Attn TAKU................Help!!

Taku, I am out of shape and overweight with weak legs and history of knee problems. I've read doing step ups on a bench is good exercise for both building strength in legs and endurance (plus low impact)

I'd like to incorporate strength and endurance training but do them different days. For example, use a dumbell or barbell to do step up on the bench but on alternate days just do body weight for time, say 20 minutes.

First, for strength building, how many reps should I do and how high should the bench be?

Second, I suspect for more cardio training the bench height would be lower, correct?

Any other tips or suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Taku!

For strength you usually want to do sets of lower reps (4-6) with the max weight you can comfortably handle.

The two mantras in your mind should be:

  1. work within ROM ranges of motion that I can control

  2. The movements are pain free.

That being said the height of the step should be high enough that it is hard to slowly step up on but not so high that your are forced to use the lower leg to sort of jump up to get on it.

I place my foot on the step, transfer my weight slowly on to the lead leg and use that leg to pull me up on to the step.

This is very different then just sort of bouncing on up the step. For cardio you want to get in to a rhythm. So a little bounce and push off is good.

Two very different ways to step up on something.

I hope this answers your questions.