Are stepper exercises effective for weight loss? A full review

Photo by Amie Johnson on Unsplash

An essential component of even the most gentle and lazy weight loss program is exercise. It’s not easy to choose a type of sports activity that would give a result specifically for you. So that effort is not wasted, before starting classes, consult a fitness trainer about choosing a tactic aimed at your personal problem areas. If this is the area of ​​the legs, buttocks, and thighs, plus the task is to “burn” calories — welcome to the stepper!

What is this machine?
Many modifications of machines allow you to make a choice for both beginners and more physically prepared athletes. The stepper designs may differ in the loading system (simple mechanical and more modern electromagnetic), the pedal stroke (interdependent or independent), size, design, set of functions and programs, and in accordance with all this – and the price.
And step-by-step machine differs in the type of movements performed:

  1. Classic. The main model, the basic version of the stepper- imitates the most common walking climb up the stairs. But still, this is not just walking, but walking with effort. Plus – it can be equipped with various devices for stability and inclusion in the work of the muscles of the upper part of the body: stands, levers.
  2. Mini stepper. The reduced version for training in tight spaces and convenient transportation. It is very suitable for beginners who cannot immediately switch to heavy loads (it is extremely undesirable to load the heart sharply and without preparation).
  3. Swivel (with rotary knob). It is equipped with a handle turning from side to side, thanks to which the upper part of the body rotates left and right with each step. This is how it helps to pump the abs, back, and waist.
  4. With expanders. A variant of a classic or mini-stepper with expanders fixed on elastic cords that help to work at the same time arms, back, and shoulders.
  5. Balancing (lateral). It is made on the principle of a tumbler, reminds a small swing for legs. Steps – rolling from side to side while maintaining the balance of the body in the center. It loads the whole body, develops balance and coordination while taking up very little space.
  6. Children’s. Its peculiarity is that it, performing the same functions as a step shop for adults, is designed specifically for kids from 4 years old. Such exercise machines are bright, colorful, very durable, and safe. They are designed to interest the child in sports and start his physical formation from an early age.
  7. Elliptical. Due to the electromagnetic loading system, it has a longer than usual length and smoothness of step. Also often equipped with moving arm levers. Almost the whole body is included in the work, the steps resemble the pedaling of a bicycle, the work of the hands is the movement of a skier. The most careful of steppers in relation to joints.

Are weight loss classes effective?
Is stepper effective for weight loss? Cardio training is crucial for weight loss. Why? Everything is simple. The main body fat burner is oxygen. And the greater the volume of blood pumped through the heart muscle, the more it enters our body and the faster the “subcutaneous fat” melts. The intensity of the heart depends on cardiac loads, and the stepper is quite capable of providing them in the required amount. And also this is a unique chance to walk up the stairs without leaving home.

What parts of the body does the stepper use?
Basically, the load is directed to the lower limbs. On all types of this machine various muscle groups work:

  • front and back of the thigh;
  • lower legs and feet;
  • knee and hip extensors;
  • gluteal muscles (large, medium, and small).

Accordingly, the stepper allows you to pump up the ass, legs, and hips.

Differences from other cardiovascular equipment
Briefly describe some types of machines:

  • Treadmill. It can, as a stepping machine, be used to lose weight and burn fat, strengthen the same muscles of the lower body, especially the calf of the legs. However, it is more suitable for the development of cardio endurance, and also, due to the strong shock load on the vertebrae and joints, it is contraindicated for people with osteochondrosis, flat feet, and the presence of problems with ligaments and joints of the legs.
  • Exercise bike. Not the best choice for weight loss – almost half of the muscles of the body, almost the entire upper part, are inactive during work. Especially if the modification is horizontal, although this same feature makes such a cardio indispensable for people who have back problems. Much more than for losing weight, it is suitable for those who return to sports after a long break or injury – for example, an ankle. A comparative analysis of the stepper and exercise bike will help you more accurately make your choice.
  • Rowing machine. It can be a good helper in getting rid of extra pounds. Combines two types of load – aerobic and power. It includes almost all the muscles of the lower and upper body. However, unlike a stepper struggling with female problem areas, such cardio is considered male – women avoid active rowing classes for fear of “pumping” their shoulders.
  • Ellipsoid. Practically created for weight loss. It includes the whole body in training while sparing the joints and is shown, unlike the stepper, even to very full people. If your goal is to become slimmer, there is no better option. However, a hitch, as opposed to a stepper, can be the high price of cardio and its impressive dimensions. Therefore, most often the ellipsoid is available for training only in fitness rooms.

Attention! If your heart is conquered by an ellipse, and you certainly want to have it at home, pay attention to one of the varieties of the stepper – elliptical. Its size and price are smaller than that of an elliptical trainer, while all the properties and advantages are present.

Weight training machine

It is interesting! Even the exercises on the smallest and simplest mini-stepper will give effect, if you make it a rule to exercise regularly, eat correctly and perform exercises correctly, without the risk of injuries.

The easiest workout is just steps. Of course, after a 5-10 minute warm-up to warm up the muscles. At the end of the session, the pace slows down, and you must complete the cardio session with a 10-minute stretch of the worked muscles.

So, how to walk on the stepper:

  1. 5 minutes at a steady pace, arms bent at the elbows;
  2. increase the pace to medium with a gradual acceleration – 4 minutes, at the end a minute of running (repeat 4 times);
  3. 5 minutes walk at a calm pace, the heart during this time is completely calmed down.
    Such a job is affordable even for people without sports training. It lasts about half an hour and burns about 300 calories. This figure will increase by another 100 calories if you connect your hands and the upper part of the body to work. You need to do about 20 repetitions with expanders or dumbbells in hand:
  4. arms raised to the side to shoulder level;
  5. arms raised in front of you;
  6. biceps flexion;
  7. lead back to triceps;
  8. “scissors” in front of you;
  9. press up.

Important! Monitor your heart rate using a heart rate monitor or sensors built into the simulator. Do not go beyond 130-160 (if you are 20-25 years old), 123-152 (30-35), 117-144 (40-45), 110-136 (50-55), 104-128 (60-65 ), 97-120 (70 and above).

Exercise Tips and Tricks
What should be considered when starting training for burning extra pounds?
How to start? From 10-15-minute sessions with low intensity, but not less than the lower border of the pulse. Do not forget about the warm-up at the beginning and the stretching hitch at the end of the cardio session (for 5-10 minutes, depending on the time of training). Gradually, as the muscles adapt, over the course of a month bring the training time to an hour.
Extent. If the goal is weight loss, the optimal time is 40-60 minutes at low intensity (pulse is about 100-110 beats per minute for beginners and 120-130 for secondary training). The “25 minutes rule” works here – during this period of time, blood sugar and carbohydrate glycogen from tissue cells are consumed, and only after these minutes does the process of burning fat start.
Periodicity. 2-3 times a week is ideal for beginners and for experienced fitness people. The difference is in the intensity of the load.
Times of Day. Those who want to lose weight are preferable to morning. A sharp transition from a lazy state to an active one will help the body burn fat more intensively to compensate for the energy expended.

Attention! Most inexpensive steppers do not have load control, the standard one is designed for the average person. If at first, it’s hard for you, train less in time, increasing the training time. Don’t worry: you don’t pump your leg muscles, but you’ll burn calories for sure.
As you can see, even a small simulator can be of great benefit in maintaining shape, reducing weight, can get rid of cellulite, and adjust the figure. The main thing is to take the first step.



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