You don’t need to look further than your local park or high school track to get in a great cardio session. “Stair climbing is one of the most effective ways to work your lower body while burning fat,” says Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp in New York. Stair workouts will also boost VO2 max (the amount of oxygen your body uses during exercise) and increase your metabolism, she adds. Try this Hundt-approved workout.

To do it, find a staircase with three flights, or about 50 stairs. (Or just turn around at the top of a flight and repeat for the given time or steps.) End with a few minutes of stretches.

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20-minute Stair Routine 


  • Squat: sets: 1, reps: 20
  • Stationary Lunge: sets: 1, reps: 15 per leg
  • Squat Jump: sets: 1, reps: 20
  • Reverse Lunge: sets: 1, reps: 20 per leg 
  • Curly Lunge: sets: 1 , reps: 20 per leg

On the Stairs

Round 1

  • Run up three flights at a moderate pace, taking one stair at a time. Jog back down. Hold 60-second wall squat. Rest 30 seconds.

Round 2

  • Run up three flights more quickly, two stairs at a time. Jog back down. Hold 60-second plank. Rest 30 seconds.

Round 3

  • Jump up three flights (with legs together and starting and landing in a squat), taking one or two stairs at once. Jog back down. At the bottom, do 20 pushups. Rest 30 seconds.

Grand Finale 

  • Repeat all three rounds but double the flights from three to six.