GUIDE YOU STEP

A SMALL STEP FOR THE MAN.


What is the stepper? How to choose the right stepper? Why should you do stepper workouts at home? How often should you train? This site is intended to be the reference site for the online stepper. You’ll find here the answers to your questions

CLOSE-UP ON THE STEPPER


You’ve probably heard of the stepper before but don’t know exactly what this cardio machine can be used for. The stepper is an accessory that every self-respecting athlete should have at home. This sports device is generally relegated to the same category as the exercise bike, the elliptical trainer, the rower or even the treadmill.

And for good reason, these devices have this in common that they are all, without exception, cardio-fitness devices. By opting for the stepper, you will therefore work on your cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory physical faculties.

More than ever, the stepper is an ideal device to develop your physical capacities. By reproducing the movement of climbing stairs, you will indeed be able to exercise your heart in a gentle and gradual manner. But this is not the only gain you will get from using the stepper during workouts.

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Your leg muscles will indeed be heavily used and there is every reason to think, if you perform sports sessions on a regular basis, that these muscles will develop. Thus, your legs will be better curved, slimmer and slender. You will probably lose your saddlebags and orange peel on your buttocks. The glutes will be more plump. In short, all the benefits that women are looking for to display a dream figure.


Compact


The stepper therefore not only allows you to develop your endurance capacities but also to tone your legs and glutes. By performing stepper sessions at home on a regular basis, you will also be able to lose weight. If you have fat to lose in your legs and buttocks, the stepper is definitely the cardio-training device you need.

Be careful not to confuse the stepper, which is a piston device that allows you to reproduce the climb of stairs gently, with the step which is simply assimilated to a mini-step on which you climb and descend, the latter being used during dynamic body sculpt type fitness classes. If you have joint problems with your knees, you should go to the classic stepper. You will avoid dynamic stepper sessions that are too brutal for already weakened joints.

There are different models of steppers, from the simple stepper to the more advanced model incorporating options such as a console, a handlebar … Some stepper models even offer the possibility of reproducing a movement using the arms in addition to the movement of the legs. . This is possible thanks to an elastic strap that must be pulled up. Ideal for working the upper body in addition to the lower body. And then there is the stepper twister, this stepper which reproduces a “twist” movement, that is to say a movement of climbing stairs added to a swaying movement. Perfect for working on the flexibility of your lower limbs, hips and pelvis.

Beginners, however, will choose a classic stepper model. Later, when they have reached an acceptable level, they can switch to the stepper twister and / or the stepper with elastic ropes.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STEPPER


In order to choose the right stepper, it is above all necessary to determine what our needs are. Indeed, whether you use your stepper occasionally or regularly, the choice of stepper will not be the same. However, there is a factor of choice on which we can not ignore, it is the quality of the material that we will adopt. Indeed, if you want to perform stepper sessions in the best possible and imaginable conditions, then you will need to have in your possession a stepper that meets criteria such as stability and reliability.

The stability of a stepper is a determining factor. Also, depending on your body weight, you will choose a certain model of stepper rather than another model. You should not exceed the maximum weight limit allowed to climb on your cardio machine. This factor is all the more important to take into account if you are an overweight or obese man.

The heavier you are, the greater the force exerted on the stepper piston. This is how the piston will have to be strong enough to withstand such a force exerted. Because, in the long run, the latter could be led to give way.

Here are the criteria to take into account when buying a stepper:

THE STEPPER HANDLEBARS
The handlebars of a stepper allow you to maintain your balance. Be careful, the latter is not present on mini steppers but only on classic stepper models. The handlebars don’t look like much, yet they can make all the difference during intensive training. Thanks to the handlebars, you will be more constant in the effort. You will be able to support yourself with your arms when you struggle to climb the stairs. Hanging on to a handlebar is not the same as simply balancing against a wall.

By opting for a stepper with handlebars, you will be able to lean forward and outdo yourself during the training session! Again, the choice of handlebars will depend on your goals. However, more fragile people, such as seniors, will automatically opt for a stepper with handlebars. This will allow them to keep their balance on the device without risk of falling.

THE RESISTANCE OF THE STEPPER
Resistance of stepper pistons
Resistance of stepper pistons
There are different types of resistors. Hydraulic or electromagnetic resistances. The latter are more efficient. They also make it possible to precisely adjust the resistance force of the device, for a variable effort during the session, something that a stepper with hydraulic pistons cannot do.

The resistance of a stepper is therefore carried out either using hydraulic pistons or using electromagnetic pistons with the possibility of adjusting the resistance with precision for the latter. The type of resistance most often encountered is obviously the hydraulic system, as steppers with electromagnetic pistons are much more expensive. These are present on real cardio fitness machines found in sports clubs. It’s up to you to see, depending on your use, if you are ready to invest in such a cardio fitness machine.

Note, however, that the comfort of use between these two types of resistors is absolutely not comparable. The electromagnetic system provides a much smoother and more progressive resistance, compared to hydraulic systems which produce a completely different sensation.

PULSE MEASUREMENT
Some steppers are equipped with sensors allowing them to calculate your heart rate in real time. These sensors are present on the stepper handlebars. Thanks to these sensors, you will be able to know your heartbeat during the effort exerted on your stepper. Note, however, that these sensors will be less precise than a pulse measurement sensor directly placed on your chest (in the form of a chest belt) or on your wrist (thanks to connected watches).

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THE STEPPER CONSOLE
All steppers have a more or less elaborate console depending on the stepper models. The console is where the measurements will be stored. Without measure, how can we stay motivated? It is absolutely vital to choose a stepper model that has an on-board computer.

A stepper console is used to give indications such as:

total training time
number of steps climbed
distance traveled
pace, i.e. the number of steps climbed per minute
power expressed in Watts
calories burned (depending on age and weight)

THE ADVANTAGES OF A STEPPER
The stepper is great
The stepper is great
Why should we use a stepper? What are the advantages of using such a machine on a daily basis? There are several reasons for this. First of all, the stepper is a cardio-fitness device that allows you to make a progressive and controlled muscular effort. Cadence is slow (not as high as steps on a treadmill or pedaling movements on a bicycle). This is how the stepper can be used by everyone. People who are more vulnerable at the heart level will undoubtedly be sensitive to this argument.

The people with knee pain benefit from the gentle movement of the stepper to be able to exercise their legs without feeling any discomfort at any time. As such, the stepper is probably the cardio-fitness device that most leads to total well-being and comfort of use. The stepper reproduces the movement of walking uphill without the usual jerks. No impact, no force, no trauma is reflected on the joints of the legs. The stepper is softness itself!

Thanks to the stepper, you will be able to tone your leg muscles . And for those who want it, it will even be possible to strengthen their legs (if high resistance is selected). The legs won’t be the only parts of the body to be exercised. The abdominals will be involved in the postural support of the body throughout the exercise.

The weight loss will be achieved through a major effort of endurance you provide throughout the year. Also, if this is your goal, know that it will be quite possible for you to lose weight by doing regular stepper sessions. To learn more about the type of workout to perform, see our article below.

To develop your cardiovascular capacities, you have to practice… cardio-fitness! Not everyone has the opportunity to run because of back pain or knee pain. Not everyone has the desire to spin their legs at high speed on a bicycle for hours. Not everyone is able to reproduce the complex movement of the rower. On the other hand, everyone can go stepper , at the rate of a 20-minute session. every other day, and benefit from spectacular results at all physical levels.

In summary , the stepper allows you to:

Do a gentle cardio session
Does not traumatize the knees when climbing stairs
Develop your cardiovascular and pulmonary capacities
Tone and muscle your thighs and calves
Firm your glutes
Have a more slender silhouette
Does not take up space when folded

STEPPER TRAINING
Stepper training
Stepper training
Here are the basic tips to follow to achieve productive and beneficial stepper sessions for your body.

First of all, before starting the regular stepper training, and if it has been a while since you have not practiced sport, it is recommended to consult your doctor . You will thus have the objective opinion of a competent person of health on your real physical capacities. The doctor will have you do various tests. This is necessary to detect any health problem, including possible heart problems.

Once this check-up has been carried out and the professional’s opinion on your state of form has been received, you will be able to develop a training plan to set specific goals for yourself , whether in terms of improving your endurance. , in terms of muscle toning or in terms of weight loss. In general, we recommend that you set goals that are fairly easy to achieve to begin with. It would not be a question, in fact, of demotivating from the start. The workout must be beneficial as much for your body and your organism, as for your mind and your psychic well-being. Then set yourself goals for a period of 3 months .

Of course, before starting your three month stepper training program, you will make sure you have mastered the “step” movement on your device. To do this, you can call on a sports coach. The stepper offers various training programs: getting back into shape, weight loss, muscle toning, cardio-respiratory strengthening, improving resistance … whatever the goal you choose, you will enjoy stepping!

THE GESTURES FOR A GOOD STEPPER SESSION
Before a sports session, during a sports session and after a sports session, there is a gesture that must be made … this gesture is that of drinking water to rehydrate. You don’t have to wait until you are thirsty to drink. When we feel thirsty, it is already too late, because it means our body is dehydrated. Drink before you feel thirsty.

Your cardio stepper device must be installed in a suitable room. The room where you train should be bright. In addition, this same room must absolutely be ventilated properly. You will be expending a lot of oxygen during your workout, so it is advisable to breathe healthy air and not poor quality air.

SPORTS EQUIPMENT
Put on your sneakers!
Put on your sneakers!
No special equipment is needed other than a good pair of shoes.

You will take care to tie your shoes well so that the laces of the latter do not get tangled in the pistons of the stepper.

Having a pair of quality sneakers will allow you to keep your ankles in the axis of the stepper when you force on the mini steps.

If your stepper is not equipped with a handlebar and a heart rate measurement system, you will need a heart rate monitor to take your heart rate measurements in real time.

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THE MUSCLES USED DURING A STEPPER SESSION
During a stepper session, different muscles are used. We will assume that you are using a stepper without elastic straps. Here are all the muscles that you can exercise during your effort:

THE HEART MUSCLE
And yes, you don’t necessarily think about it, but the heart is the first muscle that you have to train regularly if you want to stay in shape. The heart is a smooth muscle, that is to say that we cannot control the muscular contractions of this muscle. Does this mean that this muscle should not be trained? It is, of course, the opposite that must be done! The heart, in fact, needs to be constantly called upon to be able to provide its full power at all times.

THE GLUTEAL MUSCLES
Continuous or interval training

If you want to strengthen your glutes, the stepper is the cardio machine for you. By reproducing the movement of climbing stairs, the stepper makes it possible to stretch the glutes to the maximum, before contracting these same muscles. This preliminary stretching is essential for optimal muscle contraction. The contraction of the buttocks is carried out in concert with a natural swaying movement.

The gluteus minimus, the gluteus medius as well as the large portion of the glutes are thus highly stressed throughout the effort. Women will particularly like to stepper to lose the famous “saddlebags” that they sometimes are.

THIGH MUSCLES
The thigh muscles are numerous. Among them are the quadriceps muscles (vastus internal, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, etc.), adductor muscles, abductors. But also the tensor of the fascia lata, the sartorius muscle, the pectineal muscle… without forgetting of course the hamstring muscles, muscles located at the back of the thigh. All of these muscles in the front and, to a lesser extent, the back of the thigh will be used during the stepper exercise.

CALF MUSCLES
The calves are made up of soleus and twins. The twin muscles will be heavily used during an endurance stepper effort. They are red-fiber muscles, with slow contraction and endurance.

THE MUSCLES OF THE ABDOMINALS AND HIPS
Continuous or interval training

The abdominals, which represent the transverse muscle, the obliques as well as all the muscles at the front of the abdominal strap, the rectus abdominis, will be solicited in isometry during the stepper session. These muscles will help keep you balanced on the stepper.

For a good muscle gain, remember to contract your abs during the effort.

The muscles of the hips such as the iliac psoas, the square of the loins, will also intervene during the flexion of the hips.

LUMBAR MUSCLES
Much like the abdominal muscles, the lower back muscles will act to maintain balance on the stepper. The lumbar muscles, or the spinal muscles, are the antagonistic muscles of the abdominal muscles.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:
If you are prone to joint pain in the knees, ankles, or even back, the stepper may be recommended. However, if these joint pains were too accentuated, it would be advisable not to practice stepper. The elliptical trainer is then more recommended for you in this specific case . The latter makes it possible to execute a smoother and more aerial movement than the stepper.

STEPPER TRAINING FREQUENCY
It is generally advisable to do 3 cardio sessions per week. This training frequency can be likened to a session on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with rest on weekends.

DURATION OF A STEPPER TRAINING SESSION
The duration of a training session will depend not only on your goals but also on your age, your current state of fitness and your past sports results. You will adapt the duration of your session according to these parameters.

In general, it is recommended to do a session of 15 to 45 minutes. 25 minutes being a good compromise. But nothing prevents you from starting with a session duration of 15 to 20 minutes.

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STEPPER TRAINING PHASES …

WARM-UP PHASE
Plan your stepper training sessions
Plan your stepper training sessions
You will start your session slowly, then you will gradually increase the pace. It is essential to start training with a warm-up phase of at least 5 minutes. As a beginner, this phase can be 10 minutes.

PROGRESSIVE EFFORT PHASE
The effort should be gradual. You will increase the resistance and / or intensity of the exercise smoothly. You do not yet have a sufficiently advanced level to allow you to make sudden changes of pace. Ten minutes before the end of the session, you will start to gradually lower the pace. For more advanced athletes, the changes of pace may occur more suddenly. The changes in rhythms are very hard on the heart, so take it easy …

CALM DOWN PHASE
Check your heart rate at the end of the session. You will be able to observe the evolution of your level of recovery over the training sessions. You will not forget to stretch well at the end of the session. Stretching is fundamental for recovery. They help to evacuate lactic acid in the body. You avoid stiffness in this way. Of course, you will hydrate yourself properly at the end of the exercise.

NB The posture throughout the exercise should be as follows: The body is straight or slightly leaning forward (if the stepper has a handlebar to grip the hands). Don’t lower your head while looking at your feet. Look far ahead.

ENDURANCE TRAINING
To develop your endurance skills, you need to perform long training sessions at resistance and moderate pace. This type of training will have the effect of improving the circulation of blood within your body and making your heart more efficient over time. Also, if you want to regain tone, if you are tired every day and are often short of breath, it is towards this type of training that you should orient yourself.

This type of training therefore consists of increasing the duration of the session without increasing the pace. Ideal for general fitness. The session will last 30 to 45 minutes.

TRAINING TO LOSE WEIGHT
Lose fat with the stepper
Lose fat with the stepper
If you want to lose those few extra pounds, you need to increase the duration of your stepper session even further. A 45 to 60 minute session is recommended. For a slow continuous rhythm and at low intensity.

Why such a long training period? The explanation is simple. Lipolysis, which corresponds to the phase in which fat is used for an ATP energy supply, only occurs after about 30 minutes of effort. The fat loss phase therefore really begins after 30 minutes of effort, and not before! This is why it is important to spare your mount by keeping a slow and moderate pace in order to go to the end of your training session.

Thus, the longer your session, the more calories you will burn. It is therefore necessary to do a stepper session for at least 30 minutes if the goal is to lose weight. However, interval training has also been shown to accelerate fat loss under certain conditions. You can therefore integrate, from time to time, in your training, work sessions in intervals.

OUR TRAINING TIPS
Warm up well at the start of the session
Stretch well at the end of the session
Hydrate well before, during and after the session
Track your heart rate using a heart rate monitor
Look straight ahead, don’t tilt your head forward
Be diligent in training!
Make a schedule and stick to it
Take notes of your sessions (duration, resistance, calories …)
Adapt the right resistance
Always take at least one day of rest between two sessions

THE TWO TYPES OF TRAINING
There are two types of training. Continuous training and interval training or Interval training.

CONTINUOUS TRAINING
Exert yourself on the stepper!
Exert yourself on the stepper!
Continuous training is the easiest type of training to implement. It is also the most used by beginner athletes. This training does not require any special preparation for the development of the session itself. During such a continuous training session, we follow a progressive effort; resistance to effort does not vary during the session.

Ideal for developing physical endurance capacities, continuous training also helps fight stress, improve our sleep and, of course, fight against overweight.

THE TRAINING SPLIT OR INTERVAL TRAINING
This type of training is a bit special. It corresponds to an effort which is not linear. In other words, during an interval training session, we will alternate between intense phases and calmer phases. Here, training on the stepper is no longer continuous but interval training . There are different variations of interval training. Tabata workout, for example, is an interval training workout.

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