Step-ups - Free Weight

Other types of Step-ups: Bodyweight

  • Face a bench with your feet together, abs engaged and spine in neutral alignment. Hold dumbbells in your hands if desired.

  • Step onto the bench with your left foot, toes straight forward and your knee directly over your ankle joint. Lean forward slightly as you press your left leg straight and step onto the bench with your right foot. Step down in control bringing both feet together.

  • Use a sturdy bench that will not tip over when you stand on it. Try a few step-ups without weight just to get the feel for the height of the step.

  • Thighs 

  • Hips  Lower Legs 

  • Rectus femoris, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Vastus intermedius, Gluteus maximus, Adductor magnus, Soleus, Gastrocnemius

  • TIP: For assistance with balance, hold your arms out to your sides about shoulder height.

Variations for Step-ups

  • Stationary Lunges

    You can also use a step to elevate your front foot, or a Bosu ball to challenge your balance.

  • Lunges

    Using weights with lunges fatigues your legs faster in order to keep lunges challenging when doing them without weight becomes too easy.

  • Lateral Lunges Off Step

    Using a step or platform adds a whole new dimension to lunges since it makes your legs work through a larger range of motion.

  • Lateral Lunges

    These are the same idea as lunges, but work laterally to strengthen the outer thighs and hip rotators. Using weight helps to reach fatigue faster.


Start by selecting a body part to see the available exercises.

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