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Stair Exercises at Home

author image Jane Norris
Jane Norris is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and has been training at the Colorado State University Recreation Center since 2009. She is based in Fort Collins, Colo. and holds a degree in health and exercise science with a concentration in health promotion.
Stair Exercises at Home
Stairs are an effective exercise tool.

Look no further than your own staircase at home for ways to exercise. It's a perfect piece of equipment that doesn't have to be folded up after use, or hidden away in a closet. It's there, always reminding you, that fitness and improved health are merely a step away.

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Walking and Running

If you haven't exercised for a while, stick to a walking stair workout until your fitness level improves. Make sure to warm up by marching in place for five minutes before walking the stairs. One flight of stairs is all you need for your drill. Simply walk up and down the stairs. Complete five to 10 sets; which could take, but should not exceed 15 minutes.Take five minutes for your cool-down.

Running the stairs takes great endurance; but also builds stamina. Warm up by walking up and down the stairs for five minutes. For the next 20 minutes you'll be running up one flight and then walking down. If you have two flights of stairs; then run up two and walk down. You can repeat this run/walk cycle for up to 20 minutes. Cool down for five minutes.


Dips target your upper body, specifically your triceps. Begin by sitting on the first or second stair with your feet on the ground, placing your palms on the edge of the stair above your bottom. Raise up into a reverse plank position with your arms and legs extended, keeping your body in one line. From here, lower your upper body down by bending at the elbows and returning to the starting extended position. Repeat.


Target your lower body with lunges. Start by standing on the ground facing away from the stairs with your right foot on the bottom or second stair. Slowly lower your body toward the ground by bending at the knees, making sure your left foot is far enough out so that your knee does not go past your toe. Bend down as far as you can without allowing your back knee to touch the ground. Repeat with your right leg forward.


Pushups target your chest, triceps, shoulders and core. Begin in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the bottom step and your feet on the ground, keeping your body in line from your head to your toes.

Lower your body toward the floor by bending at the elbows, keeping your core tight and your neck in a neutral position. Return to the starting position when you have lowered down as far as you can or when your upper arms are parallel with the ground.

Calf Raises

Calf raises benefit your lower body and tone your calves. Stand at the edge of a step so that just the balls of your feet are on the stair, using the wall or rail for balance. Lower your heels down so that they are slightly lower than the step and press up onto your toes, activating your calf muscles. Return to the starting position and repeat.

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