Stairway to heaven or Stepmill of death
I absolutely HATE the stepmill machine. It’s this big, lumbering pain in my backside – literally. It’s like it spots me from across the room, feeling fit and confident and says, “Hey! Come over here and be brought straight back down to earth.”
But unfortunately when it comes to fitness what you hate is usually what’s best for you. So, I have decided to unpack why the step machine is so good for you aka why I hate it so much.
It fully engages your lower body
The larger muscles in your lower body become fully engaged when using a stair stepper. The sneaky bugger makes you feel like you are actually climbing a stupidly large and never ending set of stairs. You’ll feel the burn almost immediately and usually for an unfair amount of days afterwards.
It is good for weight loss
That pain you are feeling in your calves, quads, glutes and hamstrings is burning some serious calories. If you’re completely suicidal you can easily step things up a notch by climbing backwards or laterally. With good posture a 63kg woman can burn around 572 calories in an hour. That is pretty good considering you can watch TV while you do it.
It is great for beginners
If I am being honest, it is pretty good for beginners. The upper body is fixed while the legs move, which requires a lot less coordination than most other gym machines. So, you may feel like you’re going to trip on the stairs and chip a tooth, but it is highly unlikely. If anyone was going to fall it would be me and so far so good.
It is a very effective cardio and aerobic workout
Say goodbye to the days of feeling out of breath when climbing stairs. The stepmill is great for cardiovascular exercise due to its ability to raise your heart rate almost immediately. You will feel the dramatic increase in your aerobic capacity and it will eventually result in everyday activities becoming easier.
Step machines provide a low impact workout
Unlike jogging and running, which place a lot of impact on your legs and back, there is barely any impact when using a step machine. When done correctly, a workout on a step machine is easier on your joints and is particularly great for heavier exercisers and those with knee and hip issues.
So, if you want to tone your legs and butt while burning lots of calories and improving your fitness, step machines offer a great way to do it all in one simple (but not easy!) workout. But, this is not the place to start on your first day in the gym, there’s a reason a stepmill is always free when all the treadmills are taken, just sayin’.