This very popular form of aerobic exercise involves stepping on and off a step. The exact type and rate of movement varies, but simple step-up, step-down aerobics can be as beneficial to aerobic fitness as more intense movements, and less damaging to joints. Step aerobics is linked to more knee injuries than other forms of aerobics. Many of the injuries are due to poor technique and poor tuition in classes that are too large. Stepping rates are usually about 120 per minute and the step is 6–8 inches (about 15–20 cm) high. The higher the step and the higher the rate of stepping, the greater the risk of injury. Therefore, step aerobics should be tailored to individual requirements, and the routine should take into consideration the size and fitness levels of individuals. To minimize risk of injury, steps should be performed gently and carefully. Power stepping (high impact stepping that may involve the use of handweights) is gaining popularity as a more robust form of step aerobics. Although it has a greater effect on strength, it carries a higher risk of injury and does not improve aerobic fitness any more than traditional step aerobics.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.