Step aerobics is a great low impact cardiovascular workout. It offers an intense workout, yet it is very simple to do.
This exercise became popular in the 70’s when Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper wrote “The New Aerobics.” In the 80’s, celebrities like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons promoted this exercise as well.
This ideal exercise became a huge hit for several reasons. It worked, it was easy to do and it was affordable.
Step aerobics became a big hit at health clubs and gyms. Classes were offered and filled up quickly. Besides being a great workout, it was “fun working out to the music” with a group of women.
How Step Aerobics Works
Getting started with step aerobics is easy. Practicing stepping up and down on the aerobic step bench is the best place to start.
The height of the bench should be equal to your regular step-up. You should be able to bend your knees without straining as you are stepping up or down.
Stand no further than a foot away from the platform. When you bring your foot back down, put your toes down first, then lower your heel, and then take the next step.
This keeps your weight distributed and reduces the stress on your foot.
When you start out, it will seem a little slow. But you will pick up the pace as you practice. You will be able to move faster and start including arm movements as well.
What You Need
I highly recommend buying a bench. They’re built specifically for step aerobics and are much safer than using home made contraptions.
You will want comfortable but good fitting fitness apparel, as well as good tennis shoes that are lightweight and give you support.
If you are going to start step aerobics at home, you can purchase a good book or video.
Kari Anderson’s Go – Step Workout for Beginners an excellent DVD for beginners and intermediates. Kari is a good instructor and she has broken this down into a five minute warmup leading into a 15 minute workout. This is then followed by another 15 minute workout ending with a cool down. It’s fun and energetic, and once you learn the cues and basics, you won’t be bored with this workout.
Getting Started With Step Aerobics
As you prepare to start there are a few things you should know.
Warm up for a few minutes before and after your workout. You can do this by moving your arms and legs as you would with the platform, or you can stretch.
Don’t lunge or bounce as you workout. That will increase stress on your joints and your feet. If you feel pain in your joints or feet you should stop. If you’ve had any knee injuries, you should consult with your doctor prior to starting.
Don’t watch your feet! That’s the natural thing to want to do, but that puts stress on your back and neck, so look straight ahead.
You Want to Join a Class?
Watch a class before you sign up… Does it look fairly easy to follow and fun?
What is your impression of the instructor, helpful and aware of what everyone is doing?
And the music may be a must .. it is different for various classes. Make sure you like what they use. Some health clubs offer beginner classes.
You can ask to participate in a class on a free pass to try it out. Each one is different with different workout impacts.
If you have any questions, ask the instructor. Make sure you feel comfortable with the class before signing up.