Step Up Your Training
It might be the most popular thing in the gym – the stair climber, aka the step mill, the stepper. This machine attracts a variety of fitness enthusiasts, and for good reason. It provides an effective cardio and strength training workout. 904Fitness talked with First Place Fitness Equipment (FPFE) to get the scoop on why the stair climber is such a commodity:
Not all stair machines look alike. Which one should I choose?
FPFE: We group stair climbers into 2 categories based on function and fitness goals. The first is the PreCor AMT, a stair stepper and elliptical combined. PreCor is the inventor of the elliptical machine, whose patented function allows for adaptive motion training. The machine’s motion and intensity adapt to your stride. PreCor’s Stair Climber encourages a full range of motion, engaging large muscle groups and increasing your heart rate for maximized cardio effort. The second is the Octane Xride, a cross between an elliptical and a bicycle. This machine provides a targeted step workout. Maintaining balance and repetitive lifting make this the right option for a strength building and muscle toning.
2 Functions for 2 Benefits
FPFE: The stair climber’s 2 functions target 2 different areas of fitness. ONE. The stepping action targets the body’s largest muscle groups in the legs and increases core muscle strength. Engaging the hamstrings, glutes, quads and calves as many as 120 times per minute, the stair climber is the preferred machine for body builders and fitness competitors alike. TWO. The elliptical motion also targets the top quad and glute muscles, making you carry your own body weight uphill and rapidly raising the heart rate. Cardio junkies can get their fix when it comes to work performed and calories burned.
Stair Climber vs. Stair Climbing. Does a stair climber simulate actual stair climbing?
FPFE: No. Stair climbing requires momentum, lifting and bouncing your body weight up the next stair. This momentum results in fewer calories burned. With the stair climber machine, however, you are pushing the legs up the next step, increasing strength and muscle build.