, or when you just can’t make it to the gym!
- Become a better runner. This type of conditioning hits three of the most important elements of training that make an efficient runner: strength, endurance and power. These short bouts of explosive, plyometric and anaerobic work allow you to run longer distances more easily. Who doesn’t want the ability to do that?
- Train your posterior chain. The posterior chain is made up of the powerful muscles of your upper and lower back, legs and glutes. Sadly this crucial group of muscles, often known as women’s “problem area”, is virtually ignored during our sedentary lifestyles filled with desk jobs, long commutes and seated, machine-based workouts.
- Get outside (before it’s too late!) New York City weather in October is beautiful! Spend your last few warm days outdoors instead of inside the confines of a dark studio or gym. This workout pairs well with a short distance run. Save 10 extra minutes at the end of your run to take your fitness to the next level.
Warm Up: Do a five minute warm up consisting of dynamic moves such as lunges, side shuffles, grapevines, light jogging, stretching and a few trips up and down the stairs at a comfortable pace.
Complete each exercise on the list below in succession. Between each exercise, jog up and down the stairs at a moderate pace for 1-3 minutes, depending on your fitness level.
Run to the top of the stairs at your fastest possible pace. Be sure to rapidly swing your arms and reach forward as if you were grabbing for a rope to help you up. Jog down at a slower, more comfortable pace.
2) Broad Jumps
Begin in a strong squat position with your hips driven back and your knees just above your ankles. Then explosively jump up to the next step (or as many as you can clear.) Absorb the shock of the jump by landing softly in a squat position just as you started. Continue this all the way to the top, then jog down.
3) Stair Squats
Start facing the side of a step with one foot on the step above, and one on the step (or two) below. Descend into a squat by driving your hips back and then drive through the leg on the top step. Pause by balancing on one leg for 2 seconds, then slowly descend back down into a squat. Be sure to keep both knees “open” so that they are in line with your ankles the entire time.
TOP PICKS FOR STAIR TRAINING IN LOWER MANHATTAN:
Federal Hall: Wall Street between Nassau and William Streets
City Hall: Chambers Street between Broadway and Center Streets
US Federal Court House: Center Street between Duane and Reade Streets
National Museum Of The American Indian: Broadway at Battery Place
-Dr. Laura Miranda*
-Photography courtesy of Tara Salvemini
*Dr. Laura Miranda, DPT, MSPT, CSCS is DOWNTOWN Magazine’s Fitness Editorial Director and founder of StrongHealthyWoman.com. She runs Strong-Healthy-Woman fitness boot camp and elite private personal training for busy women in NYC. Follow her on her blog and on Instagram and Twitter.