Step aerobics for weight loss

Step aerobics has been one of the most popular fitness areas in the world for many years. It was invented in the USA by aerobics trainer Jean Miller for rehabilitation after knee injuries. Step aerobics training takes place using a special platform that imitates a step. Traditionally, training consisted of a certain number of simple steps, ups and downs. Modern step aerobics is a dance class with an aerobic phase of 30 to 60 minutes.

The effect of step aerobics becomes noticeable after a fairly short period of time: the body is tightened, coordination of movements improves, blood pressure normalizes, mood rises and excess weight disappears. Any aerobic exercise perfectly trains the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Step aerobics can be used as an independent training, and as a warm-up before doing any sports.

Choosing a step platform

When choosing a step platform for both home workouts and classes in a sports club, you need to pay attention to the following points.

The platform must have a rubberized non-slip coating that prevents the foot from slipping during training.

Check the presence of rubber pads on the base of the step platform if you buy for home, and the degree of wear if you are engaged in a sports club. If the rubber pads are missing or badly worn, the platform will slide on any floor covering, even on a special, non-slip one.

The main requirement is the mechanical strength of the step platform, which must be a solid metal structure in a shell of high-quality plastic. When climbing or jumping, the platform must not sag.

An important nuance when choosing equipment is its overall dimensions and the possibility of changing the height level. For example, for dance classes it is better to use a platform step with a length of at least 80 cm, a width of at least 40 cm with three levels of height change. For aerobics consisting of simple steps and climbs, you can choose a smaller platform, which usually costs less. A small platform is convenient for home use, as it takes up little space in the apartment.

Step aerobics and weight loss

The generally accepted construction of a step platform workout consists of the following phases: warm-up and preliminary stretching (5-7 minutes), aerobic part (30-40 minutes), isolated work (strength part) and final stretching.

In order to maximize the effect on body fat, aerobic (main part) training should be at least 30 minutes long. The aerobic part begins with a warm-up, during which there is a gradual increase in heart rate. In the future, the intensity of the workout increases and ends with a slow stretch.

To speed up metabolism and increase efficiency, step aerobics must be combined with proper nutrition. Two hours before and two hours after training, it is advisable not to eat anything at all. Also an important factor in achieving the desired result is compliance with the drinking regimen. Even a small loss of fluid can lead to dehydration. During training, it is recommended to drink up to 200 grams of water every 15-20 minutes. The total volume of fluid consumed is approximately 0.5 liters. It is better to drink water not very cold and in small sips.

It is better to do step aerobics for weight loss 3 to 5 times a week. More frequent training can lead to injuries to the muscles and spine, negatively affect the large vessels of the legs, knee and hip joints.

Determining the Intensity of a Workout

To achieve the effect of burning fat, aerobic training must take place at a certain pace with periodic monitoring of heart rate (HR). The recommended heart rate is 60-90% of the maximum value. The choice of intensity is based primarily on individual physical fitness and age of the person. For example, if a trained person at the age of 25 is engaged in an intensity level of 85%, then this is quite a normal indicator. If a person is not prepared at all, then this level can be potentially dangerous.

The simplest method for calculating the heart rate is as follows: maximum heart rate minus age multiplied by a factor of 0.65 (for the lower zone) and 0.75 (for the upper zone). For example, for a 30-year-old girl, the pulse rates will be in the range from 123 to 142 beats per minute.

Technique for training on a step platform

Correct body position not only increases the effectiveness of the workout, but also reduces the risk of injury and falls.

There are a number of basic rules that the coach must necessarily control. These include: lifting to the platform with the whole foot, and when descending, setting the foot from toe to heel; the knee joint should not bend more than 90 degrees; it is strictly forbidden to go up and down the step platform with your back. An important condition for maintaining the safety of classes is the constant monitoring of the position of the platform with a glance and the optimal choice of height, which depends on the degree of physical fitness.

The practice room should be well ventilated and have enough free space to prevent collisions between trainees and punches. The air temperature for intensive training does not exceed 20 degrees, so the presence of an air conditioner in the summer is a must.

The main contraindications for aerobics

Like any type of physical activity, step aerobics has a number of specific contraindications for health reasons. These include: cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the knee joints, diseases of the spine, varicose veins, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, pregnancy. Of course, if a girl is an aerobics instructor and is in excellent physical shape, then it is not necessary to completely give up her favorite activities during pregnancy, but she will have to gradually limit the intensity of training.

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