Step training is a great regimen for burning fat and improving the condition of the heart and lungs. The exercises can be formed either as step aerobics platform or a bench, stepping on both of which require continuous movement supplied with lots of oxygen.
Sturdy and adjustable plastics benches are needed for both step-aerobics and bench stepping. These can be found in either fitness stores or in large retail department stores.
Be certain the benches have no sharp edges and do not move.
Beginners or very unfit individuals should use a bench level of no more than four to six inches. No matter what your fitness level, the bench should be adjusted to a comfortable, non-strenuous height. You should never use narrow, hard wood, or metal benches for step training, as these are slippery, unsteady, and unsafe.
Step aerobics is done to music and involves a pattern of stepping on and off the bench in order to improve agility, coordination, and endurance. This routine can also challenge the feet and arms as well with movements which are more callisthenic in nature. Step aerobics routines are usually performed by a certified instructor at a health club or with the use of a video.
Bench stepping is simply stepping on and off the raised platform, but do make sure it has rounded edges. It must be sturdy, wider than the length of your foot and able to hold your weight. It is performed by stepping up and down from the same side of the bench in a rhythmic pattern. The stepper has four sides which allow basic routines, similar to dance, to be performed to the music. Some people fall in love with step aerobics from the beginning while others literally fall off the stepper! Coordination skills are suggested but not necessary.
Just like any new activity, patience and time is required to learn the fitness routine.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a work out of 20 minutes at three times a week at 60% maximum heart rate. For greater benefits, it may be performed more often. Whichever method you choose, step training or bench stepping, be sure to begin it slowly and increase it gradually to your own tolerance level. Do not overdo it or you will hinder rather than help yourself.