Bodystep™, a program designed by Les Mills International Limited, is a modern group aerobics exercise in which participants increase their physical fitness levels to the tunes of upbeat music. Based on a simple principle of stepping up and down a height-adjustable platform, Bodystep™ offers a thorough cardio workout, building overall fitness while toning and conditioning the body at the same time. Aside from these health benefits, it also improves participants' coordination and stability.
There are essentially seven exercise moves in a typical Bodystep™ workout. Before even beginning the first move, however, participants should ensure that they have the correct posture: standing with feet head-width apart, abdomen pulled in, chest raised up, and shoulders lowered away from the ears. A good posture throughout the Bodystep™ class is important to reap optimum benefits of this exercise.
The first move is called The Basic Step. This step is the foundation of all Bodystep™ moves. It is also a move that participants can revert to when they feel unable to keep up with the rest of the group. The Basic Step requires participants to step up onto the platform, one foot at a time, and then down, generating an up, up, down, down motion. This step helps work out the quads and calves.
The second Bodystep™ move is The Alternating Pattern. Here, participants move from one leg to the other. Variants of this move are the alternate tip, knee lift, kick, and hamstring coup. In each of these variants, participants step up with one foot while using the other to perform the exercise, before changing legs to repeat the move. For instance, a full cycle of the alternate tip would result in an up, tip, down, change legs, up, tip, down motion.
The third move is The Turn Step. In this step, participants stand at one side of the platform, stepping onto it with the closest foot first, followed by the other foot on another end of the platform. Participants then step down using the first foot, followed by the second. This combination of moves generates a turn at the waist automatically.
The fourth Bodystep™ move is known as The Squat. Here, participants jump onto one end of the platform with one foot while the other remains on the floor, and then lower their waists to achieve a 90° angle at the knees. They do this again with the other leg.
The fifth move is called Across the Top. It is named as such because participants are required to skip laterally from one side, over the top of the platform, to the other side, alternating their feet at each time. This physically demanding step helps tone the hips and thighs.
The sixth move is The Speed Step. In this move, participants improve their coordination and agility through progressively quicker steps up and down the length of the platform. The platform needs to be adjusted to a lower level for the exercise to have maximum impact on the body.
The final Bodystep™ move is The Down Tap. Unlike the previous steps, participants begin on the platform, then step down to the sides of the platform, one foot at a time, touching the tips of their feet to the floor while keeping their heels raised. As participants progress through this move, they can stretch their arms up in the air, one at a time, while stepping down the platform at the same moment.