You are no doubt familiar with step, an activity known throughout the world of fitness, which involves doing choreographed movements on a step.
This article was originally published here.
To find out all about this popular class, we met up with Perrine, a young woman bursting with energy and, above all, a step enthusiast. As a Domyos coach, Perrine has been teaching step classes for four years. She has this activity in her blood. For her it is the best way of expressing her personality and, on top of that, letting off steam while having fun. By constantly updating her choreography, this fitness fanatic is well and truly determined to bring her passion for step to life in all of her classes.
We take a look at this unmissable fitness activity that you absolutely have to try if you haven't already. Like us, you will soon become hooked!
1. WHO IS STEP FOR?
"Everyone can have a go at step! It is open to all, whatever their age or fitness level. Whether you are a fitness fanatic or a beginner, everyone can get something out of this all-round and varied activity.
You shouldn't be scared of doing a cardio workout; the choreography comes with different levels of intensity so that you can choose the option that suits you.
There are also introductory classes that help you to learn the basic moves, familiarise yourself with the step and get used to this kind out workout.
Only people with very weak joints should avoid doing step. If in doubt, consult your doctor."
2. WHY SHOULD YOU TRY OUT THIS ACTIVITY?
"Because once you have tried step, you won't be able to do without it!
Step is a freestyle class like aerodance, which has the advantage of giving you a visual landmark to exercise with: the step.
It is an excellent fitness activity for keeping in shape and letting off steam. It gives your heart a workout and boosts your endurance. You can burn up to 500 calories per hour in a class, which is ideal for losing weight. By stepping up onto the deck, you will strengthen all of your lower body muscles effectively. It is also really good for improving your coordination.
You learn to move around the step, in front of it, behind it… It is great memory training!
What is more, nowadays there are other step classes offering fun alternatives such as Zumba® Step and Step Tonus (step combined with bodybuilding exercises that use weights)."
3. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO IMPROVE IN STEP?
I regularly see students lose confidence and get discouraged when they begin step. This is normal. It always takes time to adapt before you will progress. I want to tell them never to give up!
Don't dwell on a failure; your efforts will pay off in the end, and we all started in the same place.
The basic moves will come together quickly, you just have to have patience. Keep your concentration and you will gradually learn the choreography over a number of sessions. With a bit of work, the moves will become an automatic reflex.
Never forget that you are there to have fun and enjoy it, more than anything else!
Make the most of the cardio workout and muscle strengthening it provides. The choreography is just a support to help you improve your fitness. It doesn't matter if you go wrong. The main thing is to let your hair down.
To improve in step, start with 2 classes per week."
4. WHICH ACTIVITIES CAN COMPLEMENT A STEP CLASS?
"If your goal is to lose weight, the ideal thing would be to do a muscle strengthening session on top of this cardio workout, such as BLT or circuit training.
You can also combine it with a more zen class such as yoga or Pilates. These gentle activities are effective and help tone up your deeper core muscles."
5. CAN YOU DO STEP AT HOME?
"Yes, you can do step at home. I recommend just making sure you have the right fitness shoes to protect your ankles, and keeping a bottle of water to hand.
Make sure there isn't anything around the step, because you need a certain amount of space to exercise and do the moves. Check that your step is stable. In order to keep things safe, it should not slide around on the ground. Adjust it to the standard height because the higher level is more for muscle strengthening.
In terms of posture, keep your back straight and squeeze your abs throughout the session.
Each time you step up onto the deck, put your entire foot down so that you don't fall."
6. WHAT EXERCISES CAN YOU DO AT HOME WITH A STEP?
"It can be difficult finding inspiration to come up with your own step choreography. I suggest simply linking together the basic exercises that you have learnt: Basic step, Tap up, Tap down, V step, A step, T step, L step, Turn step, Over the step, etc."
As you have seen, step is an excellent activity for keeping in shape. Besides improving your well-being, it has numerous benefits for your body: toning your lower body, losing weight, and improving your endurance. There is a great atmosphere in these classes, so don't be afraid!