The step up is an introductory activity in a progression to resistance squat exercises – for example, back squats and overhead squats.
The step up is performed with the athlete initially facing a raised platform. The athlete initiates the movement by lifting one knee and extending the leg to place the foot on the platform. The plant (rear) leg should be slightly flexed in preparation for lifting onto the platform.
When the foot is placed on the platform, the knee should be even or slightly behind the toe – the objective is to have the shin perpendicular (at a 90-degree angle) to the platform during the step up.
With the lead foot planted on the platform, the athlete pushes through the hamstrings and glutes of the lead side to raise the rear foot onto the platform. The athlete should avoid swaying or otherwise using his/her torso to assist in the step up. The movement should be under control.
To complete the movement, the athlete will place both feet evenly on the platform and fully extend hips and knees creating an upright position.
To step down, the athlete uses the side that originally performed the step-up – flexing the rear knee into a 90-degree position. The downward movement should be under control and the body positions should be similar to the positions during the step up.
The movement completes with both feet firmly on the ground and the hips and knees at extension.