There are plenty of cardio machines out there. Most gyms have the majority of their floor space dedicated to cardio machines such as treadmills/running machines, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, rowing machines, etc. But for some reason, you don’t see that many stair machines these days.
There was once a time when the stair stepper was the most sought after piece of equipment. Every gym had once, as did many living rooms across the United States. For some strange reason, they’ve since fallen out of vogue. You might see the odd one in a gym, but there’s normally 5-10x as many treadmills for every stair machine.
As I said above, this is strange. The stair machine is arguably far superior to the common treadmill in many different ways yet treadmills continue to dominate the gym floor.
Stair machines, like treadmills and ellipticals, can provide you with a variety of different cardio workouts, such as long and slow, steady-state cardio as well as the very popular, and extremely effective, HIIT cardio.
Have you ever tried to do a HIIT session on a treadmill? It’s down-right dangerous. Going from a brisk walking pace to a full-out sprint can, and often does, end up disastrously. There’s plenty of examples on YouTube, etc.
Best Stair Stepper Reviewed
Stair machines are great because they are very low impact. You don’t have to worry about jarring your knees and joints like you would when running on hard concrete. Studies have shown that you actually burn more calories doing an hour on a stair stepper than you would on an exercise bike for example. They can also help strengthen and build the muscles in your lower body far more effectively than an exercise bike.
ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
This trainer from ProForm is perfect if looking to have a permanently-placed stair stepper machine. If you have your own gym, home or commercial, and don’t plan on moving your equipment around, then this is one of the best possible stair steppers around.
This is a real top-of-the-line, state of the art machine. It features a 7” display, iPod/iPhone compatible audio, 32 workouts apps and plenty of other nifty gadgets and features.
Things like displays and water-bottle holders may not seem that important on first glance, but it’s the little features like that that make it easy for you to use the machine consistently, so they can’t be understated.
Sunny Health and Fitness Stepper with Handle Bar
If you’re definitely not bothered with any of the bells and whistles of the ProForm trainer, then this stepper from Sunny Health and Fitness.
This machine is all about function; anything that doesn’t make it easier or more efficient to get in a good workout has been removed. This means that you get an excellent machine at an equally excellent price.
It does, however, have all the fundamental pieces included such as adjustable resistance and a compact LCD screen that monitors time, calories burned, etc. which is paramount when tracking workouts correctly.
Both the handle height and the stepping height itself can be heavily adjusted to suit your individual needs.
Goplus Twister Stair Stepper Machine
This is essentially two cardio machines in one. You have the standard stepping mechanic; up and down, but you can also use the twisting mechanic which allows you to burn more calories and to better work the muscles in your thighs and buttocks.
The handlebars curve up and in like horns to give you a variety of different grips and hand positions when using the machine. Some step machines eschew handles altogether which can make the exercise feel awkward, uncomfortable and even dangerous in some cases. The steps themselves feature patterned plates that prevent you from slipping or moving when you don’t want to.
This machine can comfortably hold weights of up to 220 lbs, so unless you’re a heavyweight fighter, you should be ok to use this stepper.
Best Choice Products Portable Workout Stair Machine
The big, robust stair masters you often see inside gyms are great. They work well, they have every feature under the sun included into their design and they provide a pleasant workout experience. A huge downside to them though, is that they’re often bulky and extremely heavy, with some stair machines weighing north of 300 lbs.
Luckily for you, you can get that same excellent workout but on a stair machine that you can pick up and pack it away beneath the stairs when you’re done using it, this product being a fine example of one such device.
It features a small LED screen to track different variables and is fully adjustable to suit your height and body shape. This adjustability allows you to pack the machine away to an even smaller size when not in use.
Clevr Twister Stepper Machine
This is another great option to choose from if you want that killer step machine workout without having to dedicate an entire room in your home for it. This piece of kit from Clevr is both sleek and low profile whilst remaining strong and tough. The body of the machine is crafted from steel so you can rest assured that it’s not going to be breaking or falling apart on you any time soon. It can handle body weights of up to 250 lbs too.
Unlike many mini step machines, it features a great twisting motion which allows you to work the muscles of your lower body much better. If you would like to build or work the muscles in your legs and buttocks whilst still getting your morning cardio in. Two birds with one stone!
It’s both surprising and unfortunate that there aren’t more stair steppers in gyms these days. They give you a better cardio workout than many other more popular machines whilst also being less harsh on your knees and ankles, etc.
It gives you even more reason to purchase one for you own home, so you don’t have to be disappointed when getting to the gym to find that their one and only stair machine is already being used.