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Stair climber machine, step mill, stair master, stair machine… whatever you call this machine, I’m sure you’ve seen it before. The stair climber machine is a pretty common fixture in most gyms. It’s also one of the most overlooked machines – most people seem to favor the treadmill or elliptical over the old, faithful stairs.
There’s really nothing “special” about a stair machine, just like there is nothing “special” about a treadmill. Just like a treadmill is essentially just a big conveyer belt, the stair machine is just a big, moving set of stairs.
However, the stair machine has long been my absolute favorite piece of cardio equipment to use at the gym. I actually despise the treadmill and try to avoid it like the plague, but the stair machine? I’m slightly obsessed with it! Honestly, I wish I had one in my house. One day I’m absolutely getting myself this one.
There are multiple benefits of the stair machine that you just won’t get from other cardio machines, and I think if people were familiar with the awesome stair climber machine benefits, they might give that old, dusty piece of a equipment a second try!
Listed below, you’ll find 5 awesome stair climber machine benefits – this is why I LOVE this machine and use it daily – hopefully you’ll feel the same after reading this!
5 Awesome Stair Climber Machine Benefits
1. Low Impact
If you’re suffering from a back injury and it’s been recommended that you stick to low impact exercises, then the stair machine can be an excellent choice. The stair machine is low impact, and because it activates your glute muscles, it takes pressure of your back and can help to relieve back pain.
(Having said that, if you’re suffering from a knee injury or have joint issues in your knees, it’s probably best to avoid the stair machine.)
2. Increase Aerobic Capacity
Spend a few minutes on the stair machine at a relatively high intensity and it won’t take you long to realize that this machine can give you a pretty awesome cardio workout.
One of the best ways to get your heart pumping and to increase your aerobic capacity is through HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training.) HIIT can easily be performed on a stair machine by altering the speed and intensity at regular intervals. Most stair machines have preset workouts that include things like “Fat Burning” or “Calorie Burning” which are often HIIT workouts.
Additionally, Aaptiv (my favorite workout app) has some excellent stair machine workouts with a personal trainer to guide and motivate you through them.
3. Awesome Lower Body Workout
This is one of the main reasons why I love the stair machine – it gives you an amazing lower body workout. You might be thinking “so does running” but not so fast… The stair machine works your lower body in a very different way to running because you’re fighting against gravity with every step you take.
When you use the stair machine, you’re engaging your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. This will help to give your booty a lift, build muscle and tone your legs and butt.
4. Great for Weight Loss
If weight loss is one of your goals, then you’re going to love the stair machine. Not only does the stair machine provide an amazing calorie burn while you’re using it, doing HIIT on the stair machine can help to maintain calorie burn for up to 24 hours after your workout.
And that’s not the only weight loss benefit of the stair machine…
You might’ve heard that muscle burns more calories than fat. This is true – muscle is more metabolically active than fat. It’s estimated that one pound of muscle burns 7-10 calories per day, while one pound of fat burns 2-3 calories per day.
Because the stair machine activates some of the largest, most metabolically active muscles in your body including your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings, you’ll burn more calories at rest, and building more of these muscles will burn more calories.
5. Improves Your Posture
When you use the stair machine, it’s very important that you maintain proper posture. Hunching over or putting the majority of your weight on the handrails will reduce your calorie burn, contribute to neck, back and shoulder pain, and take weight off your lower body, thus reducing the efficacy of your workout.
However, maintaining the correct posture during your stair machine workout can actually improve your posture even further, due to activating the core muscles.
When you use the stair machine, make sure you always keep your head up and look forward, place your hands lightly on the handrails for balance only, and engage your core.