Stair Exercises For Weight Loss: The Total-Body Fat-Burning Workout

Stair exercises for weight loss include step up, stair lunge, and side-step. Adding them to stair climbing workout can help reach weight loss goals.

Stair exercises

Are you looking for the best stair exercises for weight loss? Climbing stairs can provide lots of benefits so it’s critical to add the best exercises to your stair climbing workout to maximize benefits. Fun Fact: The Burj Khalifa has 2909+ stairs to the top floor. Even if you don’t climb the world’s tallest building you can still experience many health benefits by climbing stairs at your work, school, or home. Stair climbing can benefit your muscles, bones, heart, and brain. It provides many of the same benefits but you get a better workout since gravity is working against you with every step up. This is why it’s a good idea to take the steps two at a time to increase weight resistance.

Besides knowing stair-climbing benefits it’s also critical to know the best exercises. There are many to pick from including step-up, side-step, and stair lunge. It’s best to add different exercises to your workout so you work for more muscle groups and get a full-body workout. One issue to consider is that there’s no “spot reduction of fat.” In other words, when your body burns fat you lose some of the total fat.

Starting a StairMaster Workout Program

If you want to pick cardio exercises you have many options including:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

Another good option is the stair-climbing. You can either go with standard stairs or stair-climbing equipment like a Stairmaster. This exercise equipment was developed in the 1980s but the tech has improved significantly during the past several decades.

StairMaster is a stationary fitness machine that works like a treadmill by rotating steps. This lets you climb up at a speed/duration the user sets. It provides an outstanding lower-body/cardio workout. Today’s units also include features like a calorie-burning calculator and heart rate monitor.

When developing a stair workout. If you want to develop the most effective exercise program then it’s important to take certain steps to maximize benefits like heart health and muscle gains.

Stair exercises should generally focus on lower-body workouts. You can add some exercises like stair push-ups that work the arms, chest, and shoulders. However, you should generally focus on the lower body including calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Interestingly you’ll want to take certain steps to engage more leg muscles. First, keep your back straight and abs tight to give your lower body a better workout by increasing weight resistance.

It’s also critical to scale steps correctly to work thighs more than glutes/butt. This involves not over-using quads when you take stairs. Make sure the heel lands on the step instead of hanging over the ledge. This will shift weight to the hamstrings.

There are other ways you can achieve the same goal. Push off with the ball of the foot to put more weight on the quads. If you want another way to give the calves/quads a better workout, then take the stairs two at a time. This will also increase resistance and give your heart/lungs a better workout.   

Stair-climbing machines are a good option for year-round stair-climbing. The key is to determine your fitness goals then develop a stair-climbing program.

Top Stair Exercises for Weight Loss

Side Step

  • Stand with feet parallel to stairs. The right side of the body should be nearest stairs
  • Use ab muscles to bend knees/hips a little
  • Step right foot onto step then the left
  • Return to the floor, then continue this motion.
  • Lead with high foot and don’t let feet cross
  • Alternate left and right leg leading

 Crab Walks

 You can do this on a set of stairs or using Stairmaster:

 Sit at top of the stairs and put feet 2 stairs under your body

  • Put arms behind you and put hands on the top step
  • Lift hips off ground and tighten glutes
  • Press hands into step to keep shoulders from going upwards
  • Start crawling down steps by moving opposite arm/leg forward\
  • Alternate crab walk down X stairs
  • Start at bottom of the stairs and crawl up to make the exercise tougher.

Stair Up

 Here are the steps: 

  • Stand straight with feet shoulder-apart in front of a step
  • Tighten up core muscles and put left foot on the step while keeping the spine straight
  • Put body weight on the left foot
  • Breathe outwards and press on the left heel while moving body onto step
  • Put the right foot on step on step and breathe in. Next, lower left foot onto the floor
  • Return right foot to the floor to go back to a standing position
  • The complete number of reps then repeat on another side

 Stair Hops 

  • Stand straight with both feet shoulder-length apart on the floor
  • Tighten ab muscles and jump up to the top of step using both feet and swinging arms
  • When you land bend knees to control landing and land softly
  • Keep knees lined up with feet and don’t let knees move inward when you land
  • Step back down to the floor and repeat rep

Top Benefits of Stair Climbing

Muscles and Bones

You can strengthen them by doing stair-climbing workouts. This includes muscle gains and bone strength. This is especially critical if you sit all day at a desk or behind a steering wheel. This increases the condition of osteoporosis and especially among women. Pretend the elevator is always broken at your home, workplace, or school like on “The Big Bang Theory.”  

Stair-climbing is especially good for your lower body including your calves, quads, and glutes. However, by keeping your abs tight and back straight you can give your lower body a better workout.


In some ways, stair-climbing is like walking on flat ground. However, the big difference is you have to pull your body upwards while gravity pushes it downwards. You can make workouts tougher through steps like taking stairs two at a time.

Easy Workouts

Stair-climbing can be as easy as walking up/down a flight of stairs. This is something people should arguably be doing anyway. Other options include inclines, hills, and mountains. However, stairs are the most practical in modern life. You can also use a Stairmaster for a year-round option when there’s cold/rainy weather.

Longer Life

A recent Harvard study showed that climbing 8+ flights of stairs daily decreases the death rate by one-third. Walking 1 to 3 miles/day only lowered the rate by about 20%. This seems to be due to the better overall workout you get.

Heart Health

Stair-climbing can boost heart rate, which can provide several benefits like preventing clogged arteries and reducing high blood pressure. This can in turn help to prevent many serious conditions like heart disease and some kinds of cancer. Heart disease is the top cause of death throughout the world so it’s important to consider options like stair exercises for weight loss. 

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