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The Best Way to Do Step-ups for Strength, Cardio, and Posture

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Step-ups are a great way to challenge muscles throughout your entire body, and to challenge your balance at the same time. When done the way I show you in this video, you will also improve your posture.

Said another way, step-ups are a fantastic whole-body exercise to build strength, cardio, and alignment. You might think you know how to do step-ups, and you might even think they’re “easy” — but give this version a shot and I think you’ll change your mind.

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How to Do Step-ups:

  1. Face a step, box, or bench.
  2. Interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Pull your elbows back in line with the back of your head.
  3. Place an arch in your lower back.
  4. Step up with your right leg.
  5. Lift your left leg up until your knee is hip height, making a ninety-degree bend at the knee and hip. Keep your ankle at a ninety-degree bend with your foot flexed.
  6. Step back down to the floor with your left leg, and then return the right leg to the floor.
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Continue alternating sides for 1 set of 20 reps.


  • If you feel unsteady, try touching the foot of the leg that is being lifted to the step/bench instead of bringing it all the way up to hip height.
  • Keep your upper body upright. Don’t bend forward or round your back.
  • Keep your elbows pulled back.
  • Make sure to look straight ahead and not down.

Give these step-ups a try and see how well you do. You might be surprised at how challenging these become just by putting your hands behind your head.

Maryann Berry
At the age of 27, Maryann Berry suffered from chronic hip pain that left her in a wheelchair, even after consulting with over twenty healthcare professionals and undergoing invasive hip surgery. Today, Maryann is fully recovered and has been wheelchair free for years.

Maryann, who is currently certified as a Posture Alignment Specialist, created Realign as a way to empower others to take responsibility for their own health the same way she did. Maryann works with people one-on-one both digitally and in-person at her studio in San Diego, California.

To learn more about Maryann's programs, visit Realign Therapy. Maryann is also the founder of The Posture Workout a revolutionary online form of Posture Alignment Therapy that makes this method easily accessible for everyone.