If you like Step Aerobics classes at your local gym then you might really enjoy Fitness Blender's take on this group fitness staple. We have taken out the cheesy (or downright bad) music and the unnecessary choreography which leaves us with cardio pumping, muscle burning exercises that burn a great deal of fat and that are excellent for reshaping the lower body. It's a different take on step workouts, as there are fewer light cardio moves and more deep squats and powerful plyometric exercise. Feel free to add your own music to keep yourself motivated.
We use a traditional aerobics step for this workout so if you don't have one you will need to get one or modify some of the exercises to be done without a step or to utilize a staircase instead. The added elevation of the step does make a huge difference in your overall level of effort and calorie burn so try to find something in your house that will work as just a few inches make for a more challenging workout.
This particular cardio workout is designed to focus on the butt and thighs to improve shape, tone, strength, and also to increase endurance. You will want to go through this video once as is to see how it effects you. If you find that it is too difficult then feel free to lower the time you work and/or increase the time you rest. However, if you find that this workout is too easy then you can simply use a taller step or add extra weight to increase the overall difficulty of the routine.
Expect to feel this in your calves, quadriceps (front of thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), inside and outside thighs, as well as your glutes (butt) and hip flexors (front of hip and hip socket). If you are not accustomed to cardio step workouts then you will very likely be sore the next day.
One of the most important aspects you will want to focus on, especially while doing this step workout (or any for that matter) is to be sure and alternate your steps. Your body will try to get you to "lead" with the same leg over and over so you constantly use the same leg to step up. If you let your body take over and don't alternate between legs properly so they have an even work load then you are going to have a few negative side effects. First, you can over work just one leg causing you to be sore on just one side of your body and usually more sore then you would normally be had you kept your body even. The second issue, is that if you are always using one side more than the other every time you exercise (or even in every day life) you can easily develop more muscle and strength on your dominant side than on your non-dominant side which can actually give you a size difference from left to right. Not only can this look odd but it can also cause joint and back pain to arise.
Try and focus on keeping an even amount of work on both sides of your body and you will develop a desirable symmetrical shape, strength, and tone.
This 19 minute step workout video burns on average 8 calories per minute on the low end and 12 calories per minute on the high end including the warm up and cool down. This gives you a range of 152 to 228 total calories burned during this workout. Just remember that your personal calorie burn will most likely fall in this range but can fall below or above depending on various factors. Just be sure to challenge yourself, use a taller step, and use extra weight if needed and you will trend towards falling on the high end, and maybe even over the high end of our estimations, in some instances.