About Aerobics
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Step Aerobics Exercise

Step aerobics are a newer version and technique of aerobics. Traditional aerobics are performed on the floor: you learn a series of dance steps such as the Pony or the Jazz Square, which are often done in fours, two steps taking you in one direction, two more taking you the other direction.Steps are combined with arm gestures to increase large-muscle movements and increase fat-burning sequences are performed to music.

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In step aerobics, your workout travels vertically rather than horizontally. You place a step of four to ten inches in height before you, and the routine is arranged so that students step up and down to the music. The smallest step (and the one beginners should use) is four inches high: they increase in height by two inch increments, so you can add risers to your initial step as your fitness level increases.

It’s important in step aerobics to pay attention to your posture and the way you are stepping. Make sure your instructor takes a look at the way you’re working to make sure you’re using your feet correctly for the kinds of steps you’ll be doing. Keep your head up and shoulder back when stepping: don’t lean forward from the waist, or you’ll put strain on your lower back. Unless you’re moving fast or doing lunges, your feet should be centered on the platform and they should meet it wholly, heel to ball of foot. Stepping down, let your toe hit the ground first, the ball of foot, then your heel. Step down close to your step platform rather than stretching away from it.

Your knee should never bend more than 90 degrees (that’s a right angle), and less is better 60 degrees is optimal. Like many exercises, step aerobics is all about moderation: you don’t have to “push the envelope”; in fact, trying to do too much can cause injuries that will affect you for years.

Step aerobics are very enjoyable: many people prefer their “step” classes to regular aerobics. However, if you have issues with your knees or ankles, step aerobics may not be the best choice for your workout, because the amount of stepping up and down involved does increase the impact on your lower body, concentrated on your joints.

Step Aerobic Workouts at Home

Step Aerobics is very popular for doing at home becuase of the unlimitless supply of step aerobic exercise videos (Jane Fonda's is very popular), DVDs, and music. The step choreography and routines don't require much space and are easy to do in front of the TV as a step aerobic pattern does not travel far from the stationary step.

The other factor that makes this form of exercise popular at home is the low cost of step aerobic equipment. All you need is a pair of high quality Reebok aerobic shoes, a step aerobic bench or step aerobic step, a music tape, video, or DVD. Tapes and patterns are available for the beginner all the way to the instructor level. Teaching yourself step aerobic choreography is a simple task.

Continue reading the next aerobics article on indoor cycling and spinning

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