Effective Preparation for the New Zealand Red Deer Roar

With the roar about 3 and a half months away it’s a good time of year to start considering what level of fitness you’d like to be in for April and get started working towards it.

The stair stepping machine is a choice for many because it is similar to walking up a steep hill.  Here are some ways to make a stair stepping machine more effective.
1. Do a couple glute and hip specific exercises before you begin. Firing these muscles in a warm up will help you recruit them once your on the machine.  Do a few sets of hip thrusts.  Start with two feet on the floor and only bodyweight.  This way you can concentrate specifically on firing your glutes.  The point of this is to train your brain to fire the correct muscle.  Don’t let your brain get distracted by adding a balance component or increasing the weight at this point.
The second warm up exercise I’d recommend is a mini band squat. Put a miniband above your knees so that you have to push outward with your knees as you squat.  These can be bodyweight.  You might have to improvise.  If your gym doesn’t have the ideal band, you can double over a larger resistance loop. The concept is the same.
2. Start your workout on the machine with two minutes of very slow walking. Concentrate on firing your glutes. This will be made easier because you have just recruited them with your warm-up exercises.  Once you feel that you are firing your glutes pick up the pace and do your workout.  Throughout your workout concentrate on using your glutes rather than your quads.
3. I like to do 20 mins or 100 floors.  Keep track of your progress by either increasing the number of floors within 20 mins or by doing 100 floors faster than you’ve previously done.
4. To keep your leg muscles balanced  use a rowing machine (indoor rower). Straight leg deadlifts are another good lift. Cycling is too quad dominate.  You’ll need something that works your hamstrings.
5.  I would end this with a variety of stretches mostly focused on hip flexibility.  Here are a few: https://www.stack.com/a/4-hip-flexor-stretches-to-relieve-tight-hips
Thank you for reading,
Max

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