THE STEP UP - ESSENTIAL WEIGHTLIFTING EXERCISE Learn the Step Up from U.S. Olympic & Team USA coach, Harvey Newton. The Step-up is a unilateral lower body exercise primarily for the gluteal and thigh muscles. The step-up can serve as a supplemental exercise for weightlifters or as a primary exercise for non-lifters strength training for a different sport. Resistance may be bodyweight, a pair of dumbbells held in the hands, or a barbell held on the upper back as in squatting. It is strongly advised that the first set should be performed with bodyweight only, so as to familiarize the athlete with the exercise. Be sure the area around the athlete is free from obstacles or miscellaneous items, such as loose barbell discs. The height of the step onto which the athlete rises will vary by sport or individual need. Be careful to place the elevated foot completely on a solid stepping surface. Without pushing off or jumping from the ground, exhale slightly while standing up onto the raised surface by extending the knee and hip joints. Bring the former ground-based foot alongside the raised foot on the elevated surface. Pause, then return to the starting position. Several options for executing the step-up are available: 1) step-up on the right leg, bring the left leg up, step down with the left leg first; 2) step-up on the right leg, bring the left leg up, step down with the right leg first, proceed by alternating legs; 3) perform all reps while leaving one foot elevated throughout, then switch to the other leg.