Get Your 6 Week Arm Shaping Program!
Say bye bye to your batwings
Click here to find out more

How To Do The Dumbbell Stair Step Up Exercise

The dumbbell stair step up exercise is a great alternative to the traditional squat. For some of us, we aren’t in a position that allows us to perform a squatting motion. The great thing about the dumbbell stair step up exercise is that it uses all the same muscle groups as the traditional squat but without the stress to our knees.

I personally use the dumbbell stair step up exercise as a warm up exercise prior to performing my regular squat routine. It really helps to activate the quadriceps (front of the upper thighs), hamstrings and booty. You can perform the dumbbell stair step up just about anywhere, on a short step ladder (as in the photos below) or on your stairs. If you are new to exercise, try using no weight for the first workout to get a feel for the step up motion.  

How to do the dumbbell stair step up exercise - Starting position

How to do the dumbbell stair step up exercise - Step position

Position for the dumbbell stair step up exercise

Place your feet a few inches away from the edge of the step. Grab a pair of dumbbells from the floor and stand up straight with your arms loose and at your sides. Retract your shoulders back and down and slightly puff out your chest. Keep your head level and look straight ahead. I suggest picking a spot on the wall and keep your eyes focused on that spot throughout the movement.  

Execution of the dumbbell stair step up exercise

With your right leg, step up and bring your left leg onto the step. Pause for a moment and step back down. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and switch legs.  


Breathe in as you step up and breathe out as you step down.

Important points for the dumbbell stair step up exercise

·         It will take a few tries to get your form and balance. If you are having a hard time with your balance, try using no weight for the first few times.

·         Be aware of your feet. You may need to look down a few times or glance to make sure your stepping up correctly. This is fine but don’t make it a habit because you want to make sure your back stays straight and by looking down your will round your back.

·         Choose a step that isn’t too high.

·         Remember to switch legs.

Video for the stair step up exercise

Related Exercises:

Dumbbell Chair Squat Exercise

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Exercise

The Wall Sit Exercise

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

Return to Belly Fat Burning Exercises