Whether you are a fitness fanatic or a couch potato, I’m sure you will have heard of Step Aerobics at some point, and maybe have even given it a try? Nowadays there are many different types of Aerobics classes which pull in ideas from areas such as dance or weightlifting, but Step Aerobics, which hit the keep fit scene in 1989, was one of the first exercises to add a different slant to the bog standard aerobics class.
Basically the idea behind Step Aerobics is that you have a sturdy plastic box, called a Step, which you repeatedly step on and off whilst doing different types of moves. You typically start a routine stood behind the Step, but during the session the instructor may tell you to move sideways, backwards and forwards, turn whilst stepping and much more.
Step Aerobics has developed its own lingo, just like many other forms of exercise do, so if you’re new to the idea then when the instructor calls out to perform an L-Step, a Hop Turn or Straddle Ups you might be a little confused, but generally the moves are repeated several times so you just have to keep an eye on the instructor and your fellow steppers to get back in sync with the rest of the class. All of sudden it becomes apparent why aerobics studios tend to have lots of mirrors in them!
One of the main innovators of Step Aerobics was Gin Miller, who came up with the idea after suffering a knee injury and being told to step up and down on a box as part of her physiotherapy regime. Seeing the benefits for herself she set about devising how she could take the stepping idea and make it safe, easy and fun for people to do.
Whilst many different fitness companies make Step equipment (i.e. the Step itself) it is Reebok who are normally most associated with Step Aerobics, both through the making of the steps and also through the supply of materials for instructors to follow when they run a Step class.