How To Do Step Ups Correctly – One Of The Best Exercises For Your Body

One of the best exercises, for butt strength, is the “Step-Up”. Like all exercises, though, you’ll want to know how to do  step ups correctly.

What are step ups? A “Step-up” is simply performing the movement of stepping up onto a box or platform. You can’t go wrong with this one!

I come from a long line of flat butts; my sisters have flat butts, my mum has a flat butt, not a bubbly butt to speak of for generations. (Now, next time I see you, you are going to be looking at my butt, aren’t you?) As “flat butt beholders” we focus our exercise endeavors toward glut strengthening to create some semblance of form to our backsides. I don’t do regular gluteal strengtheners because I want to “better fill” out that cute bikini bottom, although that is a nice bonus, but because I know that having solid glute muscles is the foundation for a strong back and posture.

[Tweet “We know that having strong glute muscles is the foundation for a strong back and posture.”]

How to do Step Ups Correctly

How to Do Step Ups Properly

Simple Step ups: Find a platform or box. Find something that is stable and not going to move out from under you when you step up onto it.

With your hands at your sides and feet pointed straight ahead about hip distance apart, simply “step-up” onto the box with the right foot.

Keep the right heel planted on the platform. Lift your body up onto the platform, by tightening your glutes and your abdominal muscles.

End by placing the left foot next to the right foot on the box. Keep your posture erect and do not let your knee go past your ankle when elevating yourself up onto the box.

Step down with the right foot and follow with the left back to the starting position.

Do fifteen repetitions stepping up with the right foot and then fifteen repetitions using the left foot to step up first. Perform this exercise for three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)


Moderate Step ups: With a weight in each hand repeat the simple version of the exercise explained above. Make sure to keep shoulders back, or retracted, during the entire movement of the exercise. You should still be able to perform fifteen repetitions per side, but it should now be a little more difficult with the added weight. Perform three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)


Advanced Step ups: Take a weight in your left hand that is twice the weight you were holding before. For example: if you were holding a ten-pound weight in each hand then you will hold a twenty-pound weight in your left hand for this exercise. (Left hand is holding weight, right foot steps up on the box first.) Once on the box bring the left knee up to chest height before placing it down on the box next to the right foot. Do fifteen repetitions per side. Repeat this exercise for three sets of thirty. (Fifteen per side.)


The step up exercise is a “life” movement that we will need forever. Practice this move regularly in your workout and you will find that your glutes will get stronger (less flat-butt!) and your hamstrings, quads and posture will benefit as well.


Step-Up BONUS: Aside from the obvious curvy butt benefit, the step-up motion is one of the first movements we lose as we age. If we can practice this movement with great intention throughout life than that day when we can’t do stairs or get ourselves up into a vehicle may never have to happen.


I do step-ups everywhere. This video is a “Step Up” tutorial from Sintra, Portugal





This week I challenge you to try some “Step-Ups”. If you don’t workout at a gym use a park bench or a concrete barrier while out on your walk.



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28 Responses

    1. Science backs up that weight training is a must for women for many reasons! That is great you are starting to incorporate!!

  1. This is certainly one of my favorite gym exercises that I tend to always put into the circuit I do. And I love that it is also easy to do nearly anywhere. – Katy

  2. Awesome! I’ve been adding weights into my workouts since August and really noticing a difference. I love this exercise because you can do it almost anywhere.

  3. Thanks for the tips on step-ups! I have been trying to add more variety to my workouts this year and have been doing these (although the step is noticeably shorter!). It’s great to be reminded how they can benefit our overall health and not just how we look in the present! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if there are alternatives for those with a bad knee like myself. What I mean by bad is that it swells if I overwork so I tend to limit the types of exercises I do because I really don’t know what causes it even after going to PT and have a MRI on it.

    1. Keep the step lower Latonya, make sure your standing knee doesn’t cross the plane of your ankle while you are stepping up? That is a conundrum though, isn’t it?

  5. This is great! I never realized how important step ups are…and I’ve done them in the past but definitely wasn’t doing them right – nor did I realize there are so many different variations of the step up! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I actually have about 20 advanced options with all sorts of crazy jumping and stuff. Really fun, though. Maybe it will be a new post!

  6. Well I definitely don’t have a flat butt (lol), but I am certainly down for strengthening my back muscles! Would you say that a chair is too high for doing this exercise?

    1. Great Ashley but we all have to incorporate weight training as well and what better way than with body weight exercises like a Step-Up! Thanks for commenting.

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