Have you ever had to catch your breath doing an everyday activity? Imagine walking up a few flights of stairs. Your legs get tired, your breathing rate increases, and your heart beats faster. It turns out a simple everyday activity can feel like an intense workout when you perform it long enough. So, why not do it more often?
When you climb stairs, you use one leg to lift your body to the next step. Muscles throughout your hips, thighs, and lower leg activate to perform this movement. However, you can burn a significant number of calories over time when you repeat this movement.
If you’re looking for a quick and simple workout that’s similar to stair climbing, consider adding a stepper into your workout routine.
THE AEROBIC STEP
Since the learning curve for stair climbing isn’t steep, it is not surprising that the fitness industry pushed and developed step aerobics. Gaining popularity in the late 1980s, step aerobics consists of simple equipment and user-friendly movements.
You can get that same flexibility at home with an Aerobic Step. Its large platform and oversized step risers keep you stable as you exercise. With the ability to raise up to 8 inches off of the ground, it can be used to perform a variety of stepping movements that will engage muscles throughout your body.
When you need a break from traditional step aerobics, you can use the platform to perform bodyweight resistance training, plyometrics, dumbbell resistance training, and core exercises. With the ability to gain cardiovascular strength, increase agility, improve balance, and burn substantial calories, this step can keep you moving toward your health and fitness goals.
If the Aerobic Step is too bulky for your in-home workout space, then consider a mini stepper. These compact machines activate muscles in your lower body by emulating the natural stepping motion of stair climbing. If you’re concerned about stability, mini steppers come equipped with large anti-slip foot plates for increased balance.
Mini steppers are low impact on your joints. When you step on these machines, your feet stay in contact with the foot pedals, which reduce the force applied to your ankles, knees, and hips. The cardio machine also has a digital monitor that tracks your steps, exercise duration, and calories burned.
TWIST-N-STEPPER W/ RESISTANCE BANDS
For an additional “twist” to your workout, we’ve got just the machines for you. These twist steppers (often equipped with resistance bands, have all the benefits of a low-impact stepping workout, but add increased muscle activation in your upper body from the attached resistance bands. The bands can be used while you step or independently when you level the foot pedals at an even height. The twisting action of the “Twist-N-Stepper” engages the muscles of the hips at a different angle to add a unique feel and burn to your stepping workouts.
- Want to learn more about compact fitness equipment? Check out our 9 to 5 Fitness podcast on the best exercise equipment for small spaces.
- Looking to build a home gym with compact equipment? We’ve got the best set recommendations equipment here.
Want to start a stepper-based routine? Try this 20-minute workout.