Stair steppers are fitness machines that help imitate the motion and process of walking up stairs. They are great ways of getting regular exercise and are one of the most convenient and portable exercise machines available. They can do a diverse range of exercises and help to benefit you through a number of different movements, allowing you to burn calories and lose weight, improve fitness and endurance, tone muscles, and improve cardiovascular health.
Choosing a stair stepper seems straightforward, but when deciding on the best stepper machine for you, you’ll want to consider a number of factors.
Benefits of Using a Stepper
You’re probably thinking, why buy a stepper at all when you can use a set of stairs? While in principle, you may not need a stepper, if you plan on consistent use you will definitely prefer a stair stepper exercise machine over a traditional staircase. The main advantage of using a stepper machine over regular stairs is that it’s a low impact workout, and there is less resistance on your joints and knees. This is achieved through the use of a resistance piston system that helps absorb shock which your knees and joints would normally absorb.
This can be very important for your long-term physical health if you regularly workout. Most of these machines require a small amount of space and are extremely portable allowing you to use them virtually anywhere. You can use it in any room of your home, bring them to work, and even bring them outside with you. Most of these machines are also fairly inexpensive, making them a cost effective purchase with a high output. The convenience and simplicity will also encourage you to actually use it!
You can also turn your stair stepper into a full body workout by adding a set of rubber resistance bands. This gives you the ability to use your stepper for a complete workout, giving you an extremely convenient and diverse exercise tool.
Types of Stair Steppers
There are two main differences when picking a regular stair stepper, motorized or manual. Motorized steppers maintain a regulated movement by using motors to help with the upward motion of the returning foot. This takes some effort away, since manual steppers use the force from your physical downward motion to raise the other step. Therefore, manual steppers require more of an effort and exertion of force.
The advantages of stair steppers are that they are sturdy, secure, and offer greater stability. They are durable and long-lasting, taking more wear and tear than any mini steppers. The manual versions are typically quieter than ones with motors, but motorized steppers are usually not too loud. These are a lot more expensive than other types of steppers, but should last longer as well. They are heavier and take up more space than other steppers, and are therefore very difficult to transport and harder to store. These steppers are built stronger and can hold more weight as well.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper is a compact, diverse exercise machine that is extremely portable and easy to use. It has adjustable resistance settings to tailor your workout and is built from durable, long-lasting steel. It features an LCD display to keep track of your total count, time, and burned calories. The Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper with Handle Bar gives you the same features but also has a standing handle bar for more stability while standing. The Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stepper features hydraulics to ensure your steps are smoother and easily folds for convenient storage and transport. It features a monitor that displays steps per minute, number of steps, time, and calories burned. The Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper offers many of the same features, designed to help build mountain climbing endurance and mimic a more intense workout. It also features hydraulic cylinders for a smoother step and folds for easy storage and transport. They also features models designed specifically for women, like this Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper Pink.
|Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper |
Perfect for deep muscle workouts on areas such as the butt and thighs. This stepper is also designed for more serious workouts.
|Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper with Handlebar|
At a very low cost, the Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper With Handle Bars is an extremely affordable way for someone to get started on a cardiovascular conditioning program with a strength compliment.
|Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stepper |
A small, convenient, out of the way, easy to store folding stepper, Adjustable resistance. This might be the best feature of Stamina’s solution to our problem – if you are a beginner you can make it easy. If you are a veteran stair taker, up the resistance level and keep a solid workout going strong!
|Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper|
With two adjustable cylinders proving resistance you will workout with a great, smooth and steady, motion. The “read-out” display screen will keep you on top of the work you’re getting done (and keep you inspired!).
|Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper, in Pink|
Twisting action creates a side-to-side movement,
Combine the side-to-side motion with the up-and-down motion and that backside and those thighs will be tighter than ever.
Steel construction that means you won’t be breaking this even with daily use.
Mini steppers are just that: small, lightweight, portable versions of regular stair steppers. These stair steppers are by far the least expensive, but they are also less sturdy, durable, and reliable. These are typically made from low quality materials and are not suited for heavier people, and may prove to be so light that they can shift during use. However, these steppers are extremely small and lightweight, making them great for transport and storage. If you want to do upper body workouts as well, you can use resistance bands with your stepper too.
The Original Health Club Step with Basic Step DVD has a non-slip surface and comfort cushion top. It adjusts to 4”, 6”, and 8” heights to diversify the intensity of your workout and is both sturdy and stable. It also has an option for a workout DVD to help guide you on some of the best ways to use your stepper. The Step F1015W Circuit Step adjusts between 4” and 6” heights, features a non-slip surface and supports up to 275 pounds. It is extremely compact and convenient for portable use. The Tone Fitness Aerobic Stepper has a non-slip surface and adjusts to two different heights with 4” and 6” settings. If you are looking to do upper body workouts as well, you may want to consider a stepper with resistance bands, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands.
Elliptical exercise machines are very similar to – and relatively indistinguishable – from stair steppers. These machines are very similar and even work out the same area of the body: legs. However, these use a horizontal more than vertical movement, and are considered slightly safer and offering some upper body exercise as well.
The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is a top quality elliptical trainer that allows you to adjust the resistance and features an electronic display that shows strides per minute, total strides, time, and burned calories. It has safe non-slip grips and is made from steel for durable construction. The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine is a high quality elliptical with a variety of electronic input functions to adjust and monitor your workout. It features 22 programs and 2 different user settings so you can quickly have it work for two different people. It offers adjustable resistance for various exercise levels as well.
Choosing the Best Stair Stepper
Deciding on the best stepper machine will ultimately depend on what you want from it. If you want a machine that will stay permanently in your home, and can take up more space, you may want to purchase a higher end machine with more settings and options. However, if you want to be able to easily work it in various rooms of your house, or even take it to work, the park, or a friends, you may want a mini stepper for the best in portability. Some of the main things you will want to consider is your available floor and ceiling space, whether you want a manual or motorized machine, and whether portability is important to you.