Becoming involved in step aerobics is a great way to get the oxygen flowing through your body and get your cardiovascular system working. While traditional aerobic exercises can be very structured and are done without music, step aerobics shows a person dance moves while working muscle groups and getting the heart pumping. An individual also incorporates arm movements with their routine in order to get a full body workout, and can also incorporate small weights to use for biceps and triceps. Using the arms also provides an excellent way to burn fat and works the large muscles.
Stackable platforms are arranged in front of you from as high as 10 inches to as low as 4 inches, and while moving up and down to the music, your heart rate increases which is very good for your cardiovascular system. The motion goes up and down to music instead of forward and backward on a horizontal surface like in traditional aerobics. Beginners are recommended to use four inch steps which are the lowest setting, and can gradually increase those platforms by two inches as they advance in the level of fitness.
Form is also very important in step aerobics. Use a mirror if working out to a video to pay attention to your posture and how you are using the platforms. Your instructor, if in a class, will help to ensure that you are standing and moving properly. Do not lean forward to avoid unnecessary pressure to your back, and keep your shoulders back and head up. Center your feet on the platform so that they meet at the same place, and use a heel-to-ball positioning with your feet.
As you step off of the platform, your toe should hit the floor first, then the ball of your foot, and finally your heel. Be sure to remain close to your platform when moving downward, and do not extend your foot too far back as keeping your balance can be an issue. The optimal bend for your knees is at 60 degrees, but you should never have your knee bent more than 90 degrees. Ensure that you are moving at a comfortable pace in order to avoid injuries and overexerting yourself.
This exercise is preferred now over regular aerobics for the catchy music and fun routines. Individuals who have ankle or knee issues should avoid step aerobics unless a physician is monitoring you closely and has recommended it as a plan for your workout. The impact to your joints is increased in the motions, and the pressure on your lower body is elevated.