Functional Step – Let’s Sweat!

By Andrea Giovanini, Group Exercise Instructor at Fitness First Community

Step is one of the most used tools in the fitness industry: the invention of it dates back to 1988 but is still a very well used and loved piece of equipment.

Fitness is evolving more and more, and the step usage has changed over the years, growing in popularity and becoming more unique and functional. From purely cardiovascular and choreographic use, we move into a more functional and dynamic application, suitable for interval training and for multiplanar and multiarticular exercises.
Here are a sequence of exercises that should be repeated for one minute, interspersed by 30 minutes of active recovery, in the form of a skip and shuffle.

Straddle burpee jump squat

Starting on top of the step, jump down at the side, squat down and perform a burpee with the hands on the step. Then on the way up, jump on top of the step with a squat and return to the starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.


Starting astride, jump and land side to side without touching the step. Every land will be on only one foot, with the other leg back. If you need to reduce the intensity, simply tap on the floor, also with the back foot. If you want to increase the intensity, touch with the opposite arm on the step.

Burpee jump over the step

Start facing the step from the side, squat down and go into the plank position with the arms on the step. Then jump over the step landing softly, and with another squat jump and flip your body 180 degrees to face against the step. To decrease the intensity, jump up and down the step instead of jumping over. To increase the intensity, add a push up when you reach the plank position.

Side squat press

This is a squat combination. Start standing on the corner of the step. Go into a squat with one leg on and one leg off the step. Perform a leap squat with both feet on the step, then leap again into the previous position, then stand up in the starting stance, balancing the body with only one leg. To increase the intensity, grab a plate or a dumbbell (as shown in the pictures), and add a shoulder press, pushing the weight overhead every time you are on the one leg on – one leg out squat.

Burpee side climber

Starting behind the step, jump back into a plank position with both arms on the bench. Drive both knees close to the right elbow, extend both legs back into a plank, then drive the knees to the left elbow. Return to the plank and then with a squat jump up to the starting stance. To reduce the intensity, alternate the legs, alternating only one foot close
to the arm, with the heel grinded into the floor.

Push-up frog

On the side of the step, with both arms wide, plank position, bend the arms into a push up. Then on the way back jump with both legs hip-width apart pushing the heels into the floor and maintaining the back very straight. Jump into the plank back again and repeat all the sequence for one minute.