It’s the machine people love to hate or hate to love: the stair stepper. Picture yourself high above the rest of the exercising crowd, left-right-lefting, sweating, trying not to lean all your weight on the rails. You’re working hard!

The stair stepper offers a killer cardio and lower body strength workout in no time. Using different stepping styles targets different muscles, and changing the speed gets your heart pumping.

Sure, you can use a pre-programmed workout on the machine. They’re great, too. But if you like being in total control, here’s an easy-to-remember, challenging routine for you.

The 20-Minute Workout

Warm up at a slow pace for 2 minutes.

Perform three rounds of the following moves. In between each round, take 2 minutes for active recovery (your slow pace from warm up).

No. Exercise How-To  
1 1 min fast paced Climb the stairs at a quicker pace for one minute
2 1 min hip extensions As you step up with your front leg, kick your back leg up behind you, squeezing your glutes. Repeat this movement as you continue climbing for one minute.
3 1 min left leg Turn to your left side, and climb the steps sideways for one minute.
4 1 min right leg Turn to your right side, and climb the steps sideways for one minute.