Switch up Your Step-Ups

For Best Leg Development

Try Different Types of Step-Ups for Best Leg Development
Step-ups are great exercises for the lower body because they build the glutes, hamstrings and quads while placing minimal stress on the spine. A study from Marquette University showed that different types of step-ups have different effects on the lower body muscles. Researchers measured lower body muscle activation during a step-up, crossover step-up, diagonal step-up and a lateral step-up. The crossover step-up was best for loading the gluteus medius. The standard step-up activated the gluteus medius during the eccentric phase (going down) and the gluteus maximus and hamstrings during the concentric phase (going up). Try doing a variety of step-ups to maximize the load on the lower body muscles. (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, published online January 10, 2012)