I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to liven up my workouts and to make my cardio sessions more fun. After all, if something is fun, you’ll be more excited about doing it, right?

In my search for how to spruce up my StairMaster routine, I came across this YouTube video. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t even pull off dance moves like that on flat ground much less on a moving StairMaster! But this guy did inspire me to put a little more pep in my step and reminded me that working out and exercising is fun.

Here are 4 (non-dance move) ways to spruce up your StairMaster workout:

  1. Leg Lifts – Put the StairMaster on a slower speed and step up with one leg and then lift the other one behind you before you step up. You can hold on to the sides of the machine for balance, but don’t hold yourself up with your arms.

    leg lifts

    For a more advanced option, try this move with no hands! Try to do 5-10 leg lifts per side every 2 minutes during your workout.

  2. Skip Steps – While the StairMaster is still on a slow speed, step up and skip a step or two. As you get more comfortable with this move, you can increase your speed for more of a challenge. And again, if you’re holding on to the sides of the machine, make sure you’re not pulling yourself up with your arms… use those strong legs! The extra step will really target your glutes.

    skip steps

    You can mix in a few skip steps throughout your workout, or do 5-10 minutes of skip steps at any point in your workout.

  3. Side Steps – This is a great move to target and tone up your inner and outer thighs. You can do this move two ways: Stand sideways and step up with your leading foot and then follow with your other foot, or cross your outer foot over you inner foot first. Don’t forget to switch sides!

    side steps

  4. Intervals – This is my favorite way to liven up and intensify my StairMaster workout. Have a resistance band or have a pair of weights close by. Sprint up the stairs for 1-2 minutes and then jump off the StairMaster and do a strength training move like shoulder presses, bicep curls or even an ab exercise. And repeat. Aim for 5-10 rounds.


    This is basically a HITT (high intensity interval training) workout and it’s the perfect way to get in a great sweat session on those days when you’re pressed for time and don’t have an hour to spend at the gym.

StairMasters and treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals all have the stigma of being boring, but they don’t have to be! Get creative, add some pep to your step and make your next StairMaster workout much more fun—and effective—by trying these four moves.