Photography by James Patrick | Routine by Karey Northington, CPT, CISSN, BSN
Whether it’s in a local stadium or a park, now is the time to research a good outdoor staircase in your hood. Incorporating stair sprints into your workout routine checks off a bunch of fitness goals at once: you’ll increase your heart rate, burn extra fat and calories, and target your lower-body muscles all at the same time. And who doesn’t want more shapely glutes for summer? Similar to the incline hill climbs you do on the treadmill, the additional force needed to propel your body upward activates the glutes, as well as hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves—an effective way to add muscle-building to cardio in one workout. With this routine, we’ve doubled down by adding bodyweight circuits before each set of stair sprints. Boom—two workouts in one.
Complete the first four exercises as a circuit then follow each round with the specified number of stair sprints. Rest 60-90 seconds between rounds.
Bulgarian Split Squat
12 per side
12 each direction
After Round 1 perform 10 stair sprints.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Stand with one foot elevated behind you on a step or bench (A). Bend both knees and lower into a lunge (B). Raise back up to standing and immediately repeat. Complete all reps on this side then switch legs.
Stand facing a box or step. Bend your knees and swing your arms as you explode upwards and land with both feet flat on the box. Step or hop back down and repeat. Continue for all reps.
Get into push-up position with your hands on a step or bench in front of you. Keep your core tight and hips in line with your body (A). Bend your arms and lower your torso towards the step (B). Extend your arms to return to the starting position and repeat for all reps.
From standing, take a large step forward with one foot (A), then bend both knees and lower your hips until both legs form 90-degree angles (B). Drive through your front heel and step your back foot forward. Lower into a lunge. Continue walking forward, lunging with each step. Repeat for 12 steps then turn around and go back the other way for 12 reps.
After performing each of the four exercises, perform the prescribed number of stair sprints. Sprinting up the stairs and coming back down equals one rep or sprint.