Things To Consider Before Buying A Stepper
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.