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This Stair Climber Workout Will Help You Sculpt Lean Thighs

Tone your legs and glutes with this excellent tool.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Are you looking to get your thighs back into shape? Sculpting lean, toned thighs can be in your near future, so long as you follow the proper steps in your workouts. We're talking about strength training and conditioning exercises for your lower body. You can focus on the basics with strength training, including squats, lunges, and split squats. However, for conditioning, one excellent and underrated tool is the stair climber. That's why we've put together the ultimate stair climber workout that'll help you achieve the lean thighs of your dreams.

According to WebMD, adding some steps on the stair climber to your workouts is chock-full of goodness. You'll give your heart rate a boost, really work your glutes and legs against the resistance, and enjoy the cardiovascular benefits associated with physical activity. You just need the stair climber and your body weight to get started.

The possibilities when it comes to spicing up your routine are endless. So if you want to give the stair climber a try, here are five movements you can do on it to work your legs. Gear up for your new favorite stair climber workout! And next up, don't miss A 6-Minute Inner Thigh Workout for Toned Legs.

Single Step Steady-State

close-up woman doing stair climber workout at gym

Start this first exercise by hopping on the stair climber, turning it on, and climbing with single steps. If you're a first-timer, go at a comfortable pace you can maintain for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Once you've built up more endurance (or if you're a bit more of an intermediate), you can crank up the speed, or climb for at least 30 minutes.


Start off with an easy 2-minute warmup, then start with intervals of 30 seconds of fast-paced climbing, followed by 30 seconds at your regular pace. Perform this for 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a two to three-minute cooldown afterward.

5 Perfect Exercises for Defined, Lean Legs

Crossover Steps

To perform the crossover steps, you want to face the side of the machine with your hands slightly on the handle for balance. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and begin stepping with one side for one to two minutes before alternating with the other.

Double Steps

When it comes to double steps, you want to skip a stair with each step you make, and alternate your legs. This forces you to take longer strides forward, working your glutes and hips more. You can either do a steady-state or more of an interval-style routine. Here's a sample below.

Set a timer for 20 minutes, and begin with a two to three-minute warmup. After you're all warmed up, perform 60 seconds of work at a higher intensity with double steps, followed by 30 seconds of a recovery pace.


Here's a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise that incorporates all of the different steps before. Set a timer for 20 to 25 minutes, warm up for two to three minutes, and perform the following:

  • 60 seconds of single steps at a moderate pace
  • 60 seconds of double steps moderate pace
  • 30 seconds of walking at a recovery pace
  • 60 seconds of crossover steps on one side
  • 60 seconds of crossover steps on the other side
  • 30 seconds of walking at a recovery pace
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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