Why runners need stairs

If you run, you’re a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. These are the golden words of John Brigham. Running always keeps your endorphins at their peak, which perks you up so you feel energetic, active and happier. 

While running may improve your cardiovascular fitness, build strong bones, strengthen your muscles, burn calories and help maintain a healthy weight; stair climbing renders many additional benefits that compliments running. Incorporating stair climbing sessions into your training repertoire would not only strengthen the same core muscles that lunges and squats would, but would also evolve your lungs and heart as you power to the top. Climbing stairs is like performing a series of “jump training” or better known as “plyos”.

Climbing stairs engage your body in horizontal and vertical movements. Running or walking on the stairs forces your muscles to work against the gravity and move in vertical patterns. Therefore placing high demands for your glutes and hamstrings in a way that you’re probably not used to! The leg muscles lift your body weight against the pull of gravity, giving it more stability and definition. According to Brandon Franklin (certified master trainer and a performance enhancement specialist) stair climbing employs the bigger muscles in your body that usually gets neglected during a run. Anne Moore (exercise physiologist and running coach in Charleston, South Carolina) states how stair climbing is extremely effective at spiking your heart rate, making you breathe faster taking in more oxygen in your lungs. This in turn, improves the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise (VO2 max). Your body learns to use that excess oxygen and convert it to energy quickly. A greater VO2 max means you can run harder and for longer durations.

Are you still wondering about your running goals? There are significant evidences from research scholars agreeing to the fact that stair climbing reverberates better muscle conditioning and versatility which is required for every runner and sprinter. You’d also be glad to know that stair climbing improves your posture which leads to enhanced abdominal strength and efficiency in mobility. You can surprise yourself by the agility and speed of an athlete in a few weeks of practice!

If you’re seeking a Stepper Machine worth 4 grand for your gym; don’t bother. You’ll certainly find those stairs in your apartment building, office, train stations and shopping malls. The best thing about stairs are that they are easy to spot. So, next time when you’re in the mood for a run try to augment a stair climb along with it to feel the difference!

Want to check out a stair climbing event? This is what we do and we’d love to give you a reason to take the stairs! Check out our events here.

Article by Joydeep Halder, Edited by Susie King

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