Stand near a bench crosswise, with a bar on the trapezius or with dumbbells on each arm. You have a straight back, tight shoulder blades, and a forward gaze. Start of the movement, one foot placed on the bench which will in fact be the supporting foot, the knee at 90 ° it will be a question of carrying out an extension of this knee to find yourself in a vertical station, in order to put the second foot . Second foot which joins the 1 st foot then we descend without changing the initial support foot or by changing the support foot depending on the variant you have chosen.
Inhale on the descent and exhale on the ascent.
Main: glutes, quadriceps
Secondary: hamstrings, calves, lumbar
Interest of bench climbs
Climbing on a bench allows you to work the thighs and buttocks while being less limited by the ejectors of the spine (lumbar) as in the squat, on the one hand because the back remains more vertical and on the other hand, because the loads handled are lower. since only one thigh works at a time.
However, bench climbing is an exercise requiring a certain agility (balance) which makes it an exercise where you cannot really force. They are therefore to be used in addition to other movements.
Variants of step ups
The bench climb can be done with dumbbells. They will then require less agility.
Climbing on a bench with the same leg requires working each thigh one after the other. You can also do a right-foot climb, come back to standing, a left-foot climb, come back to a standing position…, and thus work both legs in the same series. This variant, more athletic, allows you to gain heavier, because the contraction is no longer continuous.
Danger / contraindication
The exercise is demanding on the knee joint. I advise you to precede it with several sets of leg extension seated and leg curl lying.
It should also be noted that in the event of a back problem, I do not recommend climbing on a bench. Even if the load is “light”, putting pressure (a weight) on the back is never without risk.
Despite the ease of this exercise, remember to keep your back straight throughout the exercise. To make sure the technique is respected … bring your gaze forward and not at the ground (which may cause your back to curl excessively).