Who wants to get outside and get fit fast? Walking, running or stumbling up and down stairs is one of the most efficient and effective ways to burn fat and gain muscle. This summer I posted eight stairs workouts to shake up your weekly workout routine.

I decided I better put them all in one spot for easy access should you want to repeat them or just start them and have them handy! These workouts are tremendously adaptable. It doesn’t matter if you are going from “couch to stairs” or “CrossFit to stairs” these workouts can be modified for your level.

The stairs my local Poodles will be using are the stairs behind Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Issaquah Highlands in Washington. 137 heiny-kicking opportunities to get in shape. BUT, any stairs will do! Even if you have to use your stairs in your house, you can do this workout too. Simply calculate so that one round is approximately 130 stairs. (If your stairs at home are 14 stairs then your first round would be nine up and downs) These workouts will be quick. We will start with about ten minutes and slowly move to a max of 20 minutes.
 Anyone has twenty minutes to spare! 




All “downs” are a gentle trot or walk. Do not “run” downstairs.

Use the railings when necessary

Go at your own pace

Don’t force yourself to complete your workout if you are struggling.

Listen to your body.

Gently push to keep going but don’t force. 

Let your breathing become heavy but not labored. 

Are you sweaty when you finish? If not, you need to work harder next time. 

Walk or stop between sets if you need to catch your breath. 


Here are each of the stairs workouts. Click the links if you want more details. 



Workout one is a nice warm-up to doing stairs. Some gentle walking and a light jog gets the legs pumping and the heart searching for air. Remember to walk gently down. No running down stairs! Use the railings when needed and perform this circuit one to three times depending on what is available to you. 






Workout two we add some complexity. We start with a gentle walk and then into some side stepping so we can recruit some underutilized muscles in our legs and hips. We finish up with a few series of stair squat jumps. These are just like a regular squat jump, but you are going up stairs! 






Our first real circuit appears in workout three. We are starting to pick up the pace a little and challenge the cardio and core with some exercises in between stairs. For demonstrations of the exercises click through the link for more detail. 








Workout four uses the benefit of bringing the heart rate down and then back up again. We also incorporate a two at a time stairs circuit that gets the gluts! It is important during the rest period to let your heart rate come back to as close to resting as possible. 






In workout five we have a full circuit we are going to repeat. We also incorporate some challenging push-ups and mountain climbers. You can find demonstrations of both by clicking the link. Remember to take your time with the side-stepping and plant your foot on each step. 






Ahhh the old lizard push-up trick. These appear benign, but they are evil! If you find any of this particular workout too difficult modify or do fewer rotations of the circuit. This circuit will leave you needing an oxygen drip!







We are back to stair squats with workout seven! We are also starting to up the ante with our down portions. Hands on your head or wide legs coming down is going to be more challenging. And of course trying to do three at a time is a gluteal heavenly nightmare. (If you have wee legs just stick to two at a time.)






This is a great interval circuit. You are “up down” in MANY ways. I found this workout to be one of the most fun! Descriptions and video of the exercises are all in the original post. Just click on the link to get more detail. 






Want to make your stairs workout easier? 

  • Do fewer repetitions
  • Modify the strength component, so it is easier (i.e., don’t jump with squat jumps, knees down on push-ups)
  • Go more slowly

Want to make your stairs workout harder? 

  • Add more circuits (i.e., If I say do 1-3 circuits, try five!)
  • Run instead of walk the stairs
  • Modify to increase core engagement (i.e., lift a leg during push ups)

If you did all of these workouts, reward yourself with a gorilla crawl down the stairs! 


If you like these workouts, you will run stairs for these! 




Summer Stairs Workout Eight (1)