Just like running their are specific "Phases" in stairclimbing.
This brief article will take a look at the five different phases of stairclimbing
The basic phases of climbing stairs consist of:
1) The Catch Phase
2) The Stance Phase
3) The Drive Phase
4) The Recover Phase
5) The Upper Body Motion
The Catch Phase
Aptly named the catch phase due to the fact that one leg is lifted and is "caught" in mid air. The iliopoas, and psoas major, otherwise known as the hip flexors contract and help bring the leg into the correct position for the rest of the phases.
The Stance Phase
The Stance Phase is when initial contact of the foot is made on the stairs. The heel touches down on the stair and The Hamstrings and The Gluteus Maximus all begin to contract isometrically. We refer to this stage as The Stance Phase due to the fact that as the initial contact on the stairs is made elastic energy is stored in the Hamstrings and Glutes which is the key for the powerful drive phase.
The Drive Phase
The Drive Phase consists of the Hamstrings, Glutes and Quadriceps muscles all concentrically firing at once to propel the body upward. In this phase power is shifted from the lower body musculature through to the core of the body, (abdominals) and then transfered through to the upper body musculature making for an explosive movement.
The final stage of a stair climb movement is the recovery phase. This is where the climber has all the weight on the opposite leg and is just about to go back into the Catch Phase. This is aptly called the recovery phase since the climber may choose to rest in this position before beginning the Catch Phase.
Upper Body Motion
The Upper body is essential in climbing stairs. The core, upper back and arms all help propel the body up the stairs. It is essential to have a strong core, and upper body musculature. The upper body can assist greatly in developing a strong explosive stair climb movement. In the transition between the Stance Phase and the Drive Phase the power is moved through the core and shifted to the arms. The more powerful the upper body becomes the more the climber can forcefully ascend up the stairs.
To learn more about stairclimbing as a sport and recreational pursuit, visit our stairclimbing information page
To join a meet-up group in your city, visit our meet-up pages
The Canada StairClimbing Association