Want to work your legs and butt but don't have any weights? Find a step, box, bench, or sturdy chair and learn how to do a step-up. This exercise combines the action of the lunge with stepping upward, like climbing stairs, to really target your butt, quads, and upper hamstrings. We've broken down this step-up exercise into three variations so you can find the version that works best for your level of fitness.
If you want to make this move harder, hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell in each hand, and do dumbbell step-ups. You can also do variations where you do multiple reps on one leg at a time to really target your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Aside from a lower-body-burn, this is also a great cardio exercise!
A step-up is a basic exercise you can do at the gym, at home, or even outside to strengthen your legs and butt. As long as you have access to a sturdy step, box, bench, or chair, you can do this lower-body, strength-training exercise. Aside from targeting your leg and butt muscles, this is perfect for getting your heart rate up, too, so you can do it as part of your warmup. If you're new to this exercise, step on something low, then work your way to something higher. This exercise requires balance, so focus on keeping your core strong for stability.
Before you start, find a step, chair, box, or bench that when you place your foot on it, your knee bends to a 90-degree angle. The weight benches or plyo boxes are often the right height, but a dining room chair can work too for an at-home strength-training session. If this seems too high, start with a lower step or box.
This is a toe-tap variation that will challenge your balance and work your glutes even more. This version works best with a shorter weight bench or a coffee table rather than a chair - prepare to feel the burn!
You'll need a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells for this variation. Start with something lightweight (three to eight pounds), then increase to heavier weights (10 to 20 pounds).