There is taking the stairs—as part of a healthy, calorie-buring day; running the stairs — as sport; and simply doing stairs, as a cross-training option.
Deann Schlobaum, a trainer/coach and fellow Purdue swim-mom who hails from LasVegas, swears by stairs, for all ages and all athletic types. This became a recurring chat-topic during our daughters’ swim season:
- Stair climbing challenges aerobic and anaerobic systems.
- Stairs are excellent for helping runners, swimmers, cyclists and any athlete improve their endurance and sprint performance.
- Along with the heart-giddyup, stairs work quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and core.
- To make a stair workout tougher, you are encouraged not to swing your arms or, uh, use the railing.
“The stairs are an amazing workout and incorporating them adds another element,” Deann said.
- You can double-step them for a speed and strength workout.
- You can single-step them for cardio, strength, speed, fitness and fun.
- You can do them in sets like intervals or just run them 10 times.
“Well,” I would always end up saying, “We just don’t have any good sets of stairs to train on where I live.”
“Of course you do,” she said.
So I started looking. Lo and behold, I found parking garage stairs do the trick, as do any high school stadium bleachers. My favorite find, however, is the scenic set of stairs in Mishawaka’s Battel Park. I know there are others out there. Feel free to let me know where!
Jan Spalding/RPM editor