Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stair Climbing Overview

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Stair climbing uses a combination of anaerobic and aerobic systems that challenges your ability to sustain endurance, stamina and posture. Climbing up the stairs trains production of force; climbing down the stairs trains your ability to control force and speed deceleration, which uses a different movement pattern than going up. You can use almost any stairs in any environment, such as in an office building, college or park.

Step 1

Climb up a flight of stairs by placing one foot on each step. Go up at a rate of one step per second. Pump your arms naturally as you do so.

Step 2

Turn and climb back down the stairs without rest after you have reached the top. Go down at a rate of one step per second. Keep your spine tall.

Step 3

Rest for 20 to 30 seconds at the bottom of the stairs, and repeat the exercise for three to four sets. Increase the rate to two steps per second once you have become proficient with the one-second rate.

Two Step Bound

Step 1
Bound up the steps two at time at one bound per second. Lean forward slightly as you bound. Pump your arms naturally to help you maintain balance and strength.

Step 2
Turn and climb down the stairs one step at a time as quickly as you can after you have reached the top.

Step 3
Rest for 60 seconds and repeat the exercise for three more sets.

Upward Crawl

Step 1

Place your hands on the second or third step from the bottom, and place your feet at together at the bottom of the step.

Step 2
Bring your right foot to the first or second step, depending on your body length and flexibility, and put your left hand on the next higher step.

Step 3

Repeat the pattern with the opposite leg and hand as you crawl up to the top. Keep your spine in a neutral position, maintaining your natural curves.

Step 4

Stand up when you reach the top of the stairs. Turn and climb down the stairs on your feet as fast as you can. Rest for 60 seconds, and repeat the drill three more times.

Tips and Warnings
Climbing and bounding up and down stairs requires a high range of motion in your hip and legs joints and stability in your trunk and spine for balance. Warm up your joints by moving them in their full range of motion before doing any stair climbing.
Do not hunch your back or shoulders when performing stair-climbing exercises. Not all stairs have the same height, width or number of steps. Find a flight of stairs that you can do without hurting yourself. If the height is too high, you may place too much stress upon your joints. If the height is too low, it may not be challenging enough for more advanced exercisers.

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