How to Do Poliquin Step Up Properly

The Poliquin step up is an isometric exercise that uses a slant board to target lower body muscles.

The slant board is a wedge-shaped stand that you put your foot on. You stand on it with the balls of your feet.

To accomplish this, stack boards until they’re about half a foot long then place the slant board on top.

Place one foot on the board then bring up the rest of your body.

It works like a single-leg squat with a very limited range of motion.

To do this exercise:

  • Make sure your back is straight and raise your active leg to the slanted board. Stand on the balls of your feet.
  • Flex the toes of your dormant leg.
  • Bend until the knee is at 30 degrees.
  • Squeeze your quads as your switch legs.
  • Repeat for the desired reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO POLIQUIN STEP UP WORK?

This exercise helps strengthen the knee and works on your quads.

1.      QUADS

The quadriceps are found on the upper thigh. They lie on the femur and are connected from the base of the pelvis to the kneecap.

The main role of the quads is to extend the knee.

They also help with the flexing of the hips such as bringing the legs up during a sprinting motion.

The quads are a very important muscle for activities that require power in your legs.

They are made of:

Vastus Lateralis is the powerhouse of the quads. It is also the largest muscle. It is found on the outside of the thigh.

Vastus Medialis sits towards the middle of the thigh. It helps extend the knee and tracks the knee joint preventing painful twists. Also, it starts at the femur and wraps down the entire bone and ends at the knee. It works in conjunction with the vastus lateralis to keep the knee in proper alignment.

Vastus intermedius is found beneath the rectus femoris. It is the deepest muscle in the quadriceps. It is the hardest muscle of the quads to stretch.

The rectus femoris is found in the middle of the upper thigh. It lies between the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis. It is also involved in the flexion of the hip and extending the leg.

POLIQUIN STEP UP BENEFITS

1.      IMPROVED ATHLETIC ABILITY

The quads play a huge role in an athlete’s performance. Any sport or activity that involves walking, running, swimming, jumping or dancing needs strong quads.

With stronger quads, you get more explosive power and can perform better, faster and stronger.

2.      IMPROVED HEALTH

Quads have a high rate of getting injuries. Strengthening them helps reduce the risk of injury.

Studies have found that strengthening your vastus medialis provides solid support for the knee. This helps reduce the risk of injury to the knee.

You are also less likely to develop knee pain when you add the Poliquin step up to your routine.

Weak or improperly balanced quads can lead to patellofemoral pain syndrome.

This also means the exercise can be used to rehabilitate an injured knee.

3.      EASY TO DO

This is a low impact exercise that can be done from the comfort of your home.

It also doesn’t require complex equipment or weights.

It will easily target your vastus medialis and strengthen your knee even with a limited range of motion.

4.      AESTHETICS

If you want to balance your muscles, you should work on your upper body and lower body pretty evenly.

This enables you to avoid the chicken legs look, where you have disproportionately large shoulders and pecs and skinny legs.

Adding the Poliquin step up to your routine helps develop the teardrop muscle (vastus medialis). This gives you an even look from top to bottom.

ALTERNATIVES TO POLIQUIN STEP UPS

1.      WALL SIT

When paired with hip adduction, this exercise is great for your quads. They also work on your back and abs.

To do this exercise:

  • Lean against the wall with your back straight and your feet about 12 inches away from the wall.
  • Slide down until you look like you’re sitting. Keep your back pressed against the wall and your thighs parallel to the floor. Your knees should be perpendicular to the floor.
  • Place a medicine ball between your legs and squeeze.
  • Hold the position for about half a minute increasing the time as you build strength.

2.      PLIE SQUAT

To do this exercise:

  • Stand in the traditional squat starting position with your toes pointed forwards and your hands clasped together at your chest. Hold a kettlebell in your hands to make it more challenging.
  • Widen your stance until it’s four feet wide. Keep your feet at least hip-width wide. Ensure you can still maintain proper form.
  • Angle your toes about 45 degrees away from your centre. Your knees should be in line with your toes.
  • Move your hips back slightly and bend your knees to lower your body into a squat position. Draw your backside to the ground. Tighten your abs, keep your back straight and your gaze forward.
  • Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You can go lower if you are finding it difficult to maintain the squat.
  • Hold the squat position for a few seconds. To return to the starting position, drive up through your heels while squeezing your glutes.
  • Perform at least three sets of 8-12 reps.

 

3.      BANDED WALK

This is a great Poliquin step up alternative that also works on your hips.

To do this exercise:

  • Place a resistance band around your ankles. Bend your knees a little then widen your stance.
  • Step to one side without letting your feet touch.
  • Take ten steps to the left then take the same number of steps back to the starting position.
  • Repeat at least three times.

POLIQUIN STEP UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID

Ensure your hips remain even. Start from a height where your hips don’t drop when lowering your heel back to the floor.

Keep the lifted knee over your toe. This reduces stress on your knee.

Do as many reps as possible. High reps are the only way he Poliquin step up will have any effect on your quads.

If you feel any pain in your knees, try foam rolling to reduce tightness in your quads. This increases the success rate of rehabilitating painful knees using Poliquin step ups.