You don’t need fancy equipment, a gym membership or the perfect setup to stay fit. Step-ups are one low-impact cardio move to prove it. You can do this simple move just about anywhere and work major muscle groups while you’re at it.

Step-ups are perfect in your apartment 

Jumping up and down and disturbing your neighbors isn’t cool, but you can avoid this with step-ups. There’s no jumping around here. All you do is step up onto an elevated surface, step back down, and repeat on the other side. No one will ever know you’re working your quads.

Step-ups increase your heart rate

Even though step-ups are low-impact, they’re still cardio. If you pump your arms along with your legs, you can get your heart rate up, too. 

Work your lower body

Don’t be deceived by how simple step-ups are. They work your ankle joints, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. All in one move. 

You can also adjust things to work one area more than the other. For example, if you want to work your hamstrings and glutes, place more weight on your heels. If you want to work your calves and quads,  focus on your tip toes instead. 

Improve your balancing act

Throughout this move, you’re constantly relying on one leg to keep you stable. This strengthens your balancing leg and helps to improve your overall balance. 

Add resistance to make step-ups more intense

Turn up the heat in this low-impact move by increasing the resistance. How? Consider holding some weights in your hands. Don’t have any weights? A can of beans works, too. 

You can also make your elevated platform higher. If you’ve been using a lower chair, can you move to a higher chair, or even your bed? What about a stairway in your home or apartment building?

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