How to Do Step Up: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Step up exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Step Ups

Muscles worked in step ups



How to Do Step Ups

  1. Stand in front of a chair, bench or something else that you can step up on.
  2. Place your foot on the chair.
  3. Lightly brace your core, and step up until your leg is straight.
  4. Lower yourself in a controlled motion.
  5. You can keep your foot at the chair, and repeat for reps.


Step-ups have been shown to activate gluteus maximus even more than squats and hip thrusts do.1 It is a great exercise to do at home, since it is challenging even without weights. If you train at home, you can step up on whatever furniture you have at hand – a chair, a stair step or a bench, for example.

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Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.


  1. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 195 – 203. Gluteus Maximus Activation During Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review. Walter Krause Neto, Enrico Gori Soares, Thais Lima Vieira, Rodolfo Aguiar, Thiago Andrade Chola, Vinicius de Lima Sampaio, Eliane Florencio Gama.