https://youtu.be/SN7e-APdfhc Get in a push-up position with your shoulders directly above your hands. Now, lower…
September 25, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
A common mistake during step-ups is to push off with the non-working side either by extending the knee or ankle. To correct this “cheat” tendency, keep the knee locked, the ankle in dorsiflexion (i.e., toes up), and tap the floor with the heel only. I picked up this tip many moons ago from strength and conditioning coach Charles Poliquin who picked it up from Dr. Mark Scappaticci, a certified chiropractic sports specialist.
Some individuals, however, have difficulty executing a step-up in this manner no matter how low the step is. If that’s the case, do the exact opposite: flex the foot of the non-working leg downwards (ankle plantarflexion). At the bottom of the movement, brush the ground with your toes, pause for a second, and then return to the top position. This technique will also prevent pushing off with the back leg and works well with many beginners. I learned it from Dr. Trevor Cottrell, the former program coordinator for Sheridan College’s Exercise Science and Health Promotion degree.
Here’s a tip that I learned from the late Dr. Mel Siff, author of Supertraining and Facts and Fallacies of Fitness. To eliminate the push-off action during a step-up, stand with the heel of the non-working side on a brick or block and the toes in free space. It’s essential that you begin with a very low step and progressively increase the load at that height before moving on.
Go into any gym and watch how people do step-ups. Most of them will cheat by pushing off with the non-working side. Often, the load is too heavy or the step is too high. If you get them to eliminate the push-off action, watch what happens. It’s a very humbling experience.
The bottom line with step-ups is that you must pay attention to the non-working leg to get the most from the working leg. Lower the weight, lower the height, and do it right!