I am currently on holiday in the middle of nowhere (aka, Kansas) visiting my in-laws. The gym is closed, I have zero equipment, and I forgot my running shoes at home. However, I’m not about to let any of these things deter me from getting in a solid workout. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here is a 20-minute workout that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping, sweat flowing, and muscles active. All you need for this HIIT-style workout is a few stairs and some space – your porch steps will likely work just fine. Now, let’s get moving.
After warming up with some jogging or light jump rope (you don’t even need the actual rope to do this), perform the following two exercises back-to-back with no rest between exercises. Complete a total of 5 sets, resting for 60 seconds between each set.
Think of these as box jumps using your steps. I recommend picking a height that challenges you, but you know you can make without injuring yourself. Get your whole body working by bending your knees and using your arms to propel you up. Push hard against the ground and explode up, landing with soft knees. Keep your head up and your eyes on the step you picked to land on. Step backwards to return to start position and repeat.
To hit the upper body and some core, we’ll use the stairs in a new way. While standing on the ground facing the steps, place your hands on the top step. Do a push up off the top step, then walk your hands down to the next step and do a push up. Walk your feet back as needed while you move down the stairs. Once you reach the bottom, reverse direction and walk your way back up – this is one set.
We’re already warmed up, so let’s keep the heart rate high and move into this giant set. Perform the following three exercises back-to-back, with no rest between exercises. Complete a total of 5 sets, resting for 60 seconds between each set. I hope you have a towel nearby, it’s time to really sweat.
This giant set will start from the ground up, hitting your legs first. Stand on the bottom step facing the ground. Step down with your right leg and sink into a lunge. Make sure your knee does not pass your toes and keep your upper body tall. Then, push through your right heel to return to the starting position, and repeat with the left leg.
We’re going to replace a weight bench with your stairs to hit the back of your arms. Sit on the bottom step and place your hands just outside your hips with fingers facing forward. Put your weight on your hands and slide your butt off the step, then lower your body towards the ground and back up. You can alter the intensity by having your legs straight out or bend them slightly to reduce the load on your arms. You probably won’t be able to go through a full range of motion due to the short height of your steps, but focus on pumping the blood into your triceps.
Unlike a normal push up, we’re going to focus on your shoulders. Place your feet on the bottom step and your hands on the ground so your body is parallel to the ground. From this push-up position, you’ll need to walk your hands in towards the step so you can lift your hips into a pike position, where your body is an inverted V. Press your upper body towards the ground, leading with your head and keeping your hips high, drilling the work into your shoulders.