How to: Do the Stepdown.

Step Down.

Name:  The Stepdown.
Also known as:  The Stepback.
Main muscles used:  Bum.
Other muscles used:  Legs.

Top tips:

  • Make sure the step/box you are standing on is secure and not going to fall over.
  • All your weight should be supported on one leg throughout the move.  Just the toes of the other foot should gently touch the step or the floor.
  • Keep your back strong and straight, without a forward slouch.
  • Think about sticking your bum back and bending the hips to make the move.
  • Bend the supporting knee in the same direction as your supporting toes are pointing.
  • Keep your supporting knee strong and stable throughout.
  • To get your strong bum muscles working more, think about reaching your foot back and down.
  • Use your arms to counterbalance your bodyweight to help you reach your leg back further.
  • Do everything you can to keep your balance.  The first priority is to not topple over.
  • Work both legs equally.
  • Work slowly and steadily.  This is an exercise in control.

Step Down

Common mistakes:

  • Not sticking your bum out backwards, but just bending the knee.
  • Letting the supporting knee point in all directions, and letting it waggle and wobble all over the place.
  • Letting your upper body collapse/slouch forwards.
  • Letting your non-supporting foot land heavily on the floor, and then using it to “push” you back up.
  • Favouring one leg over the other.

Comments: This is a progression from the Bodyweight Squat.  Instead of being able to use both legs, all the work is being done by just one at a time.  This is also a very good exercise in balance.  You are standing on one leg (that is rapidly getting tired) and your centre of gravity is shifting all the time.  This forces the muscles in the lower body to work hard to hold you upright. It is also of great importance to keep the joints of your lower body under great control.  You want to be training your body to keep all the joints stable and lined up nicely, whatever the circumstance.  Don’t train it to collapse at the first sign of hard work. When you can control your body and limbs when you are working hard, you can start transferring that ability to when you are working fast.