It is a fact that maintaining flexibility is the key to a youthful body, thus the recent popularity of both Yoga and Pilates. Many people utilize these programs in conjunction with various types of aerobic and strength training programs.
Step training is a good exercise to burn fat and improve the condition of the heart and lungs. There are two kinds of step training: step aerobics and bench stepping. Both are aerobic activities which require continuous movement supplied with lots of oxygen.
Step equipment is needed for step aerobics and bench stepping. Safe, sturdy, portable, and adjustable plastic benches are available for purchase from sports stores. These work best for step aerobics. Be sure there are no sharp edges on the benches.
Starters should begin with a low bench level of 4 to 6 inches in height. Advanced steppers may choose to gradually move the step to a final height of 12 inches. No matter what the person`s fitness level, the height of the bench should always be at a comfortable level, not a strenuous one. Never use narrow, hard wood, or metal benches for step training. These are unsteady, slippery, and unsafe.
Bench stepping is simply stepping up and down on a bench. Be sure the bench has rounded edges. It must be sturdy, wider than the length of your foot, and strong enough to hold your weight. A rhythmic step pattern is used to step up and down from the same side of the bench.
Follow these tips when Bench Stepping:
- Step onto the center of the bench and contact the surface with the entire sole of the foot.
- Step down close to the bench. Do not jump down. Do allow the heels to touch the floor.
- Do not arch the back or lock the knee joints.