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Exercise: Bench Step-Ups with Weight Plates

This lower body iso-lateral strength exercise is designed to train  symmetry in the strength / force profile of the in the soleus-gastrocnemius-achilles complex and the large musculature in the push-off leg while improving joint mechanics in the hip, knee and ankle. Additionally, the exercise trains isometric strength through  the athlete's core, shoulders and arms.

This strength exercise should be included in all base leg strength training programs, particularly athletes rehabilitating leg injuries and athletes who require iso-lateral push-off strength.

Have you tried this exercise? Share your training experience with us.

Primary Muscle Groups: Gastrocnemius, Achilles, Soleus, Trapezius, Deltoids, and the muscles of the Arms.  The hip flexors and other major muscles (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteals) of the legs and the deep musculature of the abdomen and low back are also active in the execution of this exercise.
Technique Ques: The athlete positions one foot on top of a jump box (box height should be set so that the athlete's leg is in a position of 90o knee and 90o hip flexion. The aim of the exercise is to isolate and develop strength in the leg on the box (the push-off leg).  The athlete begins the exercise by pushing through the heel /middle foot of the foot on the box, extending the knee and hips simultaneously. The athlete should try to avoid any swinging arm movement during the step up, and should also try to avoid any forward glide of their push-off knee - the knee should not slide forward past the toes.
As the athlete drops back into hip and knee flexion, the athlete should concentrate on pushing the hips posterior, while maintaining a neutral spine. The athlete can achieve this by concentrating on loading the Glutes and Hamstrings.
Options for Progression: An athlete can progress the difficulty of this exercise by increasing the number of repetitions completed, by increasing the height of the box, by increasing the weight of the weight plates, by increasing the number of sets completed, or by changing the rest ratios between sets.

Variations of the Bench Step-Up
Bench Step-Ups with Rapid Hip Flexion
Bench Step-Ups with Olympic Bar
Bulgarian Squat

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This website is not intended to provide medical advice whereby any and all exercise suggestions or recommendations contained within should not be taken as such. Please review the PTSI Privacy Policy and Authorized Use Policy and consult your physican before engaging in any activity described in this website.
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