Raised platform workouts - GulfToday

Raised platform workouts

Elaine Superio

Elaine Superio

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

Illustrative image.

Illustrative image.

Step box gained popularity in the fitness industry in the 80s. Jane Fonda used to love this workout! Due to its versatility, fitness enthusiasts love incorporating this tool in cardio or strength training. It’s a great way to burn more calories and achieve your fitness goals.        

Here are few of the exercise options you apply. All you need is your imagination and to be playful with your workout without compromising safety.

Alternate Leg Push-off:
Butt, hips, calves, thighs and shins.

Step 1: Stand facing a raised platform place your right foot on the top of the step or box, hinge from the hips to lean forward, keep your arms by your side with your right arm straight and your left arm bent.

Step 2: Go into the upward phase by jumping straight up into the air and explosively pushing your right foot on to the top of the box to create triple extension (ankle plantarflexion, knee and hip extension) while simultaneously pushing off with your left foot and swinging your right arm up and in front of your body to help generate upward momentum. As you jump into the air lift your left leg in order to keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor.

Step 3: The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity which places additional stresses upon your knees. Attempt to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot. Always push your hips backwards and drop them downwards to absorb the impacting forces associated with jumping. Avoid locking out your knees or quads on your landing as this may lead to potential knee injuries. Keep your abdominal/core muscles engaged, stiffening your torso to protect your spine.

Step stretch:
Legs, calves and shins.

Step 1: Place the step against a wall. With your right foot on the step and left foot on the back of the step so only the ball of the foot is in contact with the step. The heel is off the step. “Brace” your abdominal muscles to stabilise your spine. Gently place your fingertips on the wall for balance to maintain this position.

Step 2: Slowly lower the back heel toward the ground. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds for 2-4 repetitions on each side.

Lateral over unders:
Abs, butt, hips and thighs.

Step 1: With the box height not exceeding the top of your calf muscle, place a body bar/broomstick across the top, leaving enough room between the stacks for you to step over it laterally. Make a total of 2-4 stations, lining them up with enough room for you to do a side lunge between them. Stand directly next to the broomstick, so it is perpendicular to your right leg. 

Step 2: Shift your bodyweight into your left leg and lift your right foot off the ground and bend at the hips, pushing them backwards. Maintain abdominal “bracing” and alignment. Bring your right leg over the broomstick to hip flexion with your knee at a 90-degree angle in alignment with your hips. Maintain your toes pulled up towards your shin. Place the right foot down on the opposite side of the broomstick and shift your weight into your right hip to prepare to bring your left foot over the obstacle to place it next to the right. Do the same on the other leg.

Step 3: Continue the exercise stepping your right foot to the side, while keeping your weight over your heels and both feet facing forward step your right leg to the side. Once your right foot is firmly placed on the floor, bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight towards the right foot. Continue shifting your weight over the right foot until your tibia (shinbone) is vertical to the floor and your right knee is aligned directly over the second toe of your right foot. The goal is to sit deep into the lunge brining the glutes level with the right knee. Your left leg should be at full extension at the knee and your body weight should still be distributed into the right hip. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor. Push through your right heel and lift the left leg off the floor bringing it in to starting position.

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