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Exercise 101: Stair-climbing

Stair-climbing machine, last position Name of Exercise —Stair-climbing

Type of Exercise —Aerobic

Muscles used —Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip-flexors, calves, and buttocks

Stair-climbing Benefits

Climbing stairs is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness because you can incorporate it throughout your day while at home, running errands, or at the gym on a stair-climbing machine. This will allow you to expend even more extra calories throughout the day.

Calories Expended During Stair-climbing
Activity135 lb. Woman185 lb. Man
Climbing for 20 min.163 calories224 calories
Climbing for 30 min.245 calories336 calories

Exercise Technique for Using a Stair-climber

Woman on a stair-climbing machine, showing motion

© Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Starting Position:

Action:

Program:

Begin with 2 sessions per week of stair-climbing. Following a 5-8 minute gradual warm-up begin with low intensity stair-climbing for 10-15 minutes. Add 5 minutes (when able) per week. After 3 weeks, progress to 3 times per week for 20-30 minutes at a moderate intensity.

After each workout, stretch the hip flexors, thigh, hamstrings, and your calf muscles. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds.

Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

RESOURCES:

American College of Sports Medicine
http://www.acsm.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
http://www.csep.ca

Provincial Fitness Unit of Alberta
http://www.provincialfitnessunit.ca

REFERENCES:

Physical activity calorie calculator. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_tools_content.aspx?id=9. Accessed April 13, 2016.

Selecting and effectively using an elliptical or stair climber. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/elliptical-trainer65974E2E8E70.pdf?sfvrsn=2. Published 2010. Accessed April 13, 2016.

Stairmaster 4000 PT owner's manual. Nautilus website. Available at: http://www.nautilusgsa.com/nautilus/Manuals/4000%20PT%20Manual.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2016.

Last reviewed April 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 5/20/2015