Athletes have been climbing stairs for years as a way to improve fitness and strength. A stair climber simulates this activity with moving stairs on a stationary machine. Stair climbers have numerous benefits, including cardiovascular and lower body conditioning. With so much emphasis on your legs, hips and buttocks while on a stair climber, some people wonder whether the stair climber will ultimately make their butt bigger.
A stair climber is designed for aerobic activity. When used regularly for at least 20 minutes, four to five times a week, it can increase your endurance, stamina and strength. The machine challenges your legs to continually climb a moving set of stairs. As your fitness increases, you can continue to challenge yourself by increasing the speed and resistance setting on the machine.
Stair climbers are easy to use and you can customize them to suite your fitness level, from beginner to advanced, by controlling the speed and resistance settings. Most stair climbers also have preset programs that simulate hill or mountain climbing. The choice of programs can help to alleviate boredom often associated with such machines. Stair climbers also provide a low-impact workout. People with knee or back issues who cannot run on a treadmill might find a stair climber is easier on their joints.
In addition to cardiovascular benefits, stair climbers also strengthen the major muscle groups in your lower body. You'll use such muscles as your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus maximus, or butt. If you worry about your butt getting bigger, don't. In order for the gluteus maximus muscles to get significantly larger, you would have to work at a high intensity for long periods of time. While your butt muscles will get stronger, the benefit of using a stair climber is that it may make your butt more toned over time. So, instead of having mostly fat and loose skin on your buttocks, they can become firm, round and strong.
To get the most benefit from a stair climber, make sure you know how to operate it correctly and use proper form. Your back should be straight and your hands should lightly touch the handlebars. Do not put any weight on the handlebars because you will lose some of the effectiveness of the exercise. If you want to lose fat in your buttocks and tone that area, a stair climber, combined with a healthful diet, can be an effective part of your routine.
Adjusting Your Workout
If you find frequent workouts on the stair climber are making your butt bigger, you can reduce the duration and intensity of the workout. Select a program of a lower resistance so you still get the aerobic conditioning of the activity but your lower-body muscles won't have to work quite as hard.
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using a Stair Stepper/Stair Climber
- ExRx.net: Gluteus Maximus
- WeightLoss.com.au: Climbing Stairs for Weight Loss
- Canadian Living: 7 Exercise Machines Decoded: Treadmills, Exercise Bikes, Stair-Climbers and More
- Shape: How (In)Accurate Are Calorie Counters at the Gym?