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The most underrated workout

Five reasons why you should add stairs into your training

Find it hard to fit in a lunchtime workout? Stuck in the office all day with no access to a gym?

It’s time to hit the stairs.

Even if you who have the luxury of going for a lunch swim, bike ride or run, consider mixing up your training stimulus with stairs.

Here are the top five reasons for why you should incorporate stairs into your training.

  1. You can do it anywhere: Live in a condo? Work in a highrise? Have a park nearby with a hill? Stairs are readily available all over. You can do this workout inside your condo, workplace or go outside.
  2. Time efficient: Go run up a set of stairs. Feel the burn? Do you feel your heart pounding? It doesn’t take long for the physiological response to kick in once you start running up the stairs. You don’t have to spend your entire lunch break doing a workout. Instead, you can plan a solid 30-minute stair session, wash up, eat and be back at the office in no time.
  3. Muscle Activation: A benefit of running stairs is muscle activation. For triathletes, a common muscular weakness is glute activation. Hills help, but stairs are better. The vertical nature of stairs demands you use your larger muscles (glutes) to propel you upwards.
  4. Cardiovascular System: Because running up the stairs taxes the ventilatory and cardiovascular system, you are going to get the same benefits in stair workout as you would in a hard interval session.
  5. Strength Training: Unlike a hard interval session, stairs also target the lower limb muscles. Do the stairs a few times and you will feel the lactic acid seeping into your legs

A stairs workout by no means should outright replace a speed session on the track or hill workout. The stairs, however, provide a new stimulus that your body has to adapt to. Also, if you are taking part in a more extreme triathlon with trail running or varying terrain, running stairs will help you prepare.