Outdoor Conditioning Workout by Chris Merrow

Posted: June 9, 2010 in Training

A winter picture for a summer article? Yes, because the applicability of Rocky in any situation transcends all seasons.

Chris is a strength coach and the Lead Trainer for ADAPT Training in Beaverton Oregon. He’s NSCA certified and has been involved in the fitness industry one way or another for over 10 years now. He also used to be the lead singer of a metal band and has been set on fire countless times.

At ADAPT Training in Beaverton, Oregon, I’m fortunate to have two flights of stadium-style stairs for personal and group usage. Each step measures about 13 inches apart from the next, which by itself creates plenty of demand on the hip flexors and extensors. The stair routines we design for our intermediate/advanced clients serve as some of the most sadistic workouts around. I am going to share one of those with you today.

This workout is meant to be done up a flight of stairs equal to 15 steps. Upon completing the first exercise, turn around and jog back down to the start. Continue through the list as written until a total of 25 trips have been completed.

The Workout

Crab Step-up (every other stair) – 2x
Duck Walk – 1x
Crab Step-up (skip as many steps as possible) – 1x
Squat Hop (every step) – 1x
Bear Crawl – 1x
Walk Backward – 1x
Lunge Walk (skip two steps) – 4x
Bear Crawl Backward – 1x
Stork Walk Forward – 1x
Squat Hop (skip as many steps as possible) – 1x
Quick Steps (two feet per stair) – 6x (lead right/left, etc.)
Bear Crawl – 1x
Stork Walk Forward – 1x
Lunge Walk (skip as many steps as possible) – 3x

This routine was designed to condition one of our firefighter clients. Wearing a weighted vest further enhanced the difficulty of the workout.

Movement Descriptions

Crab Step-up: Place both hands flat on the center of the stair. Take a wide step to the outside of your right hand with your right foot, then repeat on the left. Both hands and feet will be on the same stair. Repeat.

Duck Walk: Done at the bottom of the stairs on flat ground. Keep the hips and knees flexed, with your hips back and chest thrust out. Hands should ideally be placed behind the head.

Squat Hop: Squat down low and hop up to the next step. Once you’re comfortable with one step, then skip a step, then skip two steps, eventually skipping as many as possible when comfortable with it. Be sure to finish each rep with the glutes.

Bear Crawl:

Walk Backward: Maintain good ankle, knee, and hip alignment. Place the ball of one foot on the lip of the stair, then drive the heel down as you straighten the knee. The biggest mistake people make when doing this is rotating from side to side.

Lunge Walk: Force yourself into a lunge position while walking by skipping two steps each stride.

Bear Crawl Backward: Same as the Bear Crawl, just backward. This is very difficult. If this proves TOO difficult, just bear crawl forward.

Stork Walk Forward: Basically, just march up the stairs. The hip should break 90 degrees of flexion. Try to drive the knee up to the sky with each step.

Quick Steps: Stay relaxed and watch your feet. Alternate leading with your right foot with your left foot each round.

Give this a try next time you want a new and challenging outdoor workout, and be sure to report back here by commenting on this article when you do it.


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