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June 13, 2022

Simple Lateral Step Up Exercise Tutorial

Simple Lateral Step Up Exercise Tutorial with Annie Miller

If you’ve done any strength training, you’ve likely done step ups of some kind. Today’s post is drawing attention to an unweighted lateral high box step up. Fabulous for range of motion, and working control through said range of motion. Trust – with a heavy eccentric focus (spending several seconds in the lowering phase), you will not need additional weight. Especially if these are performed as accessory work on a squat day.

There are many variations of step ups. You can do a normal step up, facing the box (this would be a step up in the sagittal plane). The box height simply increases or decreases the range of motion. A higher box will increase the range, and lower box will decrease the range. Generally speaking, a higher box will be more challenging.

Another aspect we can look at is shin angle. In most cases, a step up will mimic a squatting pattern. The higher the box, the more true this becomes. That is due to the demand of ankle dorsiflexion and deeper degrees of hip and knee flexion. The knee will need to drive forward to get your body weight over center foot, also likely driving the chest forward to a degree.

With the lateral step up, the box is to your side. This is still largely a sagittal movement due to the plane in which the hip, knee and ankle are moving. But there is a level of frontal plane demand going on as well. Because you’re stepping laterally, a degree of abduction and adduction is at play as you step up. Your core, QL, and other muscles are also helping to stabilize your pelvis as you shift weight onto the working leg.

Whether you’re using weight or not, doing it as a main lift, or in a circuit, I highly suggest giving the lateral step up a whirl.

Swipe below for tips, important info and set for the lateral step up, and view the two videos below for tutorials on the movement.

  • lateral step up tutorial with Annie Miller
  • before you step up with Annie Miller
  • high box above knee with Annie Miller
  • Remove your shoes with Annie Miller

Drop questions below if you have them.

Tell me your fav variation below. Front rack? KB front rack? Back rack? Dumbbell? Step overs?

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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