Step up variations are excellent for beginners and are a good starting point for those looking to build single leg strength. Hold a kettle bell in each hand and initiate the exercise by stepping on to the riser with one leg.
If you’re having trouble with only driving off the front leg, then consider pulling up the toes on the back foot. If you want to emphasize more of a pump through one leg versus another, complete all the repetitions on one side before switching to the other.
Lean forward over the front leg, drive off the forefoot, control the eccentric, step off, and repeat. It also can be quite boring and ineffective if you use exercises that allow you to plug away for long periods of time without any focus, attention or intensity.
It works ALL the major muscle groups in your ENTIRE body in one combination movement. It sounds really complicated and complex...do a one-arm kettle bell swing combined with a step -up.
This essentially doubles the effectiveness of that cardio by including an upper body and core component to the exercise, dramatically increasing calories burned and the metabolic effect of the exercise. To do this one, you'll need some Step risers or a low bench or stairs and a kettle bell.
You can also do this very effectively (though a bit differently) with dumbbells — I'll show you that version after. Stand in front of your Step platform with the kettle bell in your right hand.
Repeat this sequence of switching hands and stepping up and down for 30 seconds. It works just as well with 2 dumbbells, though you won't get the same degree of core involvement as you do swing a single kettle bell back and forth.
Now step onto the platform and start swinging them up in front of you. Secondary Muscle(s): Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
The 1 kettlebellstep up is a variation of the step up and an exercise used to target the muscles of the leg. The 1 kettlebellstep up challenges the muscles of the quads unilaterally to build balanced strength.
Hold a kettle bell in one hand and initiate the exercise by stepping on to the riser with one leg. If you’re having trouble with only driving off the front leg, then consider pulling up the toes on the back foot.
If you want to emphasize more a pump through one leg versus another, complete all the repetitions on one side before switching to the other. Lean forward over the front leg, drive off the forefoot, control the eccentric, step off, and repeat.
They were a part of my strength and conditioning program when I played football at Amherst College. Every guy on the team trained together, and we tended to use the same weight to keep things moving.
Most of us couldn’t even do one good step up with our body weight, but somehow we thought things would improve when we put 135 pounds on our back. It jarred my joints and I couldn’t feel any sort of muscle work from it.
I would choose an appropriate box/ step height that allowed me to feel my muscles work and progressively increase the height in small, manageable increments over time. I had never experienced this level of glute soreness and it didn’t bother my knees either.
I knew right then and there that there was more than meets the eye to this movement and that I had to stay the course and dig deeper. I believe that the true joy in your fitness journey comes from exploring all the amazing movement possibilities available to the human body.
It means you need to be willing to dig deeper into every exercise and not just overlook it because it's “basic” or it doesn’t film or photograph well for your next Instagram post. On that note, here are my top 7 step up training tips that I’ve learned along the way.
But then there’s the way you need to do it based on your own limb length, body proportions, fitness level, injury history, and goals. Take this advice, but don’t become overly self-conscious about it if you have a way of doing step ups that works best for you.
Your goal should be to do step ups as close to this “textbook” way as possible for the majority of your training sessions. Fight to prevent any sort of plopping at the bottom of the exercise when your glutes needs to kick in the most.
Now repeat this cycle, but use either a higher box or step, or increase the load. You can train them from a lower step or box and keep the weight on your mid to fore foot to target your quads and calves more.
It's also very specific to the range of motion demands of climbing staircases throughout the day so it's very functional in that regard. Plus, the smaller range of motion allows you to go faster and get a bigger cardio response.
Doing step ups from a high box with the weight shifted to the heel is going to target your hamstrings and glutes more. The increase range of motion slows you down and provides more strength and stability benefits.
One of my favorite step up workouts is where I alternate legs for 30 minutes straight. But I move to a different box height every 10 minutes for a more complete workout: low, medium, and high.
The body weight step up is great, but you can only keep raising the box or step height so far before you need to add some weight to your body to keep making a change. I’d recommend loading yourself in the following order, from easiest to hardest: weight vest, dumbbells (or kettle bells), barbells.
What I love about the weight vest is that it allows your arms to move freely and in a reciprocal opposite arm-leg fashion that mimics running. You can either use a traditional weight vest (I like the Hyper vest from Hyper wear) or you can use a Ruck Sack.
Barbells allow for the most possible loading to be put through your system and thus the strength benefits cannot be denied. But holding a heavy weight on the front or back of your shoulders has an inherently greater stability demands than the previous two options.
This provides some odd object lifting that will stimulate more muscles and joint stabilizers and create a larger neurological and metabolic demand on your system. Once you’ve established a base of strength and stability from the previous tips, it’s time to start adding some primal power to those wheels.
Do this for 10 to 20 straight minutes based on your fitness level and what else you have scheduled in that given workout. If your goal is max power, do this first thing in your training session when you’re fresh.
If you’re looking for some more Method (metabolic conditioning), do this at the end of your session as a nice little finisher. If you do want to load them up, do it safely with a medicine ball held at chest level or by wearing a weight vest.
It’s funny the reaction I get when I tell people to do step ups for 10 minutes or more at a time. I mean, how many people have no problem going 60-plus minutes on the treadmill or elliptical without thinking twice about it?
Long-duration step ups are just like using the step mill—except you can increase or vary the range of motion and it requires more stabilization because you’re in free space. I can get my heart rate to 160bpm or higher and you won’t believe how good your ass will start looking in those pants if you do this with regularity.
Or you can replace one of your weekly cardio sessions with 30 to 60 minutes of step ups at the appropriate box or step height. If you love to hike or take the stairs a lot during the day, this is truly right up your alley.
Just like with any exercise, you need to apply the principle of variations to your training every 3 to 6 weeks to prevent plateaus. Do 6 reps of alternating step ups (3 per side) while holding the weight in your left hand.
Focus on exploding up to the top and then controlling the lowering portion of the exercise on each rep. For more variety, you can mix up the speed of movement or box/ step height every 10 minutes. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
So when reviewing the 7 kettle bell exercise for seniors please realize that not everyone always fits into the same bracket. If you are in a position where you feel that kettle bell training could be right for you then this guide will act as a great starting point for seniors and older adults.
Increases bone density due to the additional forces put through the joints and bones by the kettle bells Adds muscle mass, something that you lose quickly as you reach older age Improves balance, great for preventing falls and better footing Increases grip strength, another attribute that disappears quickly as you get older Improves mobility, nothing symbolizes old age like an inability to move naturally Rehabilitates joint issues, the frequent nutritional pumping movements of kettle bell training improves joint health Improves circulation, kettle bell training actively pumps the blood around the body for better circulation Increases cardiovascular health, your heart rate will be elevated and lungs forced to work harder Raises metabolic rate for fat loss, an increase in metabolism means more calories burnt at rest Increases confidence, feel stronger, mobile, fitter and have better balance for a more confident you Improve mental health and produces a more positive attitude towards life in general Your focus as a senior should not be to break any lifting records or to push yourself to complete exhaustion.
As you get older and move less you ability to take your joints through their full range diminishes. A lack of joint mobility will not only affect your posture but also your ability to move correctly.
For many people this mobility routine can have more of an impact on their lives than the workout so please don’t skip this section. The great thing about neck mobility is that you can practice anytime of the day even while seated watching TV.
Watch a video of the shoulder mobility warm up exercises below: The upper back or thoracic spine is one of the areas that is getting more and more restricted with modern lifestyles.
Watch a video of the upper back mobility warm up exercises below: Regular wrist mobility will help keep the joints healthy and improve circulation.
If you don’t walk over varied ground or take part in sports then your hip mobility will probably be limited. Poor hip mobility will affect your walking gait as well as force your lower back to move more than it should do.
Watch a video of the hip mobility warm up exercises below: Simple body weight squats are one of the best exercises you can perform and will strengthen your full body.
Watch a video of the knee mobility warm up exercises below: Good ankle mobility will improve your balance as well as prevent further leg injury while walking or tripping on uneven ground.
Often one of the most overlooked areas of the body a simple ankle mobility routine will also improve circulation. Try to keep the kettle bell close to the neck line and don’t bend the head forwards.
Work hard to keep your back flat and use your buttocks and legs to perform the heavy lifting. You will also find this is a great exercise for seniors with limited mobility as it lengthens the hamstrings and mobilizes the hips.
Watch a video of the body weight single leg dead lift exercise below: KettlebellStepUps The kettlebellstep up is a great exercise for seniors to strengthen the legs.
Not only is the kettlebellstep up highly effective at raising the heart rate and strengthening the legs and buttocks but also has a great cross over into your daily life. You will find walking up hills and stairs much easier if you work on this exercise.
You will also quickly raise your heart rate, pump vital nutrients around your body and improve your movement strength and skills for daily life. Failure to get a full 90 degree bends in the knees will limit the amount of buttock activation achieved.
Watch a video on how to improve your kettle bell goblet squat exercise below: The ability to get up and down from the floor is an important activity as we get older and very challenging for many people.
Everyone should practice the get up without a kettle bell first, if need be you can hold a tennis ball or glass of water in the hand. Practice : when you can perform 10 alternating repetitions without a kettle bell then slowly start to add some load.
Start off steady and use a light kettle bell for the first 2 weeks before slowly increasing the load. You should feel out of breath at the end of each circuit if not add more load or pick up the pace.
Using kettle bell exercises for seniors and older adults can be highly effective at improving health, fitness and well-being. Regular kettle bell training can improve balance, strength, your metabolism, help with fat loss and confidence.
Older adults can move and be just as strong, if not stronger, than those half their age so there are no hard and fast rules for what weight to start with. I’ve included a kettle bell circuit that you can follow 3-4 times per week just add load steadily as you get stronger.
Always seek professional medical advice and take your time and listen to your body as you exercise.