A step-up is a fantastic exercise for your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which are the front of the thigh, the back of the thigh and the glute muscles. It’s an excellent exercise because it causes your one side to work with your entire body weight and engages your stabilizers and core. Another benefit of working the lower body, especially one side of the time with all of your body weight, is you will be engaging more muscle fibres.

Your legs include a significant number of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres, so by doing a step-up you’ll be engaging a pretty high percentage of your fast twitch, otherwise known as white fibres.

The significance of engaging these fibres is when you do so, it will stimulate your metabolism. So whether your goal is to raise your metabolism to wake up your brain, or burn several calories in a short period of time, you can always trust the step-up to help you get there.

Bonus benefits from doing step-ups include enhanced stability, motor control, overall muscle and joint strength, and bone density – primarily in the hip and femur/thigh. 


  1. Stand facing a step, chair, or another sturdy elevated surface. Place your right foot onto the chair.
  2. Shift your weight into your right foot to step up onto the chair. Then, bring your left foot up to the same place so you are standing with both feet on the chair.
  3. Step down with the right foot, then the left, and return to the starting position with both feet on the floor.
  4. Repeat!

Things to Remember


  • You have poor balance and cannot be closely supervised
  • Or simply are unsure if you should

Give it a try, and let us know how it works for you.  And remember we are here for you if you ever have any questions.


For more tips, or to have a conversation about how we can help you achieve your goals through a customized workout program with a Nielsen Fitness Personal Trainer, contact us. 

Our team of experienced personal trainers enjoys training clients of all fitness levels, and we offer in-home personal training, as well as virtual and studio training. We’d love to help you reach your goals!

Updated on December 28, 2022.