Sunday, March 30, 2008

Exercise of the Week: STAIRWAY TO HELL

I post the Cook County (Illinois) Forest Preserve logo on this post for one simple reason: Swallow Cliff toboggan run. Local stair-climbing junkies affectionately refer to the 122 steps leading to the top of the old tobbogan shutes as simply "The Stairs." The old crumbling limestone steps that used to claim ankles have been completely redone. They are in phenom shape.
I have been regularly climbing stairs for about 5 years years. I have even made nice with some folks that have granted me access to some indoor staircases, making the winter months a little less icy :) . I love stairclimbing because the simple changes can totally alter the workout. I can hit every stair, every other stair, do bunny hops, go backwards, or adjust speed/intensity/rest. The climbs up and down create their own intervals. I have also incorporated kettlebelling into my stair workouts....bringing me to "Stairway to Hell."
Stairway to Hell can be adjusted for whatever type of staircase you have accessible. For me, a 4-story indoor staircase has been readily available. I leave a one pood KB at the base and do 15 swings before each climb. I cycle through various types of climbs also (singles, doubles, hops, and sandbag carry up). After 48 floors and 180 KB swings, I usually have had enough.
If you're not doing stairs, you're missing out on a killer exercise that can be tailored to any lower body need you have....speed, stamina, strength, stretching/flexibility, plyometrics, cardio, anaerobics. Add a couple of functional movements (like KBs) and make up a full-body workout with the minimum of equipment.
See you in Palos this summer.

No comments: