Higher Box Height Increases Step Up Intensity


Samuel McCue


The Department of Kinesiology at California Baptist University recently conducted a study using different step heights and measured the lactate metabolism after both tests.


Take Aways

  • Both the 20cm (7.8in) and 40cm (15.7in) step heights effectively raised blood lactate levels.
  • The 40cm (15.7in) step was greater in intensity and more effective at placing stress on the anaerobic system, despite fewer step ups being performed.
  • Blood lactate levels were 75% greater when 40cm (15.7in) step ups were performed compared to the 20cm (7.8in) step ups.
  • These results were due to the fact that torque and knee joint angles were factors that altered the intensity of the exercise.


Study Summary

The study evaluated athletes using two different step heights, 20cm (7.8in) and 40cm (15.7in), during a 1-minute anaerobic step test and comparatively measured lactate production.  Nine moderately trained test subjects completed the study resting one week in between each test.  These individuals only used one leg for the test and were allowed to choose which leg they preferred.



As the study alluded, the study was only comprised of measuring the effects on one leg, whereas in training and real-world scenarios both legs are used.  Additionally, the study also mentioned that more methods of identifying the exercise should be implemented, including but not limited to heart rate monitors and electrocardiograms (EKG).  However, this can be an effective tool for measuring anaerobic capacity.  Here at Mountain Athlete we typically use a 17in box for training.



How to do Step Ups

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