Santa Monica Stairs: The Best Free Workout on the Westside

Keeping LA Fit

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by Kacie and Julie of Exercise LA

It’s officially fall, and while we’re still waiting for the weather to catch up in Los Angeles, when it does, there will be no better time for outdoor workouts! One of our favorites just so happens to also be free (which is always a plus). What once was a hidden gem nestled within a quiet Santa Monica neighborhood has now become a workout hotspot for outdoor fitness fans. The biggest draw of doing the Santa Monica Steps (located on Adelaide Drive between 4th and 7th streets) is that they are free to the public and open 24-7, 365 days a year.

There are two sets of steps: wooden ones that are wider across and offer a straight shot up, and concrete ones that are narrower and wind back and forth like switchbacks on a trail. Most steppers keep to themselves and obey an unspoken “etiquette” that involves allowing those a bit quicker to pass freely on one’s side on their way up and down. We always bring an iPod and try to keep our workout fresh by alternating between taking one stair at a time, to two at a time, to sideways stepping, and even running and jumping. It does take a little getting used to, so don’t be surprised if your legs tremble on your drive home.

When you wake up the morning after and can barely walk, don’t be discouraged! Your toned legs and strong calves will thank you in the weeks to come!

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