One of the best ways to raise your heart rate, and reap the cardio benefits, is to climb stairs. However, there aren't always a convenient set of stairs available. In fact, you'd probably have to go up and down the ones you do find dozens of times to gain anything. Well, thankfully a trio of Oklahoma fitness enthusiasts designed the first stair machine in the early 1980s.
Today, fitness-minded people can get step machine workouts right in the comfort of their own home. Stair machines can be from small, portable designs to large gym stair machine models. Here are answers to a few common questions about stair machines, plus three excellent Stairmaster workout programs that you can incorporate into your exercise plan.
Questions and Answers
Is Stair-Stepper a Good Workout?
While walking or jogging on a treadmill and stationary bikes are great exercise, the stair stepper workout adds both cardio benefit and resistance. You'll gain the benefits of an elevated heart rate, plus workout your entire lower body, including your core. You can get in shape without the help of a personal trainer.
What Does a Step-Machine do for Your Body?
The motion of climbing stairs causes you to create a physical force to lift your body up one step to the next. Each time you push off from a lower level, you use both your upper and lower leg, plus your buttocks. To stabilize between lifting one leg and transferring your balance you also use your core muscles.
How Many Calories do you Burn on a Step Machine?
The calories burnen on a stair machine workout and other types of cardio equipment is relatively comparable. For instance, a 175-pound person will burn on average 243 calories during a moderate 30-minute stair stepper workout. To match this, you would need to run 2½ miles at a 12-minute per mile pace.
How Long Should You Stay on a Stair-Climber?
Like any machine exercise programs, the time of your cardio workout should be matched with your fitness level. While you can go for more extended periods at a casual climbing speed, most stair machine workouts are no more than one hour in length, with a general average of 20 to 30 minutes. You can use an lcd display to track your progress.
Which muscles does the Stepper work out?
The step machine, when used as a hiit trainer, tones your lower body, the movement working out the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and calf muscles. It also improves your sense of balance.
Is Stair-Climbing Good for Your Abs?
While the primary benefits that stair climbing targets are the lower leg muscles and your cardio system, climbing the stairs is also great for your core. A vigorous stair machine program is an excellent way to sculpt your entire body, including your abs. Stair-Climbing doesn't tend to do as much for your upper body.
Is Stair-Climbing Good for Weight Loss?
The physical act of forcing your body up one step at a time increases your heart rate at a higher rate than walking or moderate jogging. Since losing weight means burning calories, and burning calories is the number one factor in weight loss, stair climbing is a super way to shed pounds.
Three Excellent Methods
There are many preset programs on most step machines. While these are designed to put you through a good workout associated with your training level, sometimes you may want more. You may be pressed for time or want to focus on more speed and endurance.
You may also want to do a workout that incorporates multiple benefits into one session. Each of these Stairmaster workouts can be modified to fit your fitness level or training aspirations. We'll begin with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program. Next, we'll explain a good interval circuit to build speed, and then finish with a crossover workout.
You can gain tremendous low impact cardio benefits from using a stair stepper machine. Because the action of climbing stairs raises the heart rate so dramatically, it is consequently an excellent way to burn calories as well. For suggestions for portable stair steppers or the best stair-steppers for home use, check out my buying guide: