Stepper: effective for losing weight and having beautiful

In our quest for muscular glutes , we continue to identify the best workouts.

After having seen plyometrics , the best bodybuilding exercises for glutes or even elastic training , it is now a question of stepper !

The stepper is a fitness machine designed to reproduce the climb of stairs. Indeed, nothing like a small stair climbing workout (good cardio) to activate the gluteal muscles and burn calories (the stadiums will be your best playgrounds).

But not everyone has a set of stairs, and the weather can sometimes dissuade you from going outside to train, which is why the stairs are invited in the gym, in the form of steppers.

In this article
What is a stepper?
The stair master: the ultimate machine for indoor glutes
The stepper or mini stepper for the home
What does a stepper muscle?
What are the benefits of the stepper?
1. Muscles the posterior chain
2. It’s a low impact workout
3. Its use is surprisingly easy
How to use a mini stepper?
How to optimally use a stair master?
1. Maintain good posture
2. Don’t stand
3. Add weights / resistance
4. Think HIIT
5. Play with the different exercises
6 exercises to break the routine at the Stair Master
1. The “jump-step”: to activate the glutes and quads
2. Cross Climbing: for the gluteus medius and the outside of the hips
3. Jump Squats: to smash your cardio!
4. Lateral rise: for hips and quads
5. Reverse climb: to work the quadriceps
6. Sprints: to end!
HIIT training at the stair master
What is a stepper?
As we have said, it is a tool that allows you to replicate the action of climbing stairs (steps = not for the less bilingual). There are mainly two types .

Note that both types of devices offer a variable speed and resistance system.

The stair master: the ultimate machine for indoor glutes

The Stair Master is a professional stepper that can be found in the gym
Also called a climber or stairmill, this large machine is often present in the gym and squatted by fitgirls. It is found next to ellipticals and other treadmills.

Once activated, it allows you to climb an infinite staircase, like a shopping mall escalator, except that here, if you stay on your step, you fall badly!

Advantages :

devilishly effective at targeting the glutes
possibility to vary exercises and programs
Disadvantages:

expensive, reserved for professional rooms and wealthy individuals
often very popular, you will have to play elbows with the fitgirls in your gym
The stepper or mini stepper for the home
mini stepper
The Mini Stepper is rather reserved for home use
The stepper has been around for ages and it is rather reserved for home use due to its small size (and low price).

The mini stepper is roughly a step composed of two independent “pedals” which move up and down (sometimes slightly laterally on certain models in order to offer more working angles).

Some are equipped with handles for balance and others with rubber bands to add simultaneous arm work.

Advantages :

cheap
compact and light, therefore easily transportable
perfect for burning calories in front of the TV
Disadvantages:

a bit limited in terms of programs and exercises unlike its counterpart
What does a stepper muscle?
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The two types of steppers that we have just seen recruit roughly the same muscles (advantage for the stair master which allows you a better activation of the glutes thanks to its many variations that we will see).

Climbing stairs (whether on a stair master, a mini stepper or a real staircase) requires the following muscles:

quadriceps , these muscles located at the front of the thigh that will be very likely to burn you after a workout
hamstring , muscles at the back of your thigh, they work harder if you take bigger steps
gluteus maximus ( gluteus maximus for those who do not speak Latin well) which, like the ischios, will work more by increasing the amplitude of the stride
gastrocnemius and soleus , (these muscles located in your calves), they are not the first to be targeted, but come into play if you add a calf extension to the movement by standing on the tips of your toes
What are the benefits of the stepper?
The stepper (whether it’s a mini stepper or a professional stepper) is great for a bunch of reasons, here are a few.

1. Muscles the posterior chain
After all, that’s what we want, isn’t it? Focus on the gluteal muscles !

A machine like the stepmill could be defined as the best combination of aerobic activity to burn calories and anaerobic to build muscle (glutes).

As we have seen, the fact of climbing helps the muscles to be built on the principle of overloading.

The repetitive lifting and pushing motion of your legs targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

These are major muscle groups, which will cause a high caloric expenditure (depending on the intensity and the duration that you put in).

On average for a 70Kg person:

1 hour of mini stepper can burn up to 435KCal
1 hour of stair master can burn up to 677KCal
2. It’s a low impact workout
Steppers have the advantage of offering a low impact training for the joints (unlike running on a treadmill for example).

This makes it a gentle workout on the joints and especially beneficial for overweight people who want to get back to sport or for people who have knee and hip problems and / or are coming back from injury.

3. Its use is surprisingly easy
No need to be an athlete, no need to integrate a complicated form of movement, the stepper does not require any special technique or skill.

On the other hand, unlike a treadmill, you can’t really fall off a stepper (or stair master), so you can concentrate on your session or shift your attention to something else, such as a screen. television without running any risk of injury.

Compact and easily transportable, the mini steppers can be perfectly placed under a desk and used at work. We all know that prolonged sitting during long working days can have a negative impact on health.

Using a mini stepper while sitting at the desk can help you burn up to 100 calories / hour (better make sure your stepper is quiet if you are in an open space). Some even use it standing up with a standing desk, it seems a bit messy, but why not …

How to use a mini stepper?
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You should always warm up before using any fitness equipment, the mini stepper is no exception. You can therefore start by doing 5 to 10 minutes of stepping in a gentle way, starting with very slow steps and gradually increasing towards your work rate.

Once warmed up, engage in 30 to 50 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on your stepper, if needed, play with the resistance. If 30 minutes is too much for you, divide that time into 3 10-minute increments in your day (morning, afternoon, and evening) and then focus on a more intense pace.

No matter how long your session is, always allow 5 minutes to cool down.

HIIT training lends itself well to the use of the mini stepper. If you are new to this type of training, it is the sequence of short, but intense work intervals (over 80% of your heart rate) with active recovery intervals.

For example, you can work at high speed and resistance for a minute (give everything you have!) And then slow down for a minute of “active” rest (you do not get off the machine). Decrease resistance and speed during the rest phase. Repeat this alternation of phases for 20 to 30 minutes.

Some tips :

if you mainly want to strengthen your glutes, always keep your feet flat and push off with your heels. Naturally, we tend to push with the tips of the feet, which means that we focus the work on the calves.
to protect your knee joints, make sure your feet are level with your knees
always keep your back straight (do not bend over or use your hands to grip if your stepper model has a bar) by engaging the abs well
adjust the speed and intensity so that you can maintain a frequency of about 80 “steps per minute”. To make a workout more complex, rather than increasing the speed, increase the resistance
as great as steppers are for lower body training, remember that the upper body is completely unprepared. To avoid the “bottle of orangina” physique, consider including upper body exercises in your workout routine.
How to optimally use a stair master?
As much with the mini stepper there is not too much risk of “doing wrong”, as much with the stair master, I see too often practitioners adopting bad postures.

Here are 5 golden rules to maximize the benefits of your training.

1. Maintain good posture
Remember, the goal is still to target the glutes and hamstrings, not the back! So straighten up.

When you are bent, you tire your back and lower your buttocks. It’s okay to lean forward at the hips (to engage the glutes more) as long as your spine is straight, he says.

2. Don’t stand
We all have it, this friend who can do hours of stair climber by gripping on either side of the machine.

This is cheating !

The sidebars should only be used in case you feel unbalanced, in order to stabilize you, in no case to assist you in your climb of the stairs.

This reduces the load on your body and minimizes the effects of your training.

3. Add weights / resistance
Do you feel confident, stable and at ease?

Grab a pair of dumbbells before heading to your new favorite machine. When climbing a step, add a bicep curl to the movement, or an overhead tricep extension.

More muscle groups worked and more loads mean an increase in heart rate and the number of calories burned.

Likewise, you can place an elastic band around your thighs to increase resistance!

4. Think HIIT
Stair master training lends itself very well to the HIIT format.

For a good session like this, allow 20 to 30 minutes of suffering on the device. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to activate your heart and muscles.

Then do the intervals for 10 to 15 minutes. You can simply do a minute of brisk walking followed by a minute of slow walking, all followed by a 5-10 minute cool-down.

Or you can check out the HIIT workout shown below for a fuller version!

5. Play with the different exercises
I’m going to show 6 variations of the classic walking climb execution, play with these alternatives! They will allow you to vary the pleasures, to modify the working angles and above all, to chase away the boredom of a monotonous stepper session.

Combine them in a HIIT program for even more results!

6 exercises to break the routine at the Stair Master
stepper benefits1. The “jump-step”: to activate the glutes and quads
stepper exerciseChoose a leg that will work: the right for example.

In the initial position, with both legs on the first step, place your right leg on the 3rd step by voluntarily skipping the second (increasing the amplitude of the steps climbed will allow you to activate your glutes more), then bring back the left leg on the 3rd step quickly.

Continue to climb the stairs two at a time with your right leg always first for a set amount of time. Then change legs.

Voluntarily contract your glutes each time you bring your second leg towards the first and try to push well on your heels to optimally recruit your glutes.

To go even further, with each step, raise your leg backwards (a kick back in the lingo of which you can see an example in the video below at 2:26m).

2. Cross Climbing: for the gluteus medius and the outside of the hips
stepper cross exerciseTurn to be on the side and grip the bar in front of you with both hands to stabilize yourself.

When you’re ready, step up your outside foot (closest to the ground) on the next step, directly followed by your inside foot on the top step.

Repeat and remember to change legs, one minute on the right side then one minute on the left side for example.

To go even further: Bend (as if you were doing a squat) as low as possible and climb the stairs like this, without getting up. Feel the intense burn!

3. Jump Squats: to smash your cardio!
stepper exercise squat jumpBefore you stick to it, make sure that the speed used is not too fast.

Place your feet with a fairly wide gap (one foot on each end of the step for example) then descend into a squat position before coming back up by jumping on the next step.

Squat directly while landing so as to “absorb” the impact. Here you can hold the side bars, in case you miss a step …

4. Lateral rise: for hips and quads
Turn to your side and grasp the bar in front of you with both hands to stabilize yourself. When you are ready, step up your inside foot on the next step, directly followed by your outside foot (on the same step).

Remember to work on both sides equally (one minute on the right side then one minute on the left side for example).

5. Reverse climb: to work the quadriceps
stepper exerciseThis exercise is great for emphasizing the quadriceps and calves.

To do this, you can hold yourself lightly on the support bars (especially if you are afraid of falling) without slouching on them. Reduce speed to feel comfortable and stable.

This exercise will take time and practice before you get completely comfortable with it.

6. Sprints: to end!
stepper exercise sprintIn front of your machine, you can hold on to the bar while you increase your speed.

Increase speed until you run up the stairs, be very careful and go gradually.

This is probably the most challenging exercise for cardio, good luck!

HIIT training at the stair master
Here we are big fans of HIIT training, because these workouts are short and intense, burn a maximum of calories and dispel monotony!

So I leave you with two workouts, one in the video below so that you get a good idea of ​​the thing, and a second in the form of a table to vary the pleasures a little.

Exercise Duration
Warming up 5 minutes
Jump walk 1 minute of each leg
Sprint 25 seconds
Active rest 30 seconds
Cross over 1 minute of each leg
Sprint 25 seconds
Active rest 30 seconds
Squat Jumps 40 seconds
Active rest 30 seconds
Sprint 20 seconds
Active rest 30 seconds
Rear climb 1 minute 30 seconds
Sprint 25 seconds
Active rest 30 seconds
Cross over 1 minute of each leg
Sprint 30 seconds
Active rest 2 minutes

Note that the rest periods here correspond to the fact of decreasing the speed of the machine in order to climb the stairs slowly and catch your breath (so you don’t have to get off the machine every time, it’s active recovery. ).

This constitutes one round of the program, do 3 in total, which will give you about 45 painful minutes of intensive work (which will pass very quickly, however).

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