Step aerobics is a low-impact cardio training, based on simple choreographic movements on a special hill (step-platform). Step aerobics is a very popular class in group sessions thanks to an effective and at the same time sparing for the joints load. Aerobics on the steps is suitable for beginners and advanced, you can do both in the hall and at home.
History of creation and use
If you want to get a healthy and beautiful body, then be sure to do cardio training regularly. It’s a great way to get a good figure, train a heart muscle, and develop endurance. Many different types of aerobic workouts will help you keep your heart rate and burn calories for an hour, but step aerobics has become one of the most popular cardio destinations.
Step aerobics was created in the 80s of the last century by trainer Gene Miller during the growing popularity of aerobics and fitness. During recovery from a knee injury, Jean, on the advice of an orthopedic doctor, developed joints, stepping on a small box. Successful rehabilitation pushed her to the idea of creating a workout using walking to the hill. So there was a new sports direction – step aerobics, which very quickly became popular all over the world.
Studies have shown that aerobics classes can help in the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis. It is also a great way to train a cardiovascular system and burn up to 500 kcal per 1 hour of exercise. Step aerobics complex effects on the body, while especially qualitatively correcting the shape of the legs, buttocks, and abdomen. Exercises on the step-platform help to eliminate especially complex problem areas, which are located on the outer, back, and inner surfaces of the thighs.
What is the essence of step aerobics?
So, step-aerobics usually consists of a set of basic steps, connected in combination strings. The difficulty level of steps and ligaments depends on the particular lesson. Training is accompanied by rhythmic music and is held at a fast pace. For classes, special plastic platforms with a non-slip surface are used. Step-platforms have adjustable height, due to this you can increase or decrease the difficulty of training.
Usually, step-aerobics classes start with a warm-up and perform basic steps. Gradually, the basic steps are complicated and combined into bundles. If you have chosen a lesson for beginners, then the combinations will be simple – no more than 2-3 steps in a bunch. Classes for intermediate and advanced levels include not only more saturated ligaments but also a higher pace and sophisticated versions of the exercises. Therefore, at first, it may be difficult for you to repeat the movements synchronously with the coach.
Training on step-aerobics usually lasts 45-60 minutes. The lesson goes on continuously and on increasing difficulty, as a rest and recovery, you will periodically return to the step in place. If you have not had any physical activity for a long time, it is better to start with an ordinary walk without steppe to avoid poor health or even heart problems. Some coaches sometimes include at the end of the exercise exercises for the hands and abdomen for load balancing, since step aerobics loads the muscles of the legs and buttocks.
The peak of the world popularity of step aerobics was experienced in the late 90s. New directions in group fitness (HIIT, plyometrics, Crossfit, TRX ) a little pressed the classes of step aerobics. However, even now classes with steps are still in demand among many fans of cardio training. Walking on the platform is a more sparing load than percussive jump programs, so in terms of safety, they will give odds to many other types of aerobic pursuits.
See also: How to exercise to increase your hips
Types of step aerobics
If the group session is called “step aerobics”, then this assumes a classic lesson for the average level of preparation. It is assumed that you can simplify and complicate the occupation by changing the level of the platform. However, it is always better to go to a trial lesson to understand what the program is, as it often depends directly on the vision of the coach.
If we talk about the types of step aerobics, we can distinguish the following:
- Basic Step. Training for beginners, where basic steps and simple combinations are studied.
- Advanced Step. Training for advanced engaged, who already had experience with the step. Typically, it involves complex ligaments and jumping exercises.
- Dance Step. An activity for those who like dance choreography. In this program, steps are added to the dance cords, which will help you not only lose weight but also develop plasticity and harmony.
- Step-combo. Step aerobics, in which you will find many complex combinations of movements, so they are suitable for coordinated people. But the intensity of this lesson is higher.
- Step Interval. Training takes place at an interval pace, waiting for you explosive intervals and quiet intervals for recovery. Ideal for fast weight loss.
- Double Step. Training, which uses two step-platforms to increase efficiency from the lesson
- Power Step. Training, which also uses strength exercises for muscle tone.
Advantages and disadvantages of step aerobics
Step aerobics has many advantages that have made it one of the most popular classes in group classes. But also exercises on the step have some minuses and contraindications, so not everyone approaches.
Benefits of step aerobics
1. Step aerobics – one of the most effective types of cardio-load for weight loss and getting rid of excess fat. For 1 hour classes, you can burn 300-500 calories.
2. Step aerobics classes are much safer for joints than, for example, running, plyometrics, jumping rope. With comparable results and energy costs, you will get a relatively low impact on the joints of the legs.
3. This is an excellent training of the lower body, which is the most problematic in the fair sex. You will tone up the muscles of the thighs and buttocks, tightening and improving their shape. And steps on the step help to dry your feet and reduce them in amounts.
4. Step aerobics classes are suitable for the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis, which is especially important for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
5. During aerobic exercise, you make your heart and lungs work more efficiently and make them healthier. Such training several times reduces the likelihood of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
6. Regular aerobics classes will help you maintain a healthy weight, avoiding problems associated with overweight: diabetes, stroke, metabolic disorders, joint pain, heart problems.
7. Step aerobics will help you develop endurance, which is useful not only during training but also in ordinary life. For example, when climbing the stairs to the high floor, with long walks, climbs uphill. Also, aerobics on the step develops coordination, dexterity, and a sense of balance.
8. You can independently adjust the complexity of training by changing the height of the step-platform. The higher the level of the platform, the stronger the load you will get.
9. Step aerobics consists of exercises for weight transfer, which are ideal for increasing bone density and preserving bone tissue. This will not only make you more mobile but also help prevent bone disease in adulthood.
10. You can practice step aerobics not only in special classes but also at home. There are also free video tutorials for beginners, thanks to which you can learn the basics of aerobics on the steppe.
Disadvantages of step aerobics
- 1. Step-aerobics uses combinations of steps and ligaments, which may take time to study. In the first lessons, the practitioners are often confused in steps and do not keep up with the coach, which discourages practicing step aerobics.
- 2. Classes on the step are less impactful for the joints than jogging and jumping, but if you are concerned about knee joints, this type of fitness can aggravate this problem. In this case, it is better to pay attention to the Pilates classes.
- 3. Step aerobics is very diverse and almost does not have a single template. Each instructor introduces its own characteristics in the teaching of lessons, so not all classes are equally effective and of high quality.
- 4. Exercises on the step include the muscles of the legs and buttocks, while the muscles of the upper body will not receive enough load. In addition, step-aerobics must be supplemented with strength training for the complex improvement of your body.
- 5. Step aerobics gives a load on the Achilles tendon, which is located just above the heel of the foot. If the correct technique is not observed, the steps on the platform can cause injury or rupture of the Achilles.
Contraindications for step aerobics:
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- Diseases of leg joints;
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
- High blood pressure;
- Big excess weight;
- Pregnancy and the puerperium (3 months);
- A long break in fitness loads (it is better to start with an ordinary walk of 5-7 km per day).
If you have other diseases that can interfere with physical activity, it is better to consult an additional doctor.
The effectiveness of step aerobics for weight loss
Is step aerobics effective for losing weight? Before answering this question, let’s recall the basic principle of getting rid of excess weight. Your body begins to lose weight when you consume fewer calories than the body can consume. Regardless of training, if you eat less than your daily calorie intake ( create a calorie deficit ), then your body for energy begins to consume fat from its reserve stocks.
Cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories, so step-aerobics is effective for losing weight. In one hour lesson, you can burn one full meal, which means it’s faster to get you closer to the desired goal. Also, step aerobics tones muscles affect subcutaneous fat by increasing blood circulation, gives energy, and relieves stress (which helps avoid overeating).
Of course, more energy-consuming workouts will help you spend more calories per hour than you do step-aerobics. But we must understand that they are likely to be more percussive and more traumatic than training with steppe. Also, step aerobics precisely reduces the volume and dries the lower part of the body, rather than makes it heavier.