Benefits of Stair Running – How To Improve Your Strength, Power, and Endurance

Natalie Cecconi
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Is running stairs beneficial to runners?

Yes, it is!

But the question is, why running stairs is so beneficial?

Here is the Answer:

Stair running helps with your strength training , aerobic development and sports performance, and more importantly it improves your knowledge of terrain.

Aerobic development and sports performance, and more importantly it improves your knowledge of terrain. In general, you can use running stairs to increase power, speed and strength in your legs, improve endurance and stamina , and work on running form.

And , and work on running form. When you run stairs, you use your legs in a different way in comparison with running on a level surface.

Leg muscles have to be more active to lift your body up and down stairs.

Squat jumps are a great way to work on explosive power and coordination, since you use both of these when going up and down stairs.

Are a great way to work on explosive power and coordination, since you use both of these when going up and down stairs. Additionally, you will gain a better understanding of the terrain and be ready to adjust your pace to any trail, path or surface.

All you have to do is to go up and down the stairs, but you can change the drill as you like. You can run across to the next stairs or go up and down the same one.

Are there any disadvantages of running stairs?

Like any sport, running stairs has its disadvantages. And I’m not just talking about the annoying neighbor with the barking dog or the rut in your neighbor’s lawn where it looks like a pack of wild rambunctious dogs went berserk.

However annoying they may be, if you look at the big picture, the disadvantages of running stairs are pretty insignificant.

Here’s why:

Supports Healthy Weight Loss: Running stairs is a great way to incorporate aerobic exercise into your weight loss routine and enhance the results. The fact that you are using multiple muscle groups and are simultaneously burning heart-healthy fats and calories makes it even more effective. The burning of calories also increases your body’s metabolism allowing you to burn more calories while at rest.

Burns Fat and Calories: There are a couple of ways that running stairs can help you manage your weight. The first is obvious and that is directly burning calories and fat from your body when you run them. The second way is the indirect fat burning that comes from increasing your metabolism and allowing you to burn more calories at rest.

Improves Your Endurance: Running stairs involves a high amount of intensity, high-energy moves and quick starts and stops. This will help you build on your endurance allowing you to run longer and faster in the long run. This is beneficial for any runners.

What are some stair running workouts?

Stair running is a great way for you to get stronger, increase endurance and burns lots of calories. It also has many other benefits for your body such as:

Improves your running form and posture

By running up and down stairs, it forces you to use a proper running form. You will improve your posture and form of running.

Detrimental When You’re pregnant

Between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, it is a vulnerable time for mom and baby.

During this time period, you should avoid strenuous activity such as stair-climbing.

During this time period, you should avoid strenuous activity such as stair-climbing. Every time you climb a flight of stairs, your uterus pushes against your abdominal wall.

Carrying extra weight can also add more strain on your body.

Know Your Limits

Even though climbing stairs is a great workout, it is more difficult to recover from as compared to walking up the stairs.

Beginner runners need to focus on walking the stairs or taking the elevator, to begin with, until their endurance levels improve.

As you increase your fitness, you can start increasing the intensity of the workout by carrying light weight in your hands, for example, books and work files.

Pyramid Workout

The stair pyramid workout stands out for several reasons. First, it is a full body workout. You will not only strengthen your legs, but also work out your chest, arms and core. Second, it is great for cardio because the workout involves intense bursts of energy to get up and down the stairs as fast as possible.

In addition, a stair workout can help you improve your strength, endurance and power all at the same time. One way to do this is by running the stairs in intervals. Increase the intensity of the workout by doing the following:

Variety Workout

Stair stepping in place of platform step training

Running on a stair stepper can be a major pain in the butt – and the back, knees, and feet – but it is one of the best ways to tone up and lose weight. Here is a highly demanding and intense workout for you to complete at home, especially if you are crunched for time. Step step a few minutes at a time, and take the edge off with a recovery day afterward. A heart-pumping workout such as this is just what you need to get fit. This will have your body burning the fat in no time!


A staircase is a sturdy piece of equipment, and you can be sure that it’s not going to fall apart. This makes it one of the most appealing pieces of fitness equipment at home. Why not give it a try …. Take it out of the closet, invite your friends over, and have a party. Dip your fingers in some chocolate sauce, and slowly lick as you watch your favorite movie ….

Walks on a moving staircase or stepping on a moving platform are one of the best exercises for your heart, specifically in the cardio vascular system. Training using a moving staircase will definitely enhance the heart rate, which makes it practical for the morbidly obese people to perform it.

Intense Workout

Stair running is a wonderful way to get some great cardio in. Not only will you get a great workout for your lower body, but you will also get a great upper body workout in as well. You also get an all-encompassing workout for your entire body, from the top of your head to the tip of your tailbone.

The stairs will not only get your lower body stronger to help keep those pesky weight-related illnesses at bay, but they will also help you get a flat stomach and toned arms.

This type of exercise is also good for beginners who might have joint issues. It’s not as hard on the joints as jogging or power walking.

Stair running is so versatile because it is an aerobic exercise at a vigorous heart rate and covers a diverse workout. It’ll help build up your endurance. So you’ll be able to increase the number of stairs you run and the amount of time spent on that stair machine.

And while the benefits are great, you can really get whatever results you want by working hard enough and putting in the time. The health benefits are amazing and very quickly noticeable.

What else?

I have already mentioned the key to success with stair running is to keep it challenging and keep it interesting. Stay away from taking the stairs two at a time. Keeping the climb slow ensures that you are using the right muscles to climb stairs.

Another great option for climbing stairs is the use of stairs machines. These machines basically turn the climb into a workout similar to the elliptical. You can simulate ascending up the stairs by stepping on and off the machine every second, much like walking up stairs.

10 to 15 minutes a day of stair climbing is great exercise. Anything longer doesn’t gain you anything more. With the extra time, you can recover and allow your heart rate to return to normal. You can also add some additional weight, like a small dumbbell with each hand, to make the exercise more challenging. Too easy? Feel free to add more to the weight as you need to.

How do I get started?

Before you start training with running on stairs, you should learn how to safely run stairs. With efficient and effective training you can challenge yourself to improve your endurance, strength and power, but you should start out at a comfortable pace.

Every workout should start out with at least 8-12 minutes of low-intensity, light cardio-respiratory exercise. When you learn how to run the stairs, the first step is to start with level ground. This will allow you to make strides and start to use the muscles in your legs as well as your calves. This step will make sure that you learn how to land safely.

The next step is to practice running up and down a flight of stairs, about 6 steps. After you have done this a few times, slowly start to increase that number. Always go at a pace that allows for good form and paying attention to the way you are moving your legs.

Remember that the key to training for moving up and down stairs is to keep your knees bent and propel yourself up or down. You want to be sure that you get a good workout for your thighs, quads and calves, but also keep your upper body loose and agile. You will find that using the handrails is a big help with this, and are most effective when you are moving up or down the stairs.

Is the StairMaster better than actual stairs?

Watch the video above to see the differences between using the StairMaster and actual stairs.

Let me be honest with you first – stair running is an effective form of cardio, but it isn’t ready to replace actual stairs.

Is it okay to run two steps at a time?

One of the most common questions I hear is: “How fast should I run up the stairs?”

To answer that question, I need to first explain that you should never run up the stairs. Running up the stairs is dangerous, exhausting, and almost guaranteed to send you crashing into the ceiling.

So here’s a better question: “How should I run up the stairs?”

The answer is not as simple as you might think. Different experts give out different advice.

One expert may tell you to never take two steps at one time, and yet another may say two steps at a time is okay.

Which advice is right?

To determine the answer, I need to first explain the concept of running steps.

Since we have a lot of stairs in Singapore, I’ll use these stairs as an example to teach you the concepts.

Is stair climbing a good cardio workout?

If you are new to exercise or you lack cardiovascular fitness, you can build some basic endurance with repeated stair climbing. But you have to do it regularly.

Your vertical muscles and aerobic capacity will improve. However, you cannot use stair climbing as a weight loss strategy because there is no resistance.

While it isn’t a bad cardiovascular workout, stair climbing is definitely not a healthy activity if done with reckless abandon. Cardiovascular exercise should make your heart stronger.

Your heart is a muscle like any other. You need to train it to keep it fit. Stair exercises can be great cardio workouts if conducted properly.

If you push your body to work harder, it will adapt in a couple of ways:

The heart will need to beat faster to maintain its training capacity. The heart muscle will become thicker and stronger.

If you have been exercising for a long time, you may have noticed your heart rate and pulse rate increase just after a few minutes of walking. That is because your heart has gotten fitter and stronger through exercise.

If you create an expectation to run faster staircases and use the stairs as a form of interval training, you will start to notice that your heart rate will speed up appropriately when you do so.

As you improve your fitness and health, you may actually see your pulse rate drop in the gym during practice.

How many steps should there be for a good stair workout?

Most stair workouts are done on an 18-inch to 20-inch rise stair machine, which is the right size for most fitness enthusiasts. Someone who weighs 200 pounds should do 3 to 6 sets of 8 to 15 reps of the stair climb.

For a beginner, it might be best to start with just a few reps with the full body workout on the stair workout machine. Once you are comfortable, it’s a good idea to increase the number of reps gradually in order to build strength and endurance.

Once you are comfortable with such a workout, you can increase the intensity by climbing faster.