With public gyms going through cycles of being opened and closed, many of us have turned to home gyms for our workout needs. And while treadmills and exercise bikes are what we often think of when we envision home exercise machines, stair climbers are also very effective at keeping the body moving while keeping the mind interested. Do stair climbers give a good home workout? When used properly they can be just as effective as some of the more popular home exercise machines. In this article we’ll go over some of the main benefits of using a home stair climber.
How Does A Stair Climber Work?
A stair climber is an exercise machine that simulates climbing stairs by employing two foot pads that alternate up and down as you apply pressure to each. The pressure of the steps can be varied by increasing or decreasing resistance and speed. A stair climber usually has a handrail to provide support although you should try and hold on as little as possible as this will help increase your core strength.
Easy on The Joints
Stair climbers are ideal for those who suffer from joint issues or who have been advised to avoid high impact exercises. The motion of the foot pads is smooth, and your feet never come off them meaning that, as opposed to climbing real stairs, there’s virtually no impact occurring at all. This becomes especially noticeable when you have to come back down on a real set of stairs. A stair climber can also provide a more efficient workout than climbing actual stairs because of the ability to easily change resistance levels.
A Cardiovascular Workout
A stair climber can give you a proper cardiovascular workout. It can be used for aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping and your lungs moving oxygen. It’s possible to perform high intensity interval training on a stair climber or keep a slow and steady pace that challenges the endurance of your heart and lungs.
A Calorie Burning Workout
A stair climber can also be used to burn calories, burn fat and reduce body weight. Spending 30 minutes on the stair climber can burn anywhere from 180 to 260 calories depending on your body size and the intensity of your workout. Many stair climbers feature calorie counters that will allow you to know how many calories your workout is actually consuming.
A Lower Body Workout
Of course, the stair climber is known for its lower body benefits. The quadriceps, or the front of the thigh, receive much of the benefit from using the stair climber. But your glutes or butt, calves and hamstrings will also all be fully employed when using the stair climber. That said, using the stair climber will tone and sculpt your lower body, so you needn’t be worried about ending up with bulky legs or thighs. If you’re looking to bulk up your lower body it’s better to concentrate on strength and resistance training using weights.
A Core Workout
Using a stair climber requires balance which means that your core is getting a workout along with your legs. Alternating your weight from one leg to the other as you take steps brings your core muscle group into the workout. Your lower abs are involved in moving your legs, while the rest of your core is needed to coordinate the motions associated with stair climber use.
A Bone Strengthening Workout
Because you’re standing the entire time, using a stair climber is a weight bearing exercise that will improve the strength of your bones as well as increasing bone mass. And while many people who suffer from osteoporosis or other bones maladies are unable to do many types of exercise, a stair climber allows for a safe workout without causing undue stress on the bones.