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Steppin' Out: Pros and Cons of the Stair Climber

Steppin' Out: Pros and Cons of the Stair Climber

With daylight saving time, those who used to fit their workouts in after work will be left in the dark. So working out in a gym is a great option. There are so many cardio machines to choose from, ranging from the ever-popular treadmill, to the lower-impact elliptical, to the stationary bike. The stair climber is another option that I don't see too many people using. Check out the chart below to see what's good and not so good about this machine.

Pros Cons
  • There are two types of stair climbers: one with pedals (often called a stepper) and one that has a rolling set of stairs (called a stepmill), so alternating between the two different types can keep boredom at bay.
  • If you don't belong to a gym, buying a new stair climber is will cost between $1,500 and $3,000 for a good one.

To see the rest of the pros and cons,


Pros Cons
  • If your thighs or booty are your problem areas, this machine will tone and strengthen them beautifully. It works just about every muscle in your legs, so you'll feel the burn within minutes of hopping on.
  • This machine will get your heart rate up within a matter of seconds, so it's an awesome cardiovascular workout.
  • It simulates climbing a never-ending flight of stairs, but is easier than using an actual flight of stairs because you only have to climb up, and never have to climb down, which is hard on people's knees.
  • The readout keeps track of your workout data including time, number of stories that you climbed, and calories burned, so you can monitor your progress.
  • You can watch TV while on the stair climber, which prevents boredom.
  • Since you're indoors, you don't have to worry about the weather or time of day, so you can always get in a good workout.
  • If you're training for a road race that has hills, using the stepmill can be a great addition to your training routine.
  • This machine is all about your legs, and since it can be difficult to balance, people tend to hold on to the handles. That means you're missing out on an upper body workout, which translates to fewer calories burned. Using the handles also causes people to lean their torsos forward, which results in poor posture and sore wrists.
  • Stair climbers require power, so they're not exactly the greenest type of exercise. You could climb stairs in a tall building instead.
  • The repetitive stepping motion may be too hard on someone with weak or injured knees.
  • The monotony of this machine can be so boring that you exercise for less time.
  • The readout on the machine may not be accurate.

If you're a fan of either machine, speak up! Tell me why you like steppin' out.

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