The StairMaster burns calories and builds lean muscle mass, making the low-impact workout a good way to accomplish cardio and toning all at once. Depending on StairMaster levels, it can also be a tool when training for a hike requiring lower-body power and all-over strength.
Because it is low impact, the StairMaster vs. treadmill may be a better fit for those with joint issues.
Stair Climbing Success Secrets
A StairMaster typically involves walking on steps that move, simulating the action of climbing stairs that never end. To do so, the lower body, including glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, are involved. Climbing all those imaginary stairs strengthens muscles and improves physical endurance, making it a good exercise for toning the muscles of the butt and legs.
Stand straight, rather than leaning forward, when using stair climbing equipment. Performing the exercise with proper posture allows you to support the weight of the entire body to reap the full benefits of the workout. If you find yourself pitching forward, try lessening the intensity until you can stand properly.
Read more: Tips on Using a StairMaster
Find the Right Level of Exertion
According to the Cleveland Clinic, using an RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) chart can help you determine the appropriate intensity for your StairMaster workout. Moderate intensity is the level that is recommended most often for all level of fitness.
ExRx.net describes intensity as either how fast an action is performed, the power or strength required to achieve an activity or the effort put forth during the activity. Reduce the resistance on the stair climber until you build up increased endurance and strength.
Time Does Matter
According to Health.gov's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity for general health. This should be done in combination with two or more days of strength training exercises that involve all the major muscle groups.
The Mayo Clinic recommends regular aerobic activity to live a healthier lifestyle. If fat loss is the goal, opt for moderate to intense aerobic activities. Use the StairMaster as some (or all) of the 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to intense activity that is needed to burn the calories needed to help you lose weight, in combination with a healthy diet.
StairMaster Weight Loss Results
For those looking to lose unwanted excess pounds, consider the StairMaster for weight loss results. As with any cardio exercise, StairMaster HIIT workouts, which are performed at a higher intensity level, may help with fat-burning results. High-intensity interval training, explains the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Fitness, consists of bursts of activity performed at a maximum level of exertion alternating with shorter periods of lower-intensity recovery time.
The StairMaster offers a calorie-killing cardio workout that burns fat, while it strengthens muscles and improves aerobic endurance. Determine how many calories are being burned during a stair climbing workout with the ACE Fitness physical activity calculator.
The StairMaster offers an effective, low-impact workout that is as challenging as it is rewarding. Whether the goal is weight loss, building muscles or training for endurance, stair climbing increases strength and endurance as it burns calories, making it a great option for all fitness levels.
- Cleveland Clinic: Aerobic Exercise
- ExRx.net: Aerobic Exercise Prescription Components
- American Council on Exercise: Physical Activity Calorie Calculator
- Mayo Clinic: Aerobic Exercise
- Health: Guidelines
- American Council on Exercise: High Intensity Interval Training Why it Works
- Brian Mac Sports Coach: Dynamic Stretching Exercises
- Brian Mac Sports Coach: Static Stretching Exercises
- Shape: The Best Way to Stretch Before and After a Workout