Step aerobics is a new technique of aerobics, in which an elevated platform (such as the step) is used. The height of the platform is customized to individual needs, by inserting risers beneath the steps. Different from the traditional aerobics that is performed on the floor, step aerobics requires learning a series of dance steps, for instance, the Pony or the Jazz Square. These dance steps are combined with arm gestures to increase large muscle movements and fat-burning sequences are performed. Many gyms and fitness centers conducting a group exercise program offer step aerobic classes.
Step Aerobic Moves & Technique
The basic move in step aerobics involves stepping one foot first, and then the other, on the top of the step. Then, the first foot is stepped back on the floor, followed by the other. The right technique is to first step the right foot up and then the left, and return to the floor in the same order. Many instructors instantly switch between different moves, for instance, between a right basic and a left basic, without the introduction of any intervening moves. This forces the learners to tap their foot, rather than allowing them to shift weight. the common moves in step aerobics include:
- Basic Step
- Corner knee
- Repeater knee
- Straddle Down
- Split Step
Step Aerobics Choreography
Step aerobics instructors prepare a set of moves that are supposed to be executed together. This is done to form the choreography of the entire class. Usually, the choreography is timed to 32 beats per second. The moves are to be performed by switching legs, so that the set that can repeated in a similar way. However, a set can consist of different moves of different durations. For instance, a basic step involving four moves may take four beats. The knee-up move also takes four beats, while the repeater-knee, which is one of the common moves, is an eight-beat move.
Step aerobics classes vary according to the level of choreography. Basic level classes will have a series of basic moves combined together into a sequence, while the advanced classes include dance elements such as turns, mambos, and stomps. In each class, these elements are put together, spanning over 2-3 routines. The routines are learnt during the class and then, all the moves are performed together in the end. Most instructors try to offer various options for different levels of dance ability, regardless of the complexity of the choreography.
Benefits Of Step Aerobics
- Step aerobics have many benefits, as they help to burn calories and maintain a balanced weight. The number of calories depends on the speed of movements, step height and duration of the exercise.
- Step aerobics are a good way to ensure endurance training in your workout. This also helps to maintain cardiovascular health.
- Gait and balance is improved by the strength training part of step aerobics. They two are known to have a very positive influence on the mental health.