If you have good knees, the Santa Monica stairs are a fantastic cardio workout, great for people watching and a great way to measure your fitness improvements.
It can be a bit intimidating the first time you go as there are lots of model types, college athletes and trainers that workout on the stairs. My recommendation is to avoid 7-9am and 5-7pm your first time, as this is when all the serious stair climbers are there. If you go from 9.30 am onwards towards lunchtimes you see a lot more Mum’s and less people running and they are generally a lot more laid back and will ask nicely if they want to pass rather than tutting at you for going too slow!
With my personal training clients, I aim for 10 sets of stairs, so up and down counts as one, in 1 hour followed by abs and stretch on the grass intersection for 10 minutes afterwards.
I always park at the top of the stairs as there is always lots of spaces and it’s free except for street cleaning Friday 10-noon. Which is a night mare for parking!!! Then I use the concrete stairs as a warm up doing down, then i stretch calf, hamstring and quads before tackling the concrete stairs up.
I see a lot of crazy at the stairs, people walking sideways up the stairs, walking backwards, doing bicep curls at the same time as walking up the stairs, I even saw I guy walking down on his hands once…..crazy! Unsafe, uneffective crazy.
For basic safety you should always keeps your knees in line with your toes, pull in your tummy for balance and for basic common sense, you should always look where you are going!!! The stairs can be busy with people they are uneven in places so that’s why I think going backwards is crazy! Walking up stairs sideways you are putting a lot of pressure on your outside knee and are asking to sprain your ankle, crazy! And doing bicep curls at the same time as climbing stairs is asking your brain to do too many things at once and you won’t be walking or curling well as there is too much to think about, AND you might fall down the stairs, CRAZY!
For the main workout, I either do 5 times up and down the concrete stairs, as they are harder than the wood, then move onto 5 sets of wood stairs.
Or I go down and up the concrete stairs single stepping, which even once will start burning your quads. Then power walk or jog to the wooden stairs single step down then double step up and power walk or run to the concrete stairs and double step 1 set up there and then single step wood and repeat until you get jelly legs!!!
By adding in double stepping and making sure you place your whole foot on the stairs and really pull your tummy in for balance you are working your glutes, bottom and hamstrings more than your quads. Which for most women is where we store most of our fat and get cellulite. So this is a really effective bum and thigh workout. It also stops my quads from hurting the next day as you are working opposing muscle groups.
After the stairs I like to add in some abs and core work on the grass followed by a good stretch. I concentrate on stretching Hamstring, Quads, Calf muscles, TFL, Hip flexors, Glutes and Adductors. Then I recommend you drink water and eat some protein and carbs within 2 hours of the stairs so your muscles can recover.
Please call me on 424 652 8332 or email me email@example.com to arrange a free personal training session either at the stairs, your home or Anatomi Gym www.bosemanagement.com