If you’re working out at home, steppers are an excellent choice. They’re a great way to get your heart pumping while toning and strengthening your legs plus most of them take up a lot less space than other home cardio machines. However, despite these benefits, a stepper may not be the right piece of home workout equipment for you. In this article I will be looking at the things you need to consider before making your final decision to buy a stepper.
1) Can Be Painful For People With Joint Problems
Although stepping is a low impact exercise, if you have serious ankle, hip or knee problems, it can still cause pain in the affected joints. Therefore, if you do have joint problems, try and have a go on a stepper before you make your final purchase, so you can see what it feels like. If you have a friend who owns a stepper, ask them if you can have a go on it. If you don’t, head down to your local gym for a one off session, hop on the stepper and see how it feels on your ankles, hips and knees.
If stepping does aggravate your joints, go for an elliptical machine, an exercise bike or a rowing machine instead. All three of these cardio machines fully support your joints as you exercise and don’t place any downward pressure on them as you go through the motions.
2) Difficult To Balance
One other thing to be aware of before buying a stepper is that balancing on certain models can be very difficult. Mini-steppers in particular are very testing when it comes to balance as they have no handles to hold onto and require you to balance on the unstable steps without any extra support.
If your balance isn’t great, consider going for a regular stepper instead of a mini-stepper. Regular steppers come with handles to hold onto, so if you’re not very good at balancing, they provide you with the support you need. Alternatively, if you only have enough free space for a mini-stepper, you can exercise close to a wall and hold onto the wall as you exercise until your balance improves.
3) Inefficient Workout
One of the main problems with regular steppers is that people who can’t balance tend to lean on the handles too much and place an increasing amount of bodyweight on the handles as they get tired during the workout. This results in less calories being burned and an inefficient workout because instead of taking full steps and lifting your entire bodyweight, you start to take mini-steps and the handles support most of your bodyweight.
The good news is that once you’re aware of this problem it’s very easy to fix. Instead of holding onto the handles, just rest your hands lightly on top of them. This will allow you to keep your balance without cheating and transferring your bodyweight to the handles. Then when you are stepping, focus on standing upright at all times and doing full steps, so that your legs get the best workout possible.
4) Lower Body Workout Only
A further thing you need to think about before buying a stepper is that it provides you with a lower body workout only. This is fine if your main fitness goal is to have strong, toned legs and good cardiovascular fitness. However, if you want something that incorporates your upper body too, you might prefer an elliptical trainer or a rowing machine. Both these cardio machines still give your legs a good workout but also utilize your arms, back, chest and core to give you a well rounded, full body workout.
5) Not Sports Specific
One final thing to think about before buying a stepper is that the stepping motion itself isn’t sports specific. This doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout and your fitness won’t improve. However, if you are training for a bike race or running race, you’ll better results with an exercise bike or a treadmill, as you’ll also get to practice the technique at the same time as improving your fitness.
If you’re looking for a simple but effective piece of home cardio equipment that focuses on your legs, a stepper is a great choice. However, make sure you consider all the things in this article carefully before you make your final decision to buy. If you have joint problems, you struggle with balance or you simply want something that works your entire body, a stepper may not be the best cardio machine for you. Good luck making your final decision and I hope this article has helped.
Steppers are an excellent way to boost your fitness, drop some unwanted pounds and tone your leg muscles. By purchasing your very own stepper, you can enjoy all these benefits within the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, deciding which stepper to buy isn’t an easy decision and there’s a lot to think about. In this article I’m going to guide you through the buying process and help you find the perfect stepper for you with four simple but effective stepper buying tips.
1) Determine How Much You Can Afford To Spend
The most important part of the stepper buying process is setting a budget. Before you even start looking at steppers, decide how much you can afford to spend and then don’t look at any steppers that exceed this price. By doing this at the very beginning, you’ll get a realistic picture of the type of steppers you can afford and won’t end up disappointed later on in the buying process.
2) Choose The Type Of Stepper Power You Want
Once you’ve set a budget for yourself, the next thing you need to decide is how you want your stepper to be powered; manually or electronically.
Manual steppers are generally cheaper than electronic steppers, so if you’re on a tight budget, they are an excellent choice. However, the resistance is generally more difficult to adjust on manual steppers, so if you are planning to change the level of resistance multiple times during your workout, an electronic stepper may be more suitable for you.
Electronic steppers are much more flexible when it comes to changing the resistance and speed. You simply press the buttons on the stepper and the resistance or speed adjusts while you carry on with your workout. Electronic steppers also generally place less pressure on your ankles and knees than manual steppers. However, this additional flexibility and reduced joint pressure does come at a cost and electronic steppers are more expensive than their manual counterparts.
3) Choose The Type Of Stepper Design You Want
The design of your stepper is another key thing to consider before making your final purchase. There are three main stepper designs to choose from; mini-steppers, regular steppers and stair climbers.
Mini-steppers generally feature just pedals and have no handles to hold onto. However, some mini-steppers do come with bands that you can attach to the pedals and use to get a full body workout. Mini-steppers are the cheapest and smallest of the three types, so if you don’t have much to spend or you have limited workout and storage space in your home, they’re a great choice. However, since there’s no handles to hold onto, balancing on mini-steppers can be difficult.
Regular steppers have the same pedal design as mini-steppers but also have a frame with handles to hold onto. As a result, balancing on mini-steppers is a lot easier which makes them more accessible and easier to use. Since the handles allow you to take some of the strain off your legs, you can also work out on regular steppers for much longer than you can on mini-steppers. However, the additional frame does come at a cost and regular steppers are more expensive to buy than mini-steppers.
Stair climbers are very different to mini and regular steppers. Instead of having pedals, they have a set of revolving steps which you climb like a regular set of stairs. Working out on a stair climber is much more intensive than the other two types of steppers and requires you to move your legs much more. However, stair climbers are generally the largest and most expensive type of stepper.
Deciding which of the three types is best for you will come down to two main factors – money and space. If you’re on a really tight budget or have limited workout space then a mini-stepper is what you need. If you have a bit more to spend and a reasonable amount of space, a regular stepper is a great choice. If you have a large stepper budget and a lot of workout space, you’ll want to go for a stair climber.
4) Make A Shortlist
After you’ve chosen your stepper design and the type of power you want, it’s time to make a shortlist. To do this, read the reviews on the steppers that match your criteria and then choose the five best models based on the features of the steppers and the customer feedback. Once you have your five, write down a list of pros and cons for each one and then make your final decision, based on which stepper has the most pros. If it’s a close call, pick one factor that’s most important to you (detailed tracking, quiet motor etc) and then go with the stepper that excels in that area.
Finding the right stepper can seem daunting at first. However, if you follow the tips listed above you’ll be able to find one that has all the key features you want at a price that’s right for you. So if you haven’t done so already, get online, put together your shortlist and find your ideal stepper today.
Steppers are a unique but useful piece of home cardio equipment that allow you to get all the fitness benefits of running up and down your stairs, without annoying everyone in your house. In this article I’m going to be focusing on the benefits of steppers, discussing them in more detail and explaining exactly why they are such a good home workout machine.
1) Leg Toning & Strengthening
One of the biggest benefits of steppers is that they can add some serious strength and tone to your legs. While cycling, rowing, running on a treadmill and gliding on an elliptical trainer all help to build up some strength in your legs, they simply don’t compare to the effectiveness of a stepper. The constant stair climbing motion is the fastest way to build strength and tone in your leg muscles using a cardio machine and if this is your main fitness goal, a stepper is an excellent purchase.
2) High Calorie Burn
Another great thing about steppers is that behind treadmills, they’re the most effective cardio machine in terms of calories burned with one hour of moderate stepping burning through an impressive 735 calories. In comparison, one hour of moderate cycling on an exercise bike or moderate rowing on a rowing machine burns through just 572 calories – a difference of 163 calories.
If you exercised for an hour every day this adds up to a difference of 1,141 calories a week, 4,944 calories a month and 59,332 calories a year. In terms of weight loss, that equates to losing an extra 5 ounces every week, an extra 1.4 pounds every month and an extra 17 pounds every year. This is a huge difference and if weight loss is one of your main goals, a stepper can really help you rapidly drop the pounds and achieve your goal.
3) Zero Impact Cardio
As well as doing a great job of burning calories and strengthening your legs, steppers are also very kind to your joints. If you’ve got arthritis or any other kind of painful joint problem that prevents you from running on a treadmill, buying a stepper is a great way to carry on exercising. You’ll burn almost as many calories but you’ll do it without hurting your ankles, hips or knees and you’ll also prevent any further damage from developing.
4) Low Cost
Steppers are one of the cheapest home cardio machines around and a great option if you’re operating on a tight budget. With the exception of the stair climber design, almost all the steppers on the market cost less than $500 to buy and many cost less than $100. When you compare this to the vast majority of treadmills which cost $500+, it’s a big difference and if cost is one of your key concerns, steppers represent excellent value for money.
Steppers are also one of the most compact home cardio machines available, so if you only have limited workout and storage space at home, they’re a brilliant alternative to larger home cardio machines such as treadmills.
Most mini-steppers measure less than 20 inches in length and width and are less than 15 inches in height which means that all you need to do is find a small amount of floor space and you’re ready to start stepping. The super small design also makes storing them a breeze and they can easily fit into a small pocket of space in a closet or slot comfortably under your bed. Even full sized regular steppers with handles generally take up very little floor space when you’re exercising and a lot of them can be folded for easy storage when they’re not in use.
6) Full Range Of Motion
One final benefit of steppers is that they guide your legs through a full range of motion when you workout. A lot of other cardio machines on the market fail to do this and as a result, certain areas of your body get neglected and lose flexibility.
For example, exercise bikes focus on your legs but never allow them to fully extend. As a result, using an exercise bike regularly can cause your legs to stiffen up and also prevent certain parts of your leg from getting a proper workout.
Exercising on a stepper allows you to fully extend your legs which gives them a more effective workout and also keeps them supple.
As you can see, there’s a lot to like about steppers. They’re kind to your joints, they’re kind to your wallet and they don’t take up much space in your home. So if these benefits have you convinced, get online, get one bought and start stepping away those calories right away.