This will sound a little silly but: is there any training I can do for climbing stairs... that does not actually include just climbing them?

I am in terrible shape (yes, I should change that... personal stuff happened), and am really struggling with anything longer than 2 floors.

Most like "climb those stairs a few times a day" would help but... I have to admit, I am beginning to totally HATE stairways of any kind because I have to climb a really long one once a day anyway.

I'll also take hints on how to motivate to love stairs again ^^.

  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about personal motivation and not fitness.
    – user2861
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


It all depends on what you're looking for in terms of what to include or not include about the stair-climbing experience. If it's things like the stairwells themselves, there are machines ranging from the omnipresent StairMaster to Stepmills. If you're looking to avoid machines and stairwells, there's also simple box routines. Put a box out. Step up on it. Step down. Repeat ad nauseam. That will get you some similar benefits in terms of building your leg muscles and cardio-vascular health without putting you on actual stairs or hitting the gym. If it's the resistance of lifting your body, bicycles exercise some of the same muscles and will help with the cardio.

If it's just the monotony of the stairs, I'd advise doing something to break up that monotony. Music can help. Some people have no problem reading or listening to a book while doing the stair-climbing. And, of course, there's always doing variations such as skipping steps whether going up or down, hopping up and down the steps, or changing your body orientation while traversing them (these, of course, start to shade into changing your type of exercise entirely, especially if you get into more exotic variations such as quadrupedal movement up and down stairs, head up or down).

  • Love the idea of the box actually! AND the music, should get out my headphones for the stairway-parts of my daily walks. Mostly, my problem really is frustration with the stairs, because I absolutely cannot avoid them unless I take a long detour on my way home from work.
    – Layna
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 14:07
  • :) Well, if you like it, you can always vote it up. I'd probably suggest not accepting it for a few days in case someone offers a better answer, of course.
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 17:44
  • I cannot vote up yep... pouts. I'll accept if nothign else comes up, and vote up when I can ^^.
    – Layna
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 17:57

Stairs are usually pretty boring, and stair machines are even worse. One thing you could try is getting outside and walking up and down a hill.

It's not as convenient as stairs, but walking uphill will give you many of the same benefits, plus the added environmental stimulation. It can also do good things for your ankles, since your feet are falling on an incline.

You'll find that the hill requires less muscular force than stairs, so you'll be working your cardiovascular system more, with less muscle soreness. Since you actually want to work both, alternating hills and stairs could be a good option.

  • Thanks, I did not know hills actually work the same! Only reason I will be sticking to the box: I am living in an area that is lacking actual hills. My long stairway is an exception in this area really, we're almost totally flat everywhere else. sighs wish I could upvote, though, if it was not for the geography here, that would be an amazing hint :).
    – Layna
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 9:07
  • Haha, geography is a powerful force ;) Good luck anyway. Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 16:43

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