Under the guidance of her trainer Kira Stokes, the challenging yet uncomplicated route consists of five exercises: step gun squats, step knee drives, step-by-step flights of stairs, staircases and stair Frogger squats.
For the first two hits, your legs will burn almost immediately. “The prep move for the squat targets the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core, and helps you build strength,” she says. The knee drives also work your glutes and quads, but they’ll challenge your stamina more and not only increase your heart rate, explains Stokes. The movement also activates your abs as you pull the knee toward your body, she adds.
Next, the skipping flights of stairs help break the cycle and do some cardio. Then the stair taps focus on strengthening your core, glutes, arms, and wrists, says Stokes. After all, the stair frog’s squatting kicks act primarily on the hamstrings, but also secondarily on the glutes, lower back, and quads – and will definitely leave you breathless – the trainer adds.
(Also Read: 4 Push Up Variations To Perfect Your Full Push Up)
“When combined, these exercises work pretty much every muscle in your lower body and are the perfect combination of strength, endurance, and especially cardio,” says Stokes. “Like everything else, finding a way to vary your cardio routine is good for your heart as it is both physically and mentally challenging – and circuits like this are a great way to improve it. There are also stairs everywhere! Look at your surroundings. You can find a way to see a gym anywhere. “
Although Liukin makes the track look easy, the hardest part is keeping shape, Stokes adds. “Nastia has incredible body awareness,” she says. “Lots of people don’t know they have a muscle imbalance, but they do.” Although the gymnast flows through the movements like it is NBP, it is important to focus on your balance, keep your hips aligned, and keep your core engaged as you work through the exercises.
Ready to try? Here are Stokes’ tips on how to do any exercise in her killer stair circle for the lower body.
Kira Stokes’ staircase circuit for lower body burners
How it works: Complete the first round on the left before repeating it on the right. Then go in circle two. Repeat both circuits three times for best results.
ONE. Stand perpendicular to the stairs. Plant the left foot in the first step. Your right foot should be floating above the ground. This is your starting position.
BB Lean back on your hips and bend your left leg in a squat with one leg until your right heel touches the floor. Extend your arms forward to maintain balance. Make sure your hips are forward and in line with each other.
C. Squeeze your glutes and stand on your left leg to return to start.
ONE. Face the stairs and place your left foot on a step. Hinge at the hips so that your back is parallel to the stairs and your right leg is on the floor. This is your starting position.
BB Extend your arms forward to maintain balance and bring your right knee toward your chest while touching the core.
C. Extend your right leg back until the ball of your foot is tapping the floor lightly.
DD Immediately bring the right leg back towards your chest in one quick motion.
ONE. Walk to the stairs with both feet on the floor.
BB Run up the stairs and skip a step between each foot. Press on your heels to activate the glutes and keep the core engaged.
C. Once at the top, return to the bottom without skipping the steps.
ONE. In the first step, start with your hands in a plank position.
BB Bring your left hand to your right shoulder and place it back on the floor.
C. Tap your left shoulder with your right hand and place it back on the floor. Make sure your hips don’t sway back and forth.
Stair Freezer Squat Thrusts
ONE. Start in a plank position with your hands on the first step and feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
BB Hop onto the step with both feet outside of your hands.
C. Lift your hands off the floor and stay in a low sumo squat position.
DD Place both hands on the floor again between your feet and hop back your feet to begin.
Do 10-12 reps.
(Also Read: 10 Body Weight Moves For A Quick Cardio Workout At Home)
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