Increase your lower-body power and stability with this tiny tweak to the stepup
The stepup is an excellent exercise for adding muscle to the hips and thighs and developing stability throughout the lower body. It can even help lower your risk for a knee injury.
And with one minimal adjustment to your form, you can make this move even more beneficial.
“Typically, when people do stepups, their focus is only on lifting the leg so you can plant it on the box,” says Men’s Health Fitness Editor BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S.
However, if you focus on kicking your heel back toward your butt as you raise your leg, you’ll create tension in your hamstring and increase stability in your knee.
This not only further protects your knees, but also helps you perform your reps with more power, Gaddour says.
You can work stepups into any leg workout, but you can also do them alone anytime you have a few free minutes—or an hour.
“At least once a week, I will do one hour of non-stop, alternating stepups, wearing a weight vest and listening to a podcast,” says Gaddour. “If you don’t want to do an hour, you can do 10 minutes to finish off your next workout.”