Different variations of step ups to hit different parts of the legs. Excellent for strength, size and athleticism!
Step up is a phenomenal exercise that is commonly utilized by many athletes and female fitness trainees to develop strength and size to the entire lower body.
Other good single leg exercises:
Step up is a single leg exercise which allows you to develop strength unilaterally. This comes with many unique benefits such as improved balance, coordination and stability. Many muscles like inner hamstrings and inner thighs need to work hard for these attributes.
Step ups allow you to hit your legs from angles which isn't possible with exercises like bilateral squats and deadlifts. For example, the lateral and reverse step ups will heavily target the glutes and hamstrings in a unique fashion.
The height of the box and how far away you step up to the box will also change the stimulus of the muscles. The smaller the box and the closer you are to the box, the more you will often utilize the quads (it ultimately depends on the form).
Another great benefit of step ups is that they will let you solely focus on the explosive concentric phase. This means that you don't have to lower yourself down in control unless you actually want to.
Focusing on the explosive concentric phase will allow an athlete (or a fitness enthusiast) focus only on building explosive strength without fatiguing or tiring the muscles too much with the negative eccentric phase. This is excellent if you want to be fresh in your sports practice or martial arts class later the day.
You can incorporate step ups as a part of your leg workout: pick 1-4 different variations of step ups and focus only on those. 3 sets and 8 to 16 repetitions per set is a good range to build both strength and size.
Train hard, stay safe.