5 Stair Exercises for Weight Loss

It is not easy being overweight. A lot of people suddenly find themselves in a situation where they are unsatisfied with their appearance, physical capability and health. And they don’t even know how, or why they got there. It just sneaks up on you. Or should I say snacks up?

The dissatisfaction is aided by the fact that obese people are a constant subject of fat-shaming, especially via social media, which ruins their self-image even further.

The good news is: losing all that weight, that anchor, holding you back, literally and metaphorically speaking, is not as hard as you imagined. What if i told you that something so simple, yet overlooked such as a stairwell, can be one of the best cardio exercises for weight loss by burning all those extra pounds. Not only are stair exercises an awesome cardio exercise, it also works your upper and lower body. So ditch the elevator, and here are the 5 best stair exercises for weight loss.

  1. Sprints

    The first choice is the most obvious one. Running is universally acclaimed as one the best weight loss exercises known to man. But what if we can make it even more effective? Why not increase the difficulty, by simply running up and down a flight of stairs in your effort to lose weight.

    Run as fast as you can up the stairwell, driving out of the ball of your toe. Try to lift your knees as high as you can and pay attention to arm movement as well. When you reach the top, descend slowly, preferably walking, as running down the stairs can be dangerous. Rest for a couple of minutes, gather your breath, and repeat.

    Sprints Exercises for Weight Loss

  2. Depth Jumps

    A stair exercise like this is an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight, as well as for anyone who simply wants to tone their legs, and behind. In a way, the depth jump kill two birds with one stone, making it one of the most explosively effective exercises from the list.

    Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Moving your arms and hips backwards, jump explosively on the stairs. Jump back down, and repeat at a stable, controlled pace. Soon enough you will feel the burn.

    Depth Jumps Exercises for Weight Loss

  3. Step Up

    Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, and the basicness of this stair exercise. Only after trying it, you will feel just how effective this stair exercise can be for your weight loss effort. If done properly, of course.

    Stand in front of the stairs, with your feet hip width apart. Lift one foot on the stair, keeping your core rigid, and your upper body straight. Lift the other foot, placing it together with the front foot. Repeat 8-12 times, keeping the front foot constantly on the stair. After that, repeat this stair exercise with the other foot as well. Optionally, increase the difficulty by thrusting your knee in the air after each repetition.

    Step Up Exercises for Weight Loss

  4. Lateral Step-up

    Another very simple, yet effective variation of the step-up exercise, the lateral step-up can be performed anywhere, from your home to your office to help you in your effort to lose weight. Basically, only a couple of stairs are required for this exercise.

    Stand parallel to the stairs. Lift your inside foot on the top of a stair. Being careful to keep your upper body straight, bring your other foot together with the one on the stair. Do 8-12 reps with each leg.

    Lateral Step-up

  5. Plank Combined with Knee to Opposite Elbow

    A staple of every cardio routine, the plank, can also be a thing of nightmares for some, due to its duration and endurance requirement. But fear not, this variant of the plank is slightly easier, because it is combined with the classic “knee to elbow” making it shorter in duration, but highly effective.

    Start by placing your body firmly in the plank position. Rest your hands on the stairs, placing them directly below your shoulders. Feet should be hip wide apart. Drive from your core, lifting your knee to your opposite elbow, keeping your body and spine straight. Return back to center, and repeat with your other leg. Keep repeating this stair exercise until exhausted.

    Plank Combined with Knee to Opposite Elbow


For beginners, just starting their stair exercise routine, can be exhausting as our bodies might take a while to get used to the cardio impact and muscle burn caused by the first week or so of exercising. That’s why, with any form of exercise it is very important to start off slowly, building up the intensity and the number of repetitions, as your stamina increases and your muscles get used to the strain.

As you get stronger, you can choose to further increase the difficulty by doing more repetitions, climbing multiple steps instead of one, or even adding weight in the form of a weighted belt, vest, or by simply carrying a pair of dumbbells.

Another great tip for weight loss is to alternate intervals and intensity of stair exercises. For example you can do two days of highly intense exercise, followed by a day of light, controlled exercises and then a day of rest. Our body has a tendency to get used to a training routine if it is repeated too many times, which as a result decreases the results. Also remember to always take a day off, at least once per week, because the body needs time off, to build muscle, and to recharge your batteries.

So there you have it – the complete guide to getting that body you always wanted. For best results remember to follow all of the tips, and adding more variety of exercises is always good for maximizing the effect if weight loss on your body. So hop on those stairs, and no excuses!

5 Stair Workouts For Weight Loss

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 26, 2019

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