When you think of at-home exercise machines, you may think of treadmills and stationary bikes, but what about stair climbers? Space-saving and compact, stair steppers might be small but they’re a great exercise machine for getting a good burn on and reaching your fitness goals.
In this article we will go into the basics of a stepper exercise machine, what one is, how to pick your fit and more. Specifically, we will cover:
- What Is A Stepper Machine?
- Tips For Using a Stepper Machine
- What Fitness Goals Do Steppers & Stair Climbers Assist With?
- How To Choose The Best Stepper Exercise Machine For You
- The Best Stepper Machines
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So, let’s get into the best stepper machines in the UK!
What Is A Stepper Machine?
Stepper machines are small gym machines that replicate climbing stairs or walking uphill. They are great for both cardio and strength workouts as you can burn plenty of calories on a low resistance or crank it up to tone your lower body.
Stepping machines are a perfect alternative if you want some exercise equipment at home but like many of us, lack the amount of space needed for cardio equipment.
So, the luxury of a gym stepper is the compact nature, you can slot it under the bed or in a cupboard so you can avoid any eye sores in your bedroom or living room. If it is home workouts that you’re interested in, head over to our article on nailing your home workout routine here.
Tips For Using A Stepper Machine
Stepper machines and stair climbers can sometimes be difficult to become accustomed to, so here are some tips to get you started.
Engage Your Core
This is key when you’re starting out on your gym stepper, as engaging your core improves your balance and helps you to stay stable as you exercise. Keep your feet flat and your knees slightly bent to help with balance and stability.
Many at-home stepper machines don’t have rails to help with stability, so if you’re worried about your balance, place your stepper machine next to a wall or chair and use that to hold onto if necessary.
Stepper machines are amazing for giving your core a good workout as well, so the more you can stand on your own and exercise while being unassisted, the more you work your core and tone your abs!
If you need some help on engaging your core, read our article on how to engage your core here.
Find a Good Rhythm
If you’re new to gym steppers, they can look daunting with their different heights and resistances that they offer. However, the key to starting off is to find a good rhythm and stick to it, so that you don’t get tired too quickly.
Don’t crank the resistance on your stepper machine up too high at first – instead, start it off lower and see how long you can go for before you get tired. You may feel as though music can help you in finding the perfect rhythm, so find a song with a regular beat and let it guide you.
Change It Up
If you do the same thing on your stepper machine over and over, you’ll get bored very quickly, and it is likely to be soon relegated to the depths of your attic to collect dust. Instead, shake up your workouts every now and again to stay motivated.
Variations you can do include HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training, including brief periods of intense activity interspersed with longer breaks to recover.
An example of a high-intensity stepper machine workout would be to work hard for 30 seconds, before lowering the intensity for another 30, and repeating this for 15-20 minutes. This can see you burning plenty of calories with the intensity high, in turn motivating you to stay consistent with your exercise.
What Fitness Goals Do Steppers & Stair Climbers Assist With?
Stair steppers and stair climbers don’t just help with one fitness goal. Not only can they help you to improve your cardiovascular fitness, but they also help with strengthening and toning your muscles too.
Stair steppers make your legs work intensely, so of course you can tone up your legs and glutes as you exercise. Some steppers even come with resistance bands that you can attach to the machine to add some extra resistance and incorporate your arms and chest as well.
Many stepper machines challenge your stability and balance, helping you to tone your abs at the same time. So, stepper machines make for a great full body workout without even leaving your house!
Whether you’re working out from home, or in the gym, you can’t outrun a bad diet, so check out our article on the best foods for energy to get you ready to hit your next stepper session.
How To Choose The Best Stepper Exercise Machine For You
There are a few things to consider when you’re looking to buy a workout stepper machine, so find our handy insight into how to choose the right one for you below.
Price can be a big factor in choosing the best stair climber, so it's worth knowing that stepper exercise machines can range from around £50 to over £200. The cheaper stair steppers are likely to be more simplistic but still work great. If you just want something that gets the job done with no frills, you don’t have to spend hundreds for an effective machine.
Do you want a stepper fitness machine that’s simple but effective, or are you making an investment into a product with a few extra features to add to your workout? When you’re choosing your stepper machine, take a look at the features it includes, such as screen display and the resistance bands. Just bear in mind that if you want more features for your stair stepper machine, you’re likely to be paying more for it.
If you sit a lot or have mobility issues, the best stepper machine for you is one that you can exercise with while seated. Elliptical stepper machines are good for working out without the full body movement or exertion, as you can pedal without needing to be stood up. Contrary to some beliefs, you can certainly contribute to a fitter and healthier lifestyle when you’re exercising sitting down.
The size of your stepping machine is important when considering how logical it is to have one in your home. If you don’t have a lot of space in your house to put a stairmaster up, there's no need to worry as some steppers are actually portable meaning they can be put under the bed or out of the way when you’re not using it. Many of our listed products are lightweight and come already assembled to help you get exercising immediately.
Many home stepper machines come with a weight limit for health and safety reasons. If you exceed these weight limits, take a look at some different machines – there will definitely be one for you. Be sure to check each stepper machine for their limits, as they can vary quite a lot.
The Best Stepper Machines
If you’re looking for an exciting fitness stepper, this handy little machine is a great choice.
Compact and durable, the DACHUANG stepper machine can support up to 308lb in weight and comes with an LCD display that counts your steps per minute, time spent working out, and calories, so you can easily track your progress.
This exercise stepper machine has been engineered to be as quiet as possible thanks to its hydraulic drive system, with the noise being as low as 20 decibels, that’s as quiet as some rustling leaves! Along with this, the DACHUANG exercise stepper can support up to 308lb, or around 140kg – more than almost any other stepper machine on the market.
Sometimes, stepper machines have small pedals which are hard to stay on, but not this one. The DACHUANG home stepper machine has extra-large pedals, so no matter how big or small your feet are, you won’t be falling off or fighting to stay on.
Stepper machines work out your lower body, but this one also comes with resistance bands that can be attached to add an upper body workout into your regime. This stepper exercise machine is fairly pricey, at just under £100, but for all the fantastic features that it comes with, we think it is worth every penny.
This mini stepper machine is not only compact, but cost effective and super versatile so you can keep your exercises exciting and different.
The DOMYOS MS500 stepper machine helps to strengthen and tone your legs and your abs, all thanks to the twisting motion it incorporates into the design, meaning you get two workouts for the price of one.
This stepper fitness machine also comes with attached resistance bands so you can strengthen and tone your upper body at the same time. But that’s not all as the MS500 stepper machine features a console to track your reps, the duration of your workout, and all the calories you burn too, as extra motivation to keep beating your previous PB.
Along with grippy pedals to ensure that you stay in place when working out, the MS500 stepper machine has anti-slip feet on the bottom of the machine for extra safety and helps in assisting your stability when working out.
Retailing at £49.99, this is an excellent elliptical stepper machine if you’re on more of a budget. You don’t have to just take our word for it either, as it has many reviews and a 3.86-star rating out of 5, with over 1800 opinions to sift through!
If you enjoy the art of stepping, read our article on the 27 best step exercises here.
The STX300 home stepper machine is portable and compact, so you can workout just about anywhere.
Though portable and compact, the STX300 still displays the intriguing information needed to track progress, such as how many steps you’ve taken and calories you’ve burned during your training session.
This portable stepper machine comes with attached resistance bands to add upper body training to your regime and features non-slip pedals for extra safety as you exercise. The surface of the pedals is also ideal for training without shoes, as the surface gives a gentle massage as you walk.
This is one of the best stepper machines in the UK thanks to the varied levels of resistance that it offers. You can adjust the resistance of the pedals to simulate activities such as hiking or mountaineering, all without leaving the comfort of your own home!
If you want to start training immediately, this is the stepper machine for you. The STX300 comes fully assembled, so all you have to do is take it out of the box and jump on. At a price of £85.90, this stair stepper is moderately priced considering the many great features for you to try out.
Just be aware that the maximum weight that this stepper machine supports is 120kg, so if you need one that supports a heavier weight, keep reading.
This portable stepper machine comes with great features, including attached resistance bands for an upper body workout, and a twisting stepping motion that helps to target the thighs, calves, and glutes.
With the all important and useful counter that measures the time you’ve been working out, calories burned, and your strides per minute, this stepper machine helps you to burn some serious fat without leaving the house.
Portable and compact, you don’t have to dedicate a huge amount of space for a stationary object to sit in. In fact it is quite the contrary, you can simply pop it somewhere away and bring it out on your workout days. Perfect for when you have guests over and are making your home look presentable!
One downside to this gym stepper is that the maximum weight that it supports is 100kg, or 15st 10lb, which isn’t a lot for a home stepper machine. If you want to start using a stepper fitness machine to lose weight, and are heavier than the maximum weight, consider grabbing a different one on the market as some others can support up to 300lb.
While on the pricier side of steppers and stair climbers, this handy machine boasts some unique features that justify the price tag. Not only can it support up to 250lb, but it can also connect with Bluetooth devices to help monitor and track your workouts!
The MyCloudFitness app connects with this machine to allow you to track your workouts on this stepper machine more effectively. So, if you enjoy tracking your workouts and seeing your progress, this stepper exercise machine is a great pick.
You can certainly count on this product being among only the best stair climbers due to the level of intensity that it offers. You can easily adjust the step height to provide more or less resistance as you need it so HIIT workouts can be easily performed with minimal effort in changing intensities.
Aswell as the Bluetooth feature, this stepper machine also comes with an LCD display which shows your steps per minute, calories burned, and your total step count. If you want to track your progress even more specifically, why not pick from the best heart rate monitors we listed here.
As with other stepping machines, it comes with resistance bands to add an extra dimension to your workout. Not only that, but you can convert this stepper machine into a platform, allowing you to shake up your workouts.
Compact and versatile, the HOMCOM Mini Elliptical Stepper is a different type of stepper machine to add to your fitness regime. You can use this versatile product whilst sitting down, standing up or even watching TV, the list goes on!
As an elliptical stepper machine, the pedals don’t move as if you’re stepping, but in a smoother movement as if you were on an elliptical machine in the gym. Although this stepper exercise machine doesn’t come with any resistance bands, it does feature adjustable resistance, so it’s suitable for people of all levels of fitness.
The pedals are non-slip for extra safety and are extra-large so that all shoe sizes can fit. The LCD display shows your calories burned, distance travelled, and time elapsed, so you can keep an accurate track of your workouts.
The maximum weight of this gym stepper is 100kg, which is a little low, so if you need a stepper machine with a higher weight capacity, check out some of the other ones on this list!
We have some handy articles on how to exercise the legs below so you can do more than step:
- How to do the Leg Press: Alternatives, Benefits and Videos
- How To Do The Leg Extension: Videos, Benefits + Alternatives (2019)
- 21 Best Kettlebell Leg Exercises (Video Demonstrations)
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If you want a stepper machine that’s low impact and that you can use while seated, the Cubii elliptical stepper machine is a great choice.
You can enjoy eight levels of resistance, working your way up as you get stronger and stronger with regular practice. Thanks to the varied resistance, it’s perfect for all levels of fitness.
The built-in monitor tracks your time, calories, and distance travelled, and the elliptical motion is low impact and easy on your joints. The Cubii elliptical stepper machine is unique in that you don’t even have to wear shoes when you’re using it – just start pedalling.
A bonus of this fitness stepper is that there is no maximum weight that it can take, as you can only use it while sitting down. The portability and efficiency of this stepper machine justifies the price tag, it helps to keep you active if you struggle to make time to go to the gym or have mobility issues.
The Opti mini stepper machine is a more reasonably priced home exercise machine that still upholds great quality if you’re on a budget.
Complete with removable resistance bands for an upper body workout, you can stay fit and stay at home with this workout stepper machine. But that’s not all, as there are plenty of versatile features to this product.
If you’re looking for an adjustable machine where you can up the intensity and height of the steps, this is the best stepper machine for you. The Opti mini stepper machine is versatile and compact, and also comes fully assembled so you don’t waste any time trying to put it together.
Despite being fairly cheap compared to other stepper machines, it still tracks your calories burned, the amount of you have been working out for, and reps per minute.
What sets this product apart is the unique movement feature which is designed to help target the inner and outer thighs.
Just be wary that this portable stepper machine has a maximum user weight of 100kg, or 15st 10lb, and needs batteries to work.
Presenting a slightly different kind of stepper machine, the Maxi Climber simulates climbing, engaging your entire body for a killer workout. Using just your bodyweight, this fitness stepper machine can help you burn up to 500 calories an hour while toning your legs, arms, abs, and booty in one go.
An added bonus to this stair climber machine is that it’s low impact, so you can rest assured that you won’t be feeling any added stress on your joints. As well as being the perfect choice for a full body workout, this product is lightweight and foldable so it doesn’t take up space once you’ve finished your workout.
If running and hiking aren’t your thing, the Maxi Climber fitness stepper is a great alternative, and lets you work out more efficiently from the comfort of your own home. Along with 5 different height settings, it adapts to allow anyone to use it efficiently.
This stepper machine supports up to 110kg, or 240lb, and is slightly bigger than the other gym steppers on this list. So, if you want a different type of home stepper machine that really works your full body in a dynamic way, this is a perfect option.
This simple but effective machine is great if you want something without all the bells and whistles of other fitness steppers.
With a tracker to count your calories burned, steps taken, and time exercising, this stair climber machine comes with anti-skid material on the bottom of the frame and the pedals for added safety as you work out.
Compact and affordable, the FIT4HOME mini stepper machine takes up little to no space in your home and can easily be stashed in a cupboard or under your bed after you’ve finished with your workout.
This fitness stepper is very simple yet dissimilar to some others as it doesn’t come with attached resistance bands, so if you want something to give you a full body workout, check out some of the other stepper machines on this list.
If you regularly use resistance bands, head over to our article on the best resistance bands to build muscle here!
The Sunny Health & Fitness portable stepper machine ticks all the boxes of what makes a good gym stepper. Coming with attached resistance bands to add an upper body workout into your regime, the super sturdy design supports a weight of up to 18 stone, more than many other stepper machines on this list.
If you want to add some serious resistance to your workout, this is among the best stair climbers for the job. You can customise the height of your steps to crank up the intensity, and thanks to the unique stabiliser ring, you can work out without fear of falling or shaking.
This stepper machine also comes with a digital tracker to count your steps, calories burned, and time working out.
As far as stepper machine reviews go, this one has sky-high ratings. On Amazon, it holds a 4.5-star rating with over 500 reviews, making it one of the highest rated stepper machines on this list.
If you’re looking for a great stepper machine for beginners, this is a great choice. Thanks to the versatility and adjustability of the Vinteky Up-Down stepper machine, it’s the perfect option for anyone and everyone who wants to start out on their fitness journey.
Complete with resistance bands to add upper body training, this fitness stepper works your whole body - from your legs, calves and glutes to your arms, abs and back.
The stepper machine comes with a stable frame for added safety, and the pedals are non-slip and extra-large to increase support.
This gym stepper also comes with a console to track your steps, calories burned, and steps per minute, so as you are now aware, you can track your progress and see how much stronger you are getting every week.
The Vinteky stepper machine does have a maximum weight limit of 100kg, however, which is fairly low compared to other stair climbers, so be wary of this when making your purchase!
Simple but effective, the Everlast stepper machine is a great option if you’re on a budget and just want a basic machine to get fit. With an LCD screen to track each workout, you’ll be able to see your calories burned and amount of time you’ve been exercising and stay motivated.
This portable stepper machine is compact and lightweight, so you’ll be able to exercise just about anywhere so you don’t have to skip any gym days. So if you’re looking for some gym equipment that won’t take up too much space and can be easily put away, this is a great pick.
The Everlast stepper machine is great for toning your lower body and helps with blood circulation as well as coordination and balance as well. While this gym stepper doesn’t come with resistance bands attached, they would be easy to attach at your own discretion so you could incorporate an upper body workout into your regime.
One downside of this stepper machine is that the weight limit is a maximum of 100kg, which is fairly low. However, there are many alternatives on this list – be sure to check them out.
Do stair steppers really work?
Yes! Stair steppers work wonders with consistent use.
In order to see good progress, make sure you try and work out on your stepping machine for at least half an hour a day for 5 or 6 days a week while trying to up the intensity each week.
This is called progressive overload and means that you’ll be conditioning and strengthening your muscles slowly but surely, which can reduce the risk of injury. Stretching also decreases the risk of getting injured, so head over to our article on the benefits of dynamic stretching for more information.
Are portable stepper machines good for weight loss?
Yes, they are. By allowing you to work out in the comfort of your own home, stair steppers and stair climbers help you to burn more calories than you would ordinarily.
Consistency is key, you have to both use your stepper exercise machine for most days and stay in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you eat) to lose weight. The handy thing about a portable stepper is that it’s less likely to allow you to miss a gym day.
We all know the feeling of fatigue and being unable to drag ourselves to the gym, so having a mini piece of equipment at home can still see you on the path to fitness.
What are the benefits of using a fitness stepper?
There are several great benefits of using a stepping machine to work out. Not only is it low impact and easy on your joints, but it’s a great cardio workout that you can do without even leaving your house. Plus, with a portable stepper machine you can exercise just about anywhere, and it removes the need for gym memberships.
Not only that, but with stepper and stair climbers you can increase the intensity of your workouts to burn more calories and challenge yourself as you get fitter. Plus, as a last bonus, you’ll be improving your balance and working your core, not just the legs!
Is a stepper machine as good as walking?
In the end, neither is better than the other. Walking is also low intensity, like a stepper machine, but can only be done outside or on a treadmill. Portable stepper machines can be placed anywhere, indoors and outdoors, and you won’t have to drag yourself out in the tipping rain to get your steps in.
However, stepper machines do indeed give your muscles a better workout than walking does, as they also target your arms and abs with resistance bands. Walking targets just your lower body, whereas with this handy piece of equipment, you can work a lot more muscles.
So overall, walking is neither better nor worse - it’s just different! What matters most is what you prefer.
Before You Go...
Now that you’ve seen the amazing range of steppers and stair climbers on offer, you’ll be able to choose the best one for you. Be sure to check out all of the features they offer, because even if you want a full body workout, you can choose a stepper machine that comes with resistance bands!
Stepper machines are a great tool for getting fit and healthy from home, and the features that many of them include help you to push your fitness that extra step. Just one more thing, are you interested in becoming a fitness professional? If so, you should check out our level 3 course in personal training here or, you can always download our free course prospectus to browse through all of the fitness courses we have on offer.
Written by Professional S & C Coaches
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches