Stair exercises can help improve your overall fitness (cardio, strength, and flexibility), tone your whole body, and may help you burn more calories than your usual training routine. This can vary your workout to keep your exercise motivation high and bring your fitness to the next level.

Here are some basic stair exercises that you can alternate with your usual exercise routine at home. Initially, you can opt to hold on to the railing to ensure safety while doing some of the standing exercises, then let go once you get the hang of it.

Remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes, exercise in a cool environment, and practice proper hydration during the workout.


  • Start your simple stair step-ups to gradually bring your heart rate up. Plant your right foot on the step and lift your left leg. Bring the left foot down, then the right, and repeat the process starting with the left foot. Repeat the whole sequence for 2 to 3 minutes. You can add variety and work on other sides of your lower body by turning and lifting the leg to one side. This can be done by alternating or one side first for 5 to 10 reps then switch.

  • Climb or run up and down the stairs for 5 to 10 minutes. The pace and duration will depend on your fitness level. Always listen to your body and use a heart rate monitor to be aware of the intensity. Add more intensity to your workout by incorporating some shuffles for a few seconds to a minute by quickly alternating your feet on the step combined with some arm swings.

  •  Challenge your upper body and core by doing mountain climbers for 30 to 60 seconds. Perform an elevated plank with hands directly below the shoulders then alternate your knee tucks while keeping your core engaged. Do this from a slow to moderate pace.

Strength and core

  • Lunge forward by bringing one foot on the step while bending both knees, then switch sides. Do a reverse lunge by starting on the step, gently bringing one leg back and bending both knees, then switch sides. You can also use dumbbells for shoulder and arm workouts such as shoulder press or biceps curl while doing lunges.

  •  Perform an elevated plank by placing your hands directly below the shoulders or using your forearms by placing your elbows directly below the shoulders on the step with your knees or toes on the floor. Hold the plank for 15 seconds to one minute while keeping your core tight or by gently scooping your abs and squeezing your butt.

  • Progress to an elevated push-up while on plank by bending both elbows for 10 to 20 reps. You can also modify this by dropping your knees.

  •  While seated, perform knee tucks by bringing both knees to the chest, then return to start. Keep your core tight the whole time. You can complete 10 to 20 repetitions.

  • Continue to sit on the step then put your hand behind on the higher step for your triceps dip. Bring hips forward and plant your feet on the ground with your ankles directly below the knees. Bend and extend your elbows for 10 to 20 repetitions as your whole body moves up and down with your arms moving.


  • Don’t forget to stretch after your whole stair workout routine. Hold the stretches for 15 to 20 while taking 4 to 5 long breaths.

  • Put your hands on the railing, round your back, and shift the weight back to stretch the back, shoulders, and arms.

  •  You can shift the weight to one side to stretch the side of the body, then switch.

  •  Focus on the lower body by doing back, side, inner, front thigh, and calf stretches.


Mitch has been in the health and fitness industry for 20 years. At present, her work revolves around online fitness and wellness coaching sessions (private and group). She is a Licensed Physical Therapist and holds a master's degree in psychology from Ateneo de Manila University focusing on lifestyle and weight management. She is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise, health coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a fully certified Pilates instructor in B and B studio and an Indoor Cycling Instructor at Electric Studio. She is also certified in PIYO (Pilates-Yoga), Piloxing, Zumba, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling.