How Effective Are Stair Climbers?

How Effective Are Stair Climbers?

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Get the benefits of climbing stairs while minimizing the related risk of injury.

Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

Stair climbers effectively help you burn calories, strengthen and tone your muscles, and improve your coordination and balance. They work your core and lower body muscles and are safer than exercising on real steps or stairs. They are trusted exercise machines that you can conveniently turn to when you are exercising inside and want to improve your overall aerobic capacity. Whether you are a novice or an advanced athlete the versatility that stair climbing machines offer in programs and intensity can help you meet your fitness goals.

Burn Calories

Stair climbers recruit the movement and strength of your legs and glutes. When you work these large muscle groups, you burn more calories. The more you train on stair climbers the longer and more intensely you will be able to workout on these calorie-burning machines. Longer, more advanced workouts will help you burn even more calories. Keep in mind that one pound of fat equals 3500 calories, and you can quickly see how stair climbers can effectively help you lose weight as you get stronger.

Strengthen and Tone

The combination of the machine's resistance and your movement against gravity helps you strengthen and tone your lower body when you train. You use every major muscle in your lower body to step as many as 120 times in one minute when you train on this machine. Repeatedly moving against resistance helps you tone and sculpt your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves on the stair climber.

Improve Balance

You strengthen and tone your core muscles on the stair climber as well. Stair climbing machines challenge your balance and force you to engage your core muscles to stay physically centered while working out. While handrails are available on stair climbers for you to use to maintain your balance and proper posture, especially when you first start, you do not want to lean on or firmly grip them. Instead, place your fingertips lightly on top of the handrails if necessary to help you balance until you grow stronger and more coordinated.

Minimize Risk of Injury

Even though workouts on the stair climber increase your heart rate with high energy training that maximizes your overall aerobic capacity, they are actually low impact. You can work at a low speed and without the joint impact of walking or jogging on the treadmill, and still reap the rewards of a high effort workout. Stair climbers also eliminate the downward motion of declining when training on real stairs. Less impact will minimize your risk of injury while you burn calories, tone, improve your balance and effectively improve your level of fitness.