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The Stairway Full-Body Workout for Strength and Endurance

By Henk Bakker

If you are open to trying a challenging, unconventional training approach for a full body workout, then the stairway workout might be for you!

You don’t always need a gym to train your entire body as bodyweight exercises on a high enough stairway with plenty of steps is all you need. You can modify this workout depending on the number of steps you have available, but these are bodyweight exercises that focus on strength and endurance for a full body workout.

  • The stairway push ups
  • The stairway lunges
  • Different stairway triceps exercises
  • Side step ups (Alternate sides)
  • The stairway backwards Bear-crawling exercise
  • The stairway jump squats
  • The stairway frontwards Bear-crawling exercise
  • Stairway Dipping
  • The stairway walk downstairs
The stairway push ups

With the stairway push ups, you use mainly the muscles from your upper body, especially the chest and triceps muscles. Put your hands on the first step in a push up position. For each step do 2 reps. Do at least 16 steps, 2 reps x 16 steps = a total of 32 reps. Then you take 1 minute rest and go on to the next exercise.

Backwards upstairs

This is also a full body workout exercise. I wear gloves to protect my hands against the steps. With this exercise, stand with your back to the stairs. Sink into your squat position, place your palms on the first step, then start moving. your arms and legs in the same way as walking up stairs, but backwards, resting on your arms and legs.

With this exercise you feel your arms and shoulders, especially your triceps, also your legs and abdominal muscles are put to the test.

The stairway lunges

With this exercise, you use mainly your glutes and leg muscles. Stand up straight with your face towards the stairs and lift your right leg and put it on the second step. Then stand up straight and put your other leg beside. Now you start with your left leg and do the same, climb 2 steps each stair-lunge. Then you take 1 minute rest and go on to the next exercise.

Different stairway Triceps exercise

Stand with your back to the first step and bend your knees. Place your palms on the first stair step, stretch your legs forward and bend your arms. Make sure your bottom does not touch the ground. Each step 3 reps – do at least 16 steps, in this case it’s 3 reps x 16 steps = a total of 48 reps. Then you take 1 minute rest and go on to the next exercise.

Side Step Ups (Alternate sides)

Stand up straight with the right side of your body towards the stairs. Then do a step sideways with your right leg on the second step, do16 steps each side. Then turn around and start with your left leg and do the same, climbing 2 steps each side step. Then take a 2 minute rest and go on to the next exercise.

The stairway backwards Bear crawling exercise

The bear crawl engages many muscle groups including the shoulders, core and quads. To do the bear crawl, place your hands and feet on the floor and stand with your back to the stairs with your hands directly under your shoulders, then rise up onto your feet. Now you’re in the bear position! Now you can move backwards and you will use every great muscle group in your entire body.

There are different ways to make the bear crawl more challenging: Add push-ups every few step – that’s a great way to develop muscular strength and to increase  muscle mass. Then you take a 2 minute rest and go on to the next exercise.

The stairway jump squats

With this exercise, you mainly use your glutes,calves and your leg muscles. This type of unconventional training  increases your endurace and your jump strength. Stand in front of the first step and jump up to the first step with both feet together, climb 2 steps with each jump. Then take 2 minute rest.

The stairway frontwards Bear-crawling exercise

Forward crawling on the stairs is a tough exercise- it is a full body workout, expecially for your abs, arm and leg muscles. Stand with your face to the stairs and get onto your knees – then place your hands on the first step and kick your legs back, you keep your body as tight as a plank. Then slowly crawl up the stairs. First put your right arm to the second step and simultaneously you bend your right leg (you are now in the crawling position) you push yourself up with your right leg and at the same time you pull yourself up with your right arm. Then move your left leg and at the same time as your left arm till you’re back into the crawling position. Then you crawl to the top floor and take a 2 minute rest and go on to the next exercise..

Stairway Dipping

The dip is an exercise used in strength training and can be performed in many different places. To perform a dip, you usually hang from a dip bar or from a set of rings, but in this case I hang between the stairwell.

When you’re starting this exercise, place your hands on the banister with your arms straight down and shoulders over your hands. Then lower your body until your arms are bent to a 90 degree angle at the elbows, and  lift your body up, returning to the starting position.

Narrow, shoulder-width dips primarily train the triceps. Wide arm training places additional emphasis on the pectoral muscles, similar in respect to the way a wide grip bench press would focus more on the pectorals and less on the triceps.

The stairway downstairs walk

With this exercise you stand at the top of the stairs. This exercise is mainly about endurance and to burn body fat. Also your leg muscles have to work hard to bring you downstairs. In this exercise you go downstairs at a steady pace, carefully, until you reach the ground floor. This completes your unconventional training workout in a stairway!

Henk Bakker

Henk Bakker – Alias Henkules – Henk works at the Department of Justice in a Special Response Team to ensure safety against dangerous detainees. Henk had different forms of training such as combat, endurance and strength training. Henk’s job now is activity leader and fitness instructor at the detention center. He has over twenty-five yea’s experience in strength training. He is also a fitness trainer and a bootcamp instructor. Henk’s mission is to motivate and inspire people who want to train in an unconventional way. Most of the unconventional training tools are made by himself.