Maybe Rocky could achieve his goal of climbing stairs without extra weight, but you can’t. Select a 3- or 5-pound dumbbell for each hand. This may seem light at first, but after starting the exercise, you won’t be able to wait to put them down! Strive for slightly heavier weights within a couple of weeks of starting the exercise. Don’t think you can substitute the aerobic-specific steppers and stair-climb machines for an old-fashioned set of steps; you can’t.
1. Always warm up your knees thoroughly before stair climbing. A few minutes of stretching and some station-ary cycling are well worth the investment in protecting and warming up the delicate knee joint. Make sure your shoes have a good gripping sole.
2. Locate a stair set that has at least three flights (minimum of 10 steps/flight). Ordinarily, it’s okay to start with three flights, but you can progress to five flights or more. A set of stadium steps would be great if you have access to this.
3. Bring two 3- or 5-pound dumbbells to the bottom of the stairs. After three sets of three flights of stairs, your thighs will feel like they belong on a rubberized chick-en. If they don’t, select heavier dumbbells next time.
4. Grab the dumbbells firmly, but let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders. Take your first step upward with one leg and take the next step with your other leg. For the subsequent steps, start to explode upward. Explode upward as fast you can for the remainder of the three flights.
5. Don’t rest at the top; turn around and come down the steps with a controlled, medium pace. Don’t hurry; make sure this is a controlled descent. This should not be a controlled free-fall.
6. Once you hit the bottom step, rest for about two minutes, then start your climb upward, again exploding as fast as you can with each step.