Heavy step-ups: An underutilized tool to help with strength and health!
Two things that every CrossFitter desires are to have bigger Olympic lifts and to stay injury free. A great tool that can be used to achieve both of those goals is the heavy (weighted) step-up.
How to perform the heavy step-up: Start with a load. Either a barbell, 2 dumbbells, 2 kettlebells or a sandbag etc. Then grab a box. To perform the step-up, place your lead foot fully on top of the box, squeeze your core extra hard, and drive up through your entire foot until your up leg is full extended. Make sure to fully extend your up leg before letting the back foot touch the box.
Progression: Start with dumbbells in the farmer’s carry position on a lower box. Once this has been perfected, work up to heavier weights and tougher positions such as the kettlebell front rack step up or barbell overhead step up. At first start low and then work your way up to something that puts your up leg “below parallel.”
Sets and Reps: Step-ups can be performed for lots of reps with lighter weights like dumbbells or sandbags such as 4 x 50. Also, step-ups can be performed in smaller sets at much heavier weights such as 3 x 4 each leg at weights pushing 50-60% of your 1 rep max front squat for a barbell front rack step-up.
Benefits: Step-ups will greatly improve your leg strength and your hip / pelvic stability. Having stronger legs will benefit all lifts while having more balanced legs and increased pelvic stability will make you healthier and help prevent injuries.
CHECK OUT OUR FEATURED BLOG POSTS
- Women and Whey Protein
- Whey Protein Considerations During Pregnancy and Childhood
- Picking the Right Weightlifting Shoes
- Steroids and CrossFit: Do You Need Them To Keep You Up>