You can add intensity to your step aerobics classes many different and fun ways–to accelerate fat-burning and improve fitness.

The first obvious way is to add more risers. Who says you must stop at two? And if three on each side don’t challenge you, go for four.

Here are more ways to add intensity to a step aerobics class:

Lunge step. When the instructor calls for this, add a hop to it. And/or, go down deeper. Gee, it doesn’t stop there, either.

Do a little leaning forward at the hips as you lunge, and touch your fingertips to the stepper.

Repeaters. Go deeper and/or add a little hop as you bring up the non-supporting leg.

Basic, knee, straddle and turn steps. Add a little hop or even a full-out single-leg jump. Or, you can add a jogging movement to these. Another option is to replace the basic or knee with two-legged jumping.

You can also replace the straddle with jumping: From the straddle position, jump up onto the stepper, both feet landing at the same time, then jump off. If you can’t keep up with the instructor’s tempo, slow to half speed to match her every other step.

Here are additional ways to add intensity to a step aerobics class:

Do the arm choreography while holding 1 or 2 lb. dumbbells or the smallest weight plates in the gym.

Wear a weighted vest or weighted backpack.

For brief segments of the class, use five or six risers. For example, an extra high height can be used for the basic, knee or straddle step.

Another way to add intensity is to insert a deep squat at the end of every turn step. In fact, make it a deep squat into a jump squat. You’ll need to move very quickly to keep up.

If you can’t keep up, then slow the tempo down to match the instructor for every other completion of the move.

You’ll have lots of fun with your step aerobics classes when you start employing these intensity techniques.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building and fitness.