Sample Class: Strength Training + Step

by Ashley Artese, MS and Daniel Marshall, MS on Apr 20, 2017

This class is sure to please both step fans and high‐intensity enthusiasts! Using a fun and challenging interval format, it alternates high‐intensity step drills with strength training exercises. Cardio sections include easy‐to‐follow step moves, while strength segments use the step to add intensity.

Class Details

Goal/emphasis: to provide a total‐body workout with a new take on a traditional step format

Total time: 45–50 minutes

Equipment needed: step with one or two risers, bands and a mat, per person

Music: 132–135 beats per minute

Additional notes: Emphasize safety and technique when stepping or jumping onto the step. Remind participants:

  • Be sure step is set up correctly, with risers in locked position.
  • Step lightly and place entire foot on step.
  • Adjust step height according to preferred intensity and familiarity.
  • Land with "soft knees," moving from balls of feet to heels, during any jumping or plyometric moves.

Basic Moves Key

Here's an overview of the basic moves used in the combinations and drills.

Starting Position: Behind Step

Run basic: Add run to basic step (up right, up left, down R, down L).

Up‐jack, down‐jack: Step up R, up L, and do 1 jack on step. Step down R, down L, and do 1 jack on floor.

Quick feet: Alternate toe taps on step as quickly as possible.

Jump‐up squat: Jump both feet onto step, and land in squat. Jump up from squat position and return to start.

Power corner knees: Lift knees at corners with added jump.

Split lunge: Step up R, up L. Tap R foot back and return to top. Repeat L. Step down R, down L.

Starting Position: Step Lengthwise

Ladder run: Start by straddling step. Step up R, up L; step down R, down L; repeat.

Squats + over the top: Start with R foot on step and L foot on floor, legs hips‐distance apart. Do 1 squat. Explode out of squat and travel over step so that L foot finishes on step and R foot is on floor. Squat, and travel back to starting position.

Jump up, jump down: Straddle step. Jump both feet onto step, then jump both feet down to starting position.

Side lunges: Start standing on top. Tap R foot on floor, then back to step. Repeat L. Complete as fast as possible.

Football runs + jump switch: Straddle step at one end. Perform football runs, moving across length of step. When you reach the end, jump, turn 180 degrees and repeat.

Burpee + squat jump: Straddle step. Jump onto step with both feet and squat. Jump off step, bring hands down to platform and do 1 burpee. Repeat.

Wide high‐knee run: Straddle step. Quickly alternate knee lifts while keeping feet wide.

Warm‐Up (5–8 minutes)

Begin with standard warm‐up movements to elevate heart rate. Gradually progress into a few basic step moves, including these:

  • basic step
  • corner knees
  • corner kicks
  • repeater knees
  • V‐step

Work Phase (30–35 minutes)

Cardio Combination/Drill #1

  • run basic: 4x (16 counts)
  • up‐jack, down‐jack: 2x (16 counts)
  • quick feet (16 counts)
  • jump‐up squat: 4x (16 counts)
  • Repeat 6x (3 minutes), alternating lead leg each time.

Strength Segment #1

Start with R side front and do the following:

  • 8 lunges
  • pulse lunge for 3 (front foot on step) + back‐knee lift (8 counts), 8x
  • pulse lunge for 3 (front foot on step) + back‐leg extension (8 counts), 8x
  • 15 jump‐switch lunges (this should allow you to switch sides so L leg is in front)
  • Repeat, L side forward.

Cardio Combination/Drill #2

With feet straddling step, perform the following:

  • ladder run (30 seconds)
  • squats + over the top (30 seconds)
  • hands on step: jump both feet side to side (30 seconds)
  • Repeat twice for total of 3 minutes.

Strength Segment #2

  • Push‐up: Place R hand on step, L hand on floor. Do 1 push‐up and then place L hand on step and move R hand to floor. Do 1 push‐up and repeat, 1 minute.
  • Hold plank and slowly alternate knees to chest, 1 minute.

Cardio Combination/Drill #3

  • power corner knees (4x)
  • split lunge (2x)
  • jump‐up V‐step (4x)
  • burpee (2x)
  • Repeat 6x for total of 3 minutes.

Strength Segment #3

Perform the following with band under step, handles crossed:

  • bent‐over row, 1 minute
  • reverse fly, 1 minute

For two more cardio/combination drills and core work exercises, please see "Sample Class: Step It High, Tone It Down" in the online IDEA Library or in the March 2017 print edition of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at 800‐999‐4332, ext. 7.

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About the Authors

Ashley Artese, MS

Ashley Artese, MS IDEA Author/Presenter

Daniel Marshall, MS

Daniel Marshall, MS IDEA Author/Presenter