The StairMaster is a piece of cardio equipment that mimics stair climbing. It provides a low-impact, high-intensity workout that targets the lower body and core muscles.
A StairMaster sesh is a great way to burn calories and build strength, particularly in your lower body. These machines mimic stair climbing, allowing you to get an intense workout that works several muscle groups.
If you’re ready to take your fitness up a notch while being kind to your body, the StairMaster is the ideal choice for peeps of all fitness levels. Read on to learn more about the many benefits of a StairMaster workout.
The StairMaster is an exercise machine designed to simulate the act of climbing stairs. Many peeps swear by it for improving cardiovascular fitness and gaining strength.
This stationary machine has rotating steps that allow you to climb up continuously while holding onto the handles — think vertical treadmill. You can adjust the speed and select the duration.
The StairMaster provides an intense cardio workout and works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Plus, you’ll also need to engage your core muscles and hip flexors for balance and stability, so it can help strengthen your abs.
Should you jump on the stair-climbing bandwagon? Here are ten benefits to help you make up your mind.
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Shredding those stairs will boost heart health. The StairMaster is an intense cardio workout, meaning it gets your blood pumping around your body — improving circulation and oxygen delivery.
When stair climbing, your body works harder than when walking on flat ground because it has to push against gravity as it goes up each step. The increased effort forces your heart to beat faster to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to your muscles.
Like any muscle, your heart gets stronger when you challenge it — meaning stair climbing can help to improve your overall heart health. Plus, it reduces blood fats and blood pressure. Win-win!
2. Burns calories
How many stair-climbing sessions will it take to burn 500 calories? Depending on your weight and intensity, you can easily torch hundreds of calories in just one session! The faster you climb and the more stair-climbing sessions you fit into your weekly exercise routine, the more calories you’ll burn.
Most machines have a built-in calorie calculator, which will tell you how many calories you’ve burned in each session.
3. Strengthens quadriceps and hamstrings
Your quadriceps femoris, or quads, are a group of four muscles located on the front of your thigh, while the hammies are the three muscles in the back that work with the quads. These are key muscle groups for stair-climbing, as they help to drive you up each step.
The quads extend the knee joint, and the hamstrings bend the knee. So, stair-climbing puts these muscles through a huge range of motion as you push away from the stair with each step.
4. Strengthens calves and glutes
Each time you lift your legs to climb a stair, you engage your glutes and calves. Glutes are a group of three buttocks muscles that help move and support your hips. They’re essential for stair-climbing, as they power each step you take on the stair machine.
Your calves — or calf muscles — are two muscles at the back of your lower legs responsible for pushing up against gravity. Stair-climbing strengthens your calves too, making them look toned and helping to prevent injury when running or walking on uneven terrain.
5. Boosts bone health
Stair-climbing is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning it involves lifting your body weight. This stresses your bones, stimulating new bone growth and increasing your bone density. As a result, regular stair-climbing could reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
6. Improves balance and coordination
Stair-climbing requires you to maintain balance while moving up the stair machine. You’ll need to use your core muscles and hip flexors to keep your body stable and control the action.
By regularly stair-climbing, you’ll help to improve your balance and coordination. This can be beneficial for activities that require quick changes in direction, like sports such as soccer and tennis.
7. Puts less strain on the body
Running staircases and hills can be tough on your joints, muscles, and tendons — especially if you’re overweight or have existing joint problems. The StairMaster is kinder to your body since you only step up. You don’t need to step down, which puts considerable strain on the joints, particularly the knees.
8. Eases knee pain
Stair-climbing is a great low-impact exercise for people with knee pain. It helps strengthen the muscles that support and protect your knees, reducing chronic joint discomfort or osteoarthritis symptoms.
9. Improves mental health
Exercise is known to improve mood and reduce stress. Stair-climbing on a StairMaster helps your body release endorphins, hormones that promote positive feelings. So although you may feel exhausted at the end of your stair-climbing sesh, mentally, you’ll feel ready to tackle anything!
Plus, stair-climbing can provide an escape from day-to-day stressors and help you to relax, especially if your StairMaster session involves listening to music or watching videos on a built-in screen.
10. Improves overall fitness
Regular stair-climbing helps to improve your overall fitness levels. You’ll burn calories, build strength and power in your legs, increase stamina and speed, and gain better coordination. And you can mix it up with various settings to keep it interesting and challenge yourself, increasing your workout length or intensity each time.
So, what’s the difference between stair climbing on a StairMaster and an incline treadmill? The main differences are the motion of the steps and resistance.
On a StairMaster, you must push up each stair with your legs. Meaning it’s more intense than an incline treadmill with a more gradual incline. Think climbing up a hill compared to running down the road. So stair climbing may be more beneficial for improving cardiovascular health and burning calories than the treadmill.
But this doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other. It depends on your goals and preferences! Some peeps prefer stair climbing as they find it easier on their joints, while others feel more comfortable running on a treadmill. Ultimately, both stair climbing and incline treadmill can be great workouts — so it’s just a matter of finding the right option for you.
The StairMaster provides an intense stair-climbing workout that can boost heart health, strengthen your lower body muscles, and burn calories.
It’s a great option if you want a low-impact cardio workout with some resistance training thrown in. There’s a reason stair climbing has become a popular gym activity — it’s an effective way to get your sweat on!
Of course, stair climbing isn’t for everyone. An incline treadmill is a viable option if you don’t feel comfortable with stair-climbing but still want to get your cardio in. Whichever one you choose, committing to an exercise routine will help keep you fit and healthy — so choose an activity that you enjoy!