It’s a fact: we all want to keep fit, stay slim and healthy. If the will to talk is there, on the other hand, we don’t always have enough time to go to the gym.
The good idea is to do simple exercises at home.
Today, devices that allow you to exercise without leaving the house are very popular. The stepper, a real little object of revolution , offers to keep the line, while showing the lower body.
I will describe this device to you, before telling you about its advantages and disadvantages. You will discover how it works, what to remember to choose it well, but also a quick analysis of the models that we have been able to examine.
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What is a stepper?
The stepper is nothing more or less than a device whose movements reproduce those made to climb a staircase. The device comprises two pedals, connected to pistons whose functions are magnetic or hydraulic.
It is aimed at both great athletes and people who need to resume regular or occasional physical activity.
The stepper is not really positioned as a weight machine: it is above all a cardio-fitness machine that exercises the lower limbs.
The original model, which is a standard shaped stepper, has two steps and handles. These second accessories are integrated to stabilize the use during sports practice.
The original prototype displays a structure that can be as tall as the user. On some models, the sleeves can be pulled in rhythm to exercise the arms as well.
The original stepper is a cardio machine par excellence: it makes you sweat, it moderates the pressure exerted on the back, and it burns a lot of calories.
The presence of a digital dial will depend on the references. Those that have settings that allow you to define the duration of an exercise, or to program the difficulty
The mini-stepper version
The mini-stepper version, which takes the characteristics of the basic model, but whose handles are non-existent. The mini-stepper is designed for small spaces, and therefore saves space
Its structure includes the two steps, but also a screen adapted to its size. While it is practical at many levels, the stepper is also limited because it does not allow you to customize the intensity of the exercises.
The user must think about managing his own balance, which brings an additional difficulty. Habit is enough, however, to rectify the posture, as well as the stability
The oblique version of the mini-stepper
The oblique version of the mini-stepper: this latest variant is nothing more than an improved model of the first two. In addition to simulating the rise of stairs, the oblique mini-stepper also offers to walk from left to right.
Focusing maximizes physical effort. So it doesn’t just target the legs and thighs: it also helps exercise the hips to slim them faster.
The operation of the stepper is very simple: you just have to sit on the device, and initiate pedal movements.
On the most sophisticated models, you will be able to select the settings that will suit your exercises, or simply your needs.
The duration of the exercise, its difficulty, or the level of the user can thus be configured.
The digital screen then takes care of displaying the calories expended, the distance covered, but also the number of walks carried out over a given period of time.
It is also possible to find models on which training programs are pre-recorded. These versions feature more advanced features, and give you the chance to opt for challenging exercises.
The stepper is not difficult to learn: almost all models combine equivalent functions, with variations that will make the difference. Overall, all steppers can therefore be used more or less equally.
The most advanced models will be able to display the user’s heart rate. This additional function is available via handles specially designed to integrate hyper reactive sensors.
Others will opt for a belt model, also equipped with sensors, and functioning in the same way as the handles. The sensitivity of these elements will be very similar: it would therefore be wrong to assert that belts are more effective than receptive sleeves.
Here is a link that will give you an idea of how this fitness device works
How to properly use a stepper?
Although it is accessible and very easy to use, the stepper is nonetheless a cardio-training device that should be approached with care. It is therefore recommended to opt for progressive training.
As with any type of exercise, its practice must be adapted to the user. The exercises that will be done by a regular athlete will not be those that a beginner should try.
For those who are new to the stepper, it is advisable to fully understand the basics.
There are many mistakes made by beginners: the vast majority think that you can start with intensive programs right away, and do not hesitate to pedal with all their strength, from the first minutes.
The pace of training must however be increasing, and regular. Beginning by learning the right movements is essential to finish the exercises without losing all your energy.
It is the adoption of this rhythm that will help your body to adapt to the intricacies of the machine.
Proper use of the stepper should prevent ankle and knee injuries. The hips are also affected, as they will not be subjected to the pressures that are usually found on the treadmill.
Other precautions complete this list:
The use of the stepper must be done with shoes suitable for sports practice. Models that stabilize the ankles and limit the risk of slipping are highly recommended.
Remember that the stepper is still an instrument that is easy to slide on or make a wrong move if you are not careful.
Some additional accessories may be useful to use your stepper properly. A heart rate sensor remains the most important to prevent users from feeling unwell during exercise
Take the time to study the movements to be performed before starting your exercises. The effectiveness of your training will depend solely on this precaution.
This video will give you an idea of what you can do on this device
The user here completes his exercises by underweighting light weights.
How to choose your device?
The choice of stepper should not only be based on your desire to have a device that brings a sporty touch to your interior. Several criteria must be taken into account before considering investing in one model or another
The resistance of the model
This is a criterion that we do not necessarily think about, but which will be of real importance if you are looking for a device that aims for performance. You have the choice between electromagnetic resistance, and hydraulic one.
The first would be known for its performance, and offers precise settings. The value of its resistance can be configured, and guarantees a variation of the efforts throughout the exercise.
The resistors which offer a maximum of control are, of course, the most appreciated. The electromagnetic versions are also those that will allow you to enjoy a customizable progression in resistance.
This resistance will also depend on comfort, because hydraulic machines are designed to solicit a pure form of exercise that may lack comfort, but which will be devilishly effective.
The type of handles
As we mentioned: not all steppers have handlebars. On models that feature this addition, hold stability should be given priority. The presence of these sleeves will reveal all its interest on intensive exercises.
Sleeves bring consistency to the effort: in addition to serving as support, they help to maintain a rhythm that cannot always be achieved with a model that does not understand it.
Remember, however, that they are not mandatory, and that they can very well be replaced by more or less light weights.
Their location is, of course, studied to meet a need for performance. While it is not always useful for beginners who have to find their rhythm, it will be of very different importance for athletes who manage to pedal at high speed.
Also remember that steppers with handlebars are ideal for seniors, as well as for fragile user profiles.
The possibilities of falls are almost non-existent, and it will not be necessary to assist them when they get in or out of the device.
Like the sleeves, pulse capture will not be present on all stepper models. The references equipped with it offer real-time cardiac performance monitoring.
If the capture via the handlebars is practical, that carried out with a belt will be more precise. The presence of these accessories is strongly recommended for seniors, as for people suffering from illnesses, and having to resume regular physical activity.
The last element is also part of the additions which are not essential, but which will weigh heavily on the scale. To begin with, it should be remembered that all references include a more or less elaborate display.
This display is linked to a console which will present and store useful information.
It can provide information on the duration of the exercise, the distance you have walked, the number of steps taken, the power during the exercise, the calories you have expended, or the number of steps you have climbed.
Digital signage is a plus that informs and boosts motivation. For users, the device is presented as a logbook which also serves to assess progress, on a comparative basis.
The advantages and disadvantages of the stepper
The cardio-fitness device brings together strengths that could appeal to more than one:
Progressive and simplified use for optimized results
Suitable for people with joint problems, especially the knees
A refinement of the silhouette, followed by a remarkable weight loss when the practice of the stepper is regular
Improved respiratory and cardiovascular capacities
Suitable for people with back pain
Customizable exercises according to needs
Adaptation of sessions for a gentle approach in all circumstances
Toning of lower body muscles
Takes up little space and is easily stored
Device that allows you to set achievable goals, whatever your needs
Proven pedal resistance
Responsive and ergonomic accessories
We also noted a few drawbacks that should be mentioned:
Digital screen of highly variable quality depending on the model
Mechanical components fragile when not maintained or used in the wrong way