The essence of step aerobics
This group lesson was invented by the American Jean Miller, mainly for weight loss. It all began in the distant 80s, when people were already tired of the usual aerobics on the floor, but so far they have not come to love heavy interval classes like functional training. Back then, step aerobics was something that you can often see in old films and videos – leggings, swimwear, bright platforms and disco from speakers.
Since Jin’s time, step has evolved. Almost every instructor leading it brought something of their own to the program. There are no uniform standards here . Steps are used, but many complement them with signature arm movements, dance steps, jumps, or something else. Each instructor makes a unique product. Clients say that you can either adore or hate the step, a lot depends on the coach.
Step is a group lesson using dedicated sustainable platforms:
- do an aerobic warm-up first, step on the floor;
- then – light pre-stretching of the leg and back muscles;
- further the group teaches steps, their links, using platforms;
- dances a bunch of steps at the end several times, does abdominal exercises, stretches.
The lesson was invented on the basis of the basic steps of aerobics – mambo, step-touch, grape vine, kick. Added “steps” – that is, steps on the platform.
The load is adjusted by changing the platform height and the speed of the binding.
The benefits of exercising
Pluses of step:
- This is a simple lesson, choreography is easier to understand than dance aerobic classes.
- Interval step and beginner workouts are suitable even for those who just want to increase their calorie burn, but are not dancing and not going to study.
- An hour in a boring environment burns from 300 to 600 kcal .
- Improves aerobic endurance, blood circulation.
This is an alternative to cardio or aerobics without platforms. Anyone can learn, lessons are available in most fitness clubs and are held almost every evening. A workout without a strength unit can be easily integrated into a weight loss program. For example, you can do strength exercises three times a week, and go to step classes a couple of times. However, do not forget about a calorie deficit, otherwise no amount of exercise will help you burn excess fat.
This lesson is suitable for all skill levels. The higher the endurance, the larger the step amplitude can be. You can put the platform on a higher level and load the heart and leg muscles even more.
You can also train at home. Several classes are available in the public domain. Experienced people love to improvise to music. You can watch a good program for homework in this video:
A big plus for girls who do not want to build muscle mass is that the step tones the legs and buttocks, but does not increase the volume of the muscles.
Types of step aerobics
Beginners simply learn the steps by repeating them after the instructor. There are “Beginners” classes for them. Further lessons are classified:
- Step 1 – a simple bunch of steps, the minimum number of jumps.
- Step 2 – a high-intensity leaping lesson with lots of choreography.
- Dance – exclusively choreography.
- Hybrid and interval lessons . The former include the strength part for a specific muscle group, the latter – the alternation of strength and aerobic intervals.
Step is a convenient equipment for conducting a variety of high-intensity and plyometric lessons. These workouts can be called HIIT or GRIT . They are aimed at developing strength endurance, power and maximum calorie expenditure. The differences between these lessons are as follows:
- Here, step steps take only 1-2 minutes between exercises.
- The basis of the class is jumping from squats, burpees, push-ups with legs on the step, jumping into scissors.
- All this is complemented by work for the press.
There is also the usual Step Interval . It is designed for clients of all skill levels. Here, the cycles of steps on the platform take 1-2 minutes in the block of exercises, then – the usual squats, rows and presses of dumbbells, push-ups, twisting on the press. Power movements are performed for 1 minute each, in non-stop mode. The block consists of 1-2 strength exercises and 1-2 minutes of walking on the step.
Important: the same lesson can be called, for example, Dance Step and Combo. Naming depends on the coach. There is no standard lesson content either. Each instructor plans the training according to his own experience.
Basic step aerobics
Simple steps are fine for beginners. The training complex of step aerobics can be built according to the principle:
- 5 minutes warm-up – side steps with arm swings, knee raises alternately, steps back and forth, light stretching of the leg muscles.
- Practice each basic step for 5-7 minutes.
- “Test”, that is, a relatively independent work of the group. The instructor names the step, but does not show it.
- Students at home can simply perform each step for 2-3 minutes and alternate them in any order.
Steps with one leg
The main ones are:
- Basic step. This is a normal step onto the platform, performed with one foot. The second is attached. You need to go to the floor with the leg that started the exercise. Then there is a repeat with another.
- V-step. This is a step with your foot into the same corner of the platform, and then – stepping from the second to another corner of the step. Reverse movement – from the leg that started the exercise.
- Straddle. The starting position is standing on the step, from which alternate steps are taken to the floor. When the platform is between the legs, the lead leg returns to its original position, and then the second one.
Alternate steps with changing legs
- Knee, or no up (knee up). Alternating step angle step, should be performed with knee bending and lifting it up in any possible amplitude.
- Step-tap. This is a touch of the platform, it is performed with the toe of the unsupported foot, alternately. Movement serves to rest and lower your heart rate.
Contraindications for exercising
Training is not recommended for:
- varicose veins;
- hypermobility of the joints of the lower extremities;
- sports injuries and inflammations of the joints outside the rehabilitation period;
- dizziness, severe hypotension;
- high blood pressure during an exacerbation;
- any diseases of the heart and blood vessels, when it is recommended to exclude aerobic exercise.
Can pregnant women exercise? If a girl is experienced and knows the steps, is well oriented and feels well, she can practice. A low-impact class with no jumps will do quite well for this purpose. Exercising during pregnancy improves circulation and aids gestation. But if aerobic exercise is prohibited due to severe edema, pressure drops or uterine tone, it is better to postpone them.
Step is not recommended for people with significant obesity, which interferes with proper coordination of movements.
During the steps, a decent load falls on the joints of the lower extremities. The greater the body weight, the greater the risk of cumulative injury. The ideal client for such a lesson is a person who is no more than 12 kg overweight.
Any fitness apparel, aerobics trainer, or jogging shoe will do without a substantial gel pad.
Clothes should be:
- Breathable, but not too loose, so that T-shirts do not rise to the neck, and pants do not flutter. Long, wide-leg pants can cause falls. It is easy to step on them on the steppe, slip and fall.
- Suitable. It is better to choose a sportswear with good support, rather than a regular bra with foam and bones that dig into the body. Likewise – cheap jeggings and shorts from old jeans. The former will not wick away sweat, while the latter literally dig into the skin as you move.
- You should not wear sneakers on a step with a flat rigid sole. They do not protect the feet and are rather fragile on their feet. For those serious about aerobics and attending more than two classes a week, high-top ankle boots are recommended.
Are separate ankle and knee braces needed? For the usual wellness workout of a person without injuries, no. If the orthopedist recommended a bandage, do not remove it.