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5 stair exercises to tone your legs and glutes

Looking to tone your lower body? These exercises use a set of stairs to bring the burn.
Stairs Exercises MAIN
As the weather gets colder, use a stairwell in your apartment building or house to work your lower body.South_agency / Getty Images/iStockphoto
/ Source: TODAY

Whether you’re outside at a park or stuck at home, you can get a great workout by incorporating stairs into your routine. While these exercises can be done on any flat surface, doing them on a set of stairs kicks things up a notch and gives your legs and glutes even more of a workout.

These can be challenging moves, so if you feel they're a bit more intense than what you're used to, try subbing in an alternative exercise. For example, if the sumo squat jumps seem impossible, try doing a regular sumo squat.

This workout is especially great as the weather starts to get colder and we look for creative ways to keep fitness interesting indoors.

1. Warm up: Run up and down stairs

5-exercise stair workout: Run the stairsChrysten Crockett

To begin the workout, run quickly up and down the stairs several times (aim for three to five minutes). The goal here is to get your heart rate up, which will give you a better fat burn as you move throughout the rest of the exercises. Once you start to feel your heart rate elevate, move on to the first leg and glute exercise.

2. Sumo squat jumps

5-exercise stair workout: Sumo squat jumpsChrysten Crockett

Facing the stairs, you’re going to squat down as low as you can (in a sumo squat position), keeping your feet turned out and slightly outside of your hips. This will fire up your hamstrings. Then, jump up to the next step and land in the same position. Challenge yourself by going up as many steps as you can. If you're using just one step, you can continue to hop on and off the same step. Perform 20 repetitions before moving onto the next exercise.

3. Jumping jack squat

5-exercise stair workout: Jumping jack squatChrysten Crockett

Next, you're going to add your arms to the equation. This move may be a little tricky to get down, but once you get the hang of it, it will seem easy. Do this exercise while you're going down the stairs, land in a squat while hopping down, then come up in a jumping jack motion. Take your time and focus on proper form in your squat. Perform 20 repetitions before moving on to the next exercise.

4. Side hop

5-exercise stair workout: 04 - Side HopChrysten Crockett

After you’ve completed the jack squats, you're going to side hop up the steps. With both feet together, use your arms to help you to the next step. Be sure to stabilize yourself before moving to the next step to prevent injury. Perform 20 repetitions on each side before moving onto the next exercise.

5. Sumo squat and close-leg squat

5-exercise stair workout: 05 Sumo squat and close-leg squat comboChrysten Crockett

Finally to finish off the workout, you are going to combine two different squat variations. As you jump from step to step, alternate between the sumo squat you performed in the beginning and a close-leg squat. This combination is really going to engage the glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings to top the workout off with a great burn. Perform 20 repetitions.

For a longer workout, repeat this circuit of exercises back-to-back with short rests in between for three rounds. You'll feel the burn!