The StairMaster is a cardiovascular machine with a built-in set of revolving steps. When exercising on this machine, you have the ability to increase or decrease your speed by pressing a button. Before you exercise on the StairMaster, make sure you know how to turn it on and off, and also know proper form. Keep your back straight, shoulders back, look forward and only place light pressure on the handrails.
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According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week will give you health benefits, and 60 to 90 minutes may be necessary to promote weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, steady state exercise sessions are sufficient. To do these, start with a light five-minute warm-up, then increase your speed to a point where you feel winded and continue at that pace for the rest of your workout.
Before you step onto the StairMaster, perform dynamic stretches to loosen up your body. Dynamic stretches are performed in motion. Leg swings, side bends, arm crossovers and toe touches are examples. Perform dynamic stretches before all of your workouts.
Interval training is a more intense type of exercise. If you are pressed for time or simply want to challenge your body, do an interval workout. After doing a light five-minute warm-up, increase your speed so you are stepping at about 80 percent maximum effort. Reduce your speed so you are training at about 50 percent max, and then go back to your high intensity bout. Alternate back and forth for 20 to 30 minutes. According to MayoClinic.com, the more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you'll burn.
Unlike running, stair stepping is performed in a vertical motion. This causes your lower body muscles to work harder. These include the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. To increase this emphasis even more, step every two steps instead of one. Be aware that you will have to slow down your speed to do this. When you take long strides, feel the contraction on your leg muscles. While you step, it will be tempting to grasp hard onto the handrails for support, but resist this. That will take too much work away from your leg muscles.
Circuit training involves a series of exercises performed back to back with short rest breaks in between. When doing this type of training, body weight exercises, free weight exercises and machine exercises are all performed. When it comes to the StairMaster, incorporate it into an all cardio circuit. By training like this, you will keep boredom at bay. Perform 60 seconds of exercise on a treadmill, stationary bike, an elliptical machine, a rowing machine and then a StairMaster. After you use the StairMaster, jump rope for 60 seconds and start over.