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Running stairs is something I do often in my own fitness and as a personal trainer with my clients. This stair circuit is the first of many outdoor workouts that I’ll be putting out on my blog. If you’re looking for some fun fitness ideas that you can do outside, enjoy and stay tuned for more. I’ll be adding in a map to where each workout was done so if you live in Portland Oregon you can really follow along! If not, don’t worry. You should be able to replicate these workouts wherever you are.

In this workout, all you need is a long set of stairs. If the stair set isn’t quite long enough you can always run it twice in each round. Or three times! This set of stairs is 95 steps long! The average person doesn’t need this many steps. Just work with what you have. The most important thing is that you push yourself!

Round 1- Stair Run/Jump Squats– Run the stairs at a pace that you feel comfortable with. If you can, really push yourself. If you can get your pace to more of a sprint do it! High-intensity interval training is where it’s at for building optimal endurance and explosive strength. Now moving on to the jump squats. With these, the one thing you really want to watch is where your knees are relative to your toes. It’s easy in this one to lean forward and have your knees drift past your toes placing all the pressure toward the front of the foot. Doing this puts all the pressure on your knees and in the long run takes its toll. Try to keep your knees centered over your heel or slightly forward but not too far. That shifts the weight away from your knees/quads and puts it in your hips/glutes.

Round 2- Stair Run/Curtsy Lunges– Curtsy lunges are done one leg at a time. Keeping one foot planted, with the opposing foot lunging back and slightly behind the planted leg. With the same arm as which leg is lunging back, reach across the body toward the planted foot. Keep your back straight and head up through the whole motion. Try and push from you heal as much as possible and not from your toes. Do not let the knee of the planted foot drift over your toes.

Round 3- Stair Run/Walking Lunges– We’re shooting for 32 lunges altogether. Step far enough out to be able to keep your knee centered over that legs heal. If your step is too small that knee will be forced to shift over that legs foot, placing all the pressure on the toe/knee. Focus on pushing from your front heel and glute. Some people prefer finding an object to stare at on the horizon and some like looking straight down at the ground. Find out what works best for you.

Round 4- Stair Run/Piston Squats– This is going to be the most difficult of the 4 leg exercises I’m including in this video. If you are unable to do them, feel free to swap it out with another exercise. You don’t need to have a platform to do them on but it can help. Also, we were lucky to have a handrail which added some assistance as well. If you have neither you can do them but they are going to be more difficult. You may have to sacrifice a little depth in the squat. In this exercise, we’re keeping our back straight, hips level and the weight on your planted heal. Getting down as far as you can while still keeping that weight in your heel and pushing from that legs glute. Start off with shallower squats and progress to where you feel comfortable. It’s easy to go to low right off the bat and not be able to get back up.


Thank you to the beautiful Audrey M. for demonstrating this awesome leg exercise!!



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To learn more about me my personal training business you can visit my website at fitinmotionpersonaltraining.com.  If you want to hear what other people have to say you can check out my latest reviews on my Google+ page or on my Yelp page.

stair circuit

Evan Zener

Fit-InMotion Personal Training 

Northeast Portland OR, 97212

(971) 285-0847 – [email protected]